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Tycho / on Fri, Nov 4 2005 at 12:15 pm

Hello, Neighbor

There is a very real possibility that Guitar Hero will agitate your
neighbors.  Your crotchety, diminutive neighbors.

After a little digging, it became clear that the reason Best Buy is selling their various Guitar Heros before anyone else is because they are selling their display models.  I don’t think that breaking a street date indicates a moral deficit, and when a product is complete I love it when stores let me purchase it from them.  But that explains why dedicated game retailers were caught unawares.

We eventually had to keep Guitar Hero out of the office.  Now, Penny Arcade Industries or whatever it’s officially registered as doesn’t have what you would call a “traditional office environment” that needs to be protected from subversive electronic amusements.  We make a comic about videogames, we play games here all the time.  But I wasn’t playing Guitar Hero “all the time.”  I was playing it every second of the Goddamn day.

The difficulty progression is extremely satisfying:  imagine an image being progressively sharpened, like on some high-tech detective type show, until the license plate becomes clear.  This is precisely the way songs in Guitar Hero work.  You begin Easy Mode by playing a loose interpretation of a track where every input represents a note cluster.  As you ride the difficulty curve, you reach greater and greater harmony with the source material until finally you are doing something almost indistinguishable from it.  Oh, that I had never played it!  That I had seen it on a shelf, alone, and - tucking it under my arm - brought it home on a whim.     

I’m about to beat it on “hard,” which sounds like a perverse euphemism.

Because copy protection schemes are a particular frustration for me, seeing this note in various places created almost toxic levels of rage.  It discusses how the DRM software installed by Sony music CDs lets hackers, crackers, and other miscreants - i.e., cheatz0r - hide the tools of their trade from cheat-protection software.  It’s just unbelievably stupid.  There is no bundle of words that communicate the sunthirsty depths and soaring peaks of this bullshit.

When concerned netizens stage an eMarch I’m usually of the opinion that they are overreacting, regardless of that day’s supposedly crucial impetus.  But they’re right, they really are right:  it’s not hard to traverse the causal chain and arrive at a place where the only keys still available to the user are those which can assent to our absolute domination.

(CW)TB out.

i will keep your secrets safe


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