To Rock Band, or Not to Rock Band

2008 February 3
by CajoleJuice

That is the question that has haunted me since the announcement of the game. And that most definitely shouldn’t be the case. I should be fingering — err, HOPOing? — my way through the solos in “Ride the Lightning” and “Blackened”. I should be crashing and burning my way through “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Tom Sawyer” on Expert-difficulty drums. I should be sing…maybe not.

My questionable vocal capabilities aside, I should’ve been one of the first people to buy and cherish Rock Band. (Technically, I was, but I bought it for a Canadian and shipped it to him out of the goodness of my heart.) I was hyping the game since its infancy, proselytizing the masses, only to turn around and buy Guitar Hero III because I couldn’t wait the extra month. With a new rhythm game to play, I decided I would wait on Rock Band. Since then, I’ve played it on Festivus over a friend’s house, and at Best Buy a couple of times — once for an hour and a half with a complete stranger. It was a amazing bonding experience.

So I’m still waiting. I’m waiting for a reasonably priced game+drums SKU that will never come. I’m waiting for the full albums that were promised to be announced. I’m waiting for Muse, Soundgarden, and Led Zeppelin to get DLC packs. I’m waiting for the complaints about the fake instruments to stop flooding the internet. But these are just the excuses I come up with. I’m not refraining from buying the game due to these reasons, I’m coming up with these excuses because I’m afraid of buying the game. (Yeah, I just watched Se7en today. I love that movie.)

It’s taken me a while to sink down to each level of nerddom I’ve experienced in my lifetime. I lurked GAF for almost a year before I finally registered. For years, I never had the urge to go on IRC, but I eventually did that. When I first heard of Guitar Hero, I thought everyone on GAF praising it was a loser of the highest order; it took real-life friends lauding it and me playing GH at Best Buy numerous times to finally accept its transcendent awesomeness into my heart and home. Talking to a internet friend on the phone — another step that really set off an alarm with my self-consciousness. Now I have reached another crossroads: owning a massive plastic drum set.

I don’t know how I could look my parents in the eye while owning a collection of Fisher-Price musical instruments in their house. It’s bad enough that I already own two fake guitars that take up a good amount of under-the-bed storage space. A third fake guitar and I might as well build a fake guitar stand. Oh wait, someone at GAF already did that. I pray to God that I never get that accepting of my pathetic hobbies.

Maybe I’m too insecure, but I think a bit of self-awareness and restraint is a good thing. I have no doubt I would own Rock Band if I lived on my own, but by that time I’ll be supporting myself, which hopefully would alleviate the embarrassment of owning such toys. Nothing screams pathetic like living at home with piles of music game controllers surrounding you — which is pretty much what would happen considering I have no storage space left.

In closing, I love you Rock Band, but I think I’m going to limit myself to Guitar Hero for the foreseeable future. I just wish it had awesome DLC like you do.

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