This week we're shunning the hardcore with a cheeky delineation of the videogame snob and an article suggesting that mainstream gaming could provide a healthy new promotional medium for rock bands. And in 'Other Headlines' we've got the first Jack Thompson story of the year. Um, woo-hoo?
- Video games, rock'n'roll find common ground
The opening paragraphs of this article are not only a fair summation of the increasing ties between musicians and game development, but an interesting (dare I say zeitgeist) example of a pro-gaming mainstream journalist making wholly positive sounds about the medium without condescension. Beyond that and back on topic, Dave Navarro suggests that games are the "greatest way to reach a large audience right now", although I would personally attribute the strong impact of music in gaming more to the inherent qualities of the games in which they feature. Think about it: Even the tackiest music from the Grand Theft Auto soundtracks share in some of that game world's lawless cool and come to be (perhaps subconsciously) associated with the carefree gaming thrill of GTA joyriding. And if getting your band on the Burnout or Guitar Hero soundtrack isn't the best way to drill your song into a player's mind, as they attempt their thousandth race or song-attempt, then I don't know what is. I have no predilection at all for the music of Blink 182, for instance, but remembering the difficulty and eventual satisfaction of completing "The Rock Show" on Amplitude's 'Insane' mode summoned up the hugest grin when I heard it in a bar recently.
- The Top 7… steps to becoming a videogame snob
This is a great and timely balloon-bursting feature on game snobbery and its symptoms. I'm sure the majority of those who'll recognise these traits will probably tell themselves they've only seen them in other people, but come on guys; surely it's more fun to admit our occasional foibles with a wry smile of recognition than endless, stubborn forum arguments.