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rocksmith 2014 second impressions

It’s been a couple of months since my first impressions of Rocksmith 2014, so time for some second impressions. First, my overall feeling about the game: my current feeling is that it’s a great game, and potentially an important one. Not necessarily important as a game so much: what I like about it so much […]

love hurts

Just to preempt confusion: this blog post is about the song Love Hurts (by Incubus), as experienced through Rocksmith, it is not about any non-musical personal experience! So, if you’re a friend of mine, no need to worry: I won’t take a stand on to what extent love can be a painful experience, but I […]

rocksmith 2014 first impressions

I’ve had a weekend with Rocksmith 2014 now; and my initial take is that it’s subtly better than its predecessor in a few interesting ways. I spent most of my time in the original game going through the Events that it gives you: a collection of songs each of which has a target score, so […]

rocksmith

In the past, my habit has been to only write my main post about a game when I stop playing it. That makes sense for the vast majority of games that I play; but for games that I play for month after month, that I would play in perpetuity if a sequel wasn’t released, that […]

pro bending

My guitar playing—my relationship to/with my guitar, really—has continued to change over the last few months. A lot of that is a steady drip of improvement, but my feelings towards bending strings have been a bit more of a state change. Bending strings was probably the most significant technique that Rock Band 3 didn’t model […]

rock band 3

This is going to a hard post to write. Normally, I play a game, finish it, and write about it here; but I’ve been playing Rock Band 3 for more than two years, and I’ve been playing one game in the series or another constantly since the first game came out back in 2007. So […]

taking stock of time

Every so often, I get somewhat dissatisfied with an aspect of how I’m spending my time; these days, it generally involves rethinking the way small actions fill time. I’m in the middle of one of those periods right now; it was kicked off by me running into a thought-provoking article about (temporarily) quitting Twitter right […]

games and guitar learning

I’ve been playing Rock Band in whatever its current incarnation is pretty much every weekend since the first iteration of the series came out. At first, I liked playing fake plastic guitars and was curious about drums (and, to a lesser extent, singing), and I enjoyed having people with good musical taste select songs for […]

the voice

I have not been playing a lot of games recently. Part of this is that my weekend video game time is almost entirely taken up with Rock Band 3 and Rocksmith; part of it is that we’re watching more movies than we used to and we’re going through Deep Space 9 as well; part is […]

rock band blitz

I basically spent one long afternoon playing Rock Band Blitz. I went through all the songs, unlocked all the power-ups, earned three quarters of the achievements, challenged a few friends, completed some of the goals from the Facebook app. So: a long afternoon, and a pleasant one! But, after that afternoon, I didn’t really feel […]

next steps on the guitar

I’ve been going through the songs in Rock Band 3 on Expert Pro Guitar for seven months now; it’s been an interesting journey. At the start of that period, I could feel my way around a guitar and play basic chords, but I wasn’t nearly as comfortable as I’d like; to be honest, that’s arguably […]

games and my soul

I’ve always been an unconventional video games blogger, because of the low volume of games that I find time to play, but that’s become much more the case over the last year. I was surprised to look at my recently played games list and realize that I didn’t finish any games for five months solid […]

i would seem to be excessively sedated

During this week’s Rock Band practice, the song I spent the most time with was I Wanna Be Sedated. Like I Love Rock and Roll, it’s filled with simple power chord progressions, and after that earlier song, I thought I understood the basics of power chords reasonably well. Music with a lot of power chords […]

zero patience

We first saw Zero Patience when it came out; I guess that means in 1994? I’d had generalized fond memories of it since then: what’s not to like about a musical about AIDS where the main characters are Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor: he drank from the fountain of youth and is working […]

i love reifying relationships

This weekend’s Rock Band 3 practice was spent playing I Love Rock and Roll over and over and over again; call me a simpleton, but I really enjoyed it in ways that bear on the way it feels (physically, not emotionally) to play it. It’s a very simple song, built around the three simplest chords […]

time to read

As is doubtless clear from this blog, for the last several years most of my time interacting with art has been spent with video games. And that’s been wonderful, no question. What is less clear from this blog, however, is the extent to which that wasn’t always the case: while I’ve played video games regularly […]

rock band is rewiring my brain

For those of you who haven’t been following my progress on my other blog, I’ve now gone through all the songs in Rock Band 3 on hard pro guitar. Which has been a wonderful experience: as I’d expected, hard pro guitar is where you transition from a stripped down simulacrum of playing guitar to really […]

the psychosexuality of rock band vocals

Last month, I talked about the sexuality of my Rock Band avatars. Since then, I’ve been singing an unusual amount, and I’ve realized that, for me personally (as distinct from my avatars in game), singing is sexually charged in a way that the other instruments aren’t. Datum one: when singing in Rock Band, I prefer […]

the tactile experience of rock band

When my copy of Rock Band 3 showed up, I immediately tried out its pro keys mode. I’m used to playing piano, and reading piano music; but the game instead gives you a visual representation of (a section of) a keyboard, divided into regions by color. So I had to constantly think about where I […]

rock band driven development

I’ve been playing through a bunch of Billy Joel songs this month in Rock Band, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Mostly repeated chords and chord progressions, but they’re interesting enough chord progressions for me to have fun playing them, and there’s a fair amount of melody interspersed throughout the songs as well. One song […]