|that's me on the left|
It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. That's especially true for adults who love video games, or at least for this adult who loves video games. Do I need to get ready to say goodbye to music games?
Yesterday news broke that the price of last fall's excellently reviewed Rock Band 3 was slashed to $20 at retailers across the country after only five months on the market. Earlier this year Activision announced they were putting Guitar Hero on hiatus. Pity the poor 1970s rocker without a flush retirement fund.
Rock Band took me back to those sepia-toned days of the early 2000s, when a hard day's work meant sweating out last night's High Lifes while practicing down in Athens, Georgia. And by practicing I mean hanging out and playing maybe ten minutes of music every hour.
Obviously Rock Band wasn't exactly the same. I played a cheap piece of plastic instead of an almost-as-cheap guitar, my wife replaced a half-dozen sweaty dudes, and I tore through $10 sixers of uppity craft beer instead of $12 suitcases of watery domestics. But in 2007 Rock Band captured just enough of what it feels like to jam with friends to compensate for the distance that made that impossible.
Those were different times for music games. Little plastic guitars permeated the culture so thoroughly that Hollywood hack Brett Ratner openly talked about making a Guitar Hero movie. Target sold Rock Band branded underpants. Within four years though the genre apparently lost its hold on the public.
Sales are down and new games might dry up but that doesn't mean the music genre is dead. Just as I'll listen to a favorite song thousands of times but see a good movie once, Rock Band isn't a game I can beat and then stick on a shelf. The connection is deeper, more personal, and will survive to some extent even when my 360 is old and obsolete. As long as me and my wife have that 360 and a house big enough for all those plastic instruments we'll keep covering the hits for all our millions of virtual fans throughout these fake video game United States.
Run Button is a new weekly column where Joystick Division copy editor Garrett Martin rambles leisurely through whatever video game issue bugs him that week.