As I think about ways to create games, I’m struck by the loss of two original gender benders, Prince and Bowie, in the same year. I’ve been writing up my own early experiences with the onset of punk and new wave and rap, and I wonder if there’s not some way to approach games, music, and identity.
The Guitar Hero series of course does this, but its approach is all rock star – alpha male culture writ large. There’s probably been an approach for the nerds like me (this list sort of gets at it), but the questions of music and identity formation might be too personal a trip. Maybe.
This sort of game would need to be one in which your representation on the screen moves through various platforms or rooms that you trigger by mood. Maybe the game has some sort of written component that works by identifying the player’s linguistic structures, allowing the player to tailor them and train the machine to write music she thinks she wants to hear. Maybe the game is one that trains you to create music by ‘rewarding’ you as player for building specific structures that trigger specific sounds (or even riffs or longer sections).
This game is not an attempt to teach people how to play instruments, although I’m guessing that the player’s knowledge of music will increase – not necessarily songs or anything of that sort, but just how music is structured. I’m struggling with this as a function of the game, because so much of what I think about as identity format comes from other people’s music, consumed for my pleasure, roaming through small bars listening to amazing bands, feeling part of a tribe, dancing at clubs and raves, and more.
This game now sounds like my musical history…