Games Sell


Photo by Tonbabydc
This is how we interacted with David Bowie in the old days

This was only one of the interesting things I learned this morning through the “tech tab” on AP Mobile News Network, my favorite iPhone App.  To start things off, the December 19 story, Music Industry Drops Effort to Sue Song Swappers is a welcome and much anticipated indication that the music industry may be realizing that to survive in this new information landscape, they will have to adapt.

The next story that caught my attention provided more evidence — Music Sales Rise in Harmony with Game Appearances


Photo by Jon-Paul LeClair

The story speaks most directly to two video games that, if you have not heard of them, it can only be because you’ve spent the last two years sequestered in a monastery behind the tallest peaks of the Himalayas.  If you have spent the last 730 days in meditation, Guitar Hero and Rock Band are two games that come with plastic guitars and drums, connected to the game system, and programmed for you to play famous and gut-throbbing rock songs, by watching musical notes (so to speak), scroll your way.  You miss notes, and you lose points, to the disappointment of the other members of the band.

It seems that real performers, whose songs have been featured on either of these two games, have seen their record sales (downloads) increase, sometimes dramatically.  Here are a few examples of download increases:

Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” (1987) released on “Guitar Hero III” up 153%
Pat Benatar “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (1980) released on “Guitar Hero III” up 180%
Aerosmith “Dream On” (1973) released on “Guitar Hero III” up 15%
Red Hot Chili Peppers “Suck My Kiss” (1992) released on “Guitar Hero III” up 200%
Nirvana “In Bloom” (1992) released on “Rock Band” up 543%
KISS “Detroit Rock City” (1976) released on “Rock Band” up 89%
David Bowie “Suffragette City” (1976) released on “Rock Band” up 55%
R.E.M. “Orange Crush” (1988) released on “Rock Band” up 256%
Smashing Pumpkins “Cherub Rock” (1993) released on “Rock Band” up 843%

There is no message in this from a direct instructional intent. But what it reminds me of is how important this world of video games has become.  It is being integrated into a greater economic engine, and it is a part of our children’s foundational experience — the good and the bad.

It simply means that we, as educators, young and old, need to be paying a lot of attention to this.

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.