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Motion Sickness

Plastic Fantastic

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I'm flat broke again and I need a better way to pass the time away than polishing off a lukewarm forty while listening to mp3s out of a tinny laptop speaker. It's another humid Saturday night in New York City and I've got shit to do but fool myself into being productive. Before I know it this weekend'll be over and I'll be back at the plantation before I know it.

I started thinking about how cool it was to write about video games but then that got me to thinking about how much disposable income I used to have. I could've bought a really nice car but instead I've got a storage closet full of moldy cartridges. Out of sight, out of mind though. I'll get to it someday.

The last game I remember being really excited about was Rockband. Some really great stuff happens with that one. It's one of those rare excuses to act goofy and have fun while still firmly holding anti-video game posturing. You know those too cool for video game guys? The guys who turn their nose up at everything till they see all their friends having the times of their lives and hear about how everybody's rocking out with their friends at home. The true followers of society. They can be real buzz kills sometimes.

It's like this old roommate from Poland I had. She would shit on everything under the sun. This woman was a career pessimist. She once told me that it's actually worse in Poland and it's one of the reasons she left. I guess there's a jihad on "fun" out there.

Anyway, she was taking singing classes at the time and had overheard my friends and I rocking out in the room adjacent to hers. She casually knocks and we're all expecting her to tell us about how she's tired and wants to sleep at 3 in the afternoon and how we need to keep it down for the next 8 hours. Instead she wants to watch. She's heard of this "Guitar Hero" but we correct her and tell her we've got the new hotness. Beatles Rockband.

She kicks back a beer that we pacify her with and she drops a few stories about voice lessons and how she often practices at karaoke bar private rooms. Tells us she's really good at early Madonna songs. We wonder if that's a good thing or not.

Moments later we provide plastic backup for her rendition of Can't Buy Me Love. A few verses in and we start looking at each other and start raising eyebrows. Not in a good way either. The lady stinks. She's bombing hard and begins to complain about how she can still hear Paul McCartney's voice in the background and how it's throwing her off. I groan internally.

In order to chill her out I go through the game options and tell her there's no way to turn off his voice. She isn't happy about it and decides to sit out of any future songs because it's unfair. She says the game is flawed and can't measure true skill. I lie to her and tell her she was singing ok and that maybe she should deal with it.

Rockturnal Emmisions gains and loses it's first "professionally trained" female vocalist in less than fifteen minutes. We keep the door locked now whenever we play.

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  1. dog$'s Avatar
    Around a year ago my wife's friend was over at our place and we introduced her to Rock Band.

    The woman is in her early 30's, which pegs her as having grown up squarely in the generation when MTV exploded into culture. Her, my wife, and everyone else in America grew up watching people play guitars, more or less. This woman also works at contemporary rock radio station, so she's around music all the time and grew up being around music all the time. She grew up in the generation which watched people play guitars, pantomimed air-guitar playing, and so on.

    We're explaining to her how the guitar works in the game, and how you need to hold the fret and strum as the notes cross. She presses the whammy bar up and down a few times and asks "What does this do?". To keep things simple, we tell her to not worry about it and that she won't need to use it.

    We play one song and the guitar part is mysteriously absent from the performance. I subsequently ask her if she was in fact pushing the strum bar up and down as the notes crossed the bar on the screen.

    As it turns out, she was holding the right fret correctly with the notes. However, she wasn't strumming. Rather, she depressed the whammy bar each time a note crossed the line on the screen.
    Updated 11 Jul 2010 at 06:41 AM by dog$
  2. Revoltor's Avatar
    The whammy bar might as well be the "Shiny Red Button". Did she give up?
  3. dog$'s Avatar
    Nah, we informed her of her error and she did better after that. Things can only improve from 0%!

    I'll write about her child one of these days soon I think. I've already ranted plenty at the channel.
  4. Razor Ramon's Avatar
    I only read you're in NYC. If you're here and bored meet up with TNLers and be bored together imo.


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