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Certain topics you just avoid in conversation unless you want to get into an argument with someone. Religion is one–I mean, why would you believe in a zombie who will save you if you eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you love him? Politics is another: let’s not even go there. Music can be a bit safer–but against fanboys, it’s probably worse than the other two. Some of my favorite witticisms include the hipster mating call, which is “I listened to this band before they were mainstream!” I saw this shirt on threadless.com: “I listen to bands that don’t even exist yet.” At any rate, music discussions are bound to bring up vicious debates as to what bands are talented, which suck, etc etc.

Why is this pertinent to gaming? Well, with Rock Band being out, the big anticipation is what songs will be available f or downloadable content (DLC) next. Now, let’s assume Rock Band will get the sales numbers that there will be new DLC (debatable), and transition into mass track publishing. Naturally this brings up excitement on the forums over what new tracks will be available for download. This then turns into debate over music. Which then degrades into idiocy.

Here’s an example of a thread that is repeated over and over:

Subject: I want band X in the next DLC.
Re: That band sucks, how could anyone ever listen to them, they have no talent.
Re:re: I agree, OP is an idiot.
Re:re:re: you guys suck, OP is right, X is awesome.
Re:re:re:re: I want Band Y (a classic rock band). If Band X comes before Band Y, I’m going to quit life.

This exact formula happens ALL THE TIME. These nitwits seem to not comprehend a few basic points:

1. People have different music tastes

2. There are a LOT of licensing issues involved here that complicate matters

3. DLC is not something forced upon you. If you don’t like a pack, don’t buy it. If someone else buys it, it doesn’t affect your life. Really. I promise.

I think internet forums may well be the biggest mistake of the internet. Thank god porn balances the equation.

2 Comments

  1. Christian said on December 10, 2007:

    I think the one thing everyone in the userbase needs to understand is that Rock Band has the power of MTV behind it. That means that certain big songs and acts that we couldn’t get before just might have a chance now. That means big, modern and classic rock bands are going to have a shot first. Indie kids are just going to have to wait.

    Second, Guitar Hero 2 has gotten two indie packs. They will come.

    Third, some people have to realize that prog rock and indie rock isn’t going to light a huge crowd on fire. No pun intended, but an Arcade Fire pack wouldn’t make me jump for joy.

  2. GJ said on December 11, 2007:

    All excellent points.

    And if people could be as articulate as you about their tastes and not descend into ranting, raving, and insulting I might visit the Rock Band forums again!

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