I spent hours yesterday playing Rock Band with a group of friends. What an amazing experience. I wrote about it on Fanista here. At the risk of repeating myself, I was struck by how the behavior that the game encourages is the antithesis of most game experiences. In my limited time playing games, I have found that the most popular variety is the first person shooter. It’s a solitary experience where the goal is to kill things with guns. Sure there are pretty graphics, fancy explosions and scary monsters but most games seem to boil down to killing things with guns. Enter Rock Band. In this game, you and a group of friends get to start a band and live the dream by working hard to become a rock star. I had a room of five people – three guys and two gals, musicians and non-musicians in there 20s or 40s all playing this game together… for hours. I really don’t think I have experienced anything like this before. It was so social, challenging, rewarding, exhausting and we didn’t kill anything.
Hats off to Eran Egozy and Alex Rigopulos – the co-founders of Harmonix. And to Brad Feld, my fraternity brother who had the good sense to help them raise money back in the 90s. (Eran is also in my Fraternity but did not live in the house at the same time.)
They have created an game that lets non-musicians experience what it is like to be musician and live in the world of rock. Well done!