“Rock Bands” Do “Battle”

The instruments may be plastic and the cheering fans pixelated, but this HCIMG event is more than a game.

"Rock Bands" Do "Battle"
Maria Y. Xia

The point of “Rock Band” may be to let you reach stardom in your sweatpants, but count on Harvard to do what it does best: make this brutally competitive. This past Saturday, many hopefuls who came out to the Harvard College Interactive Media Group’s (HCIMG) Battle of the Rock Bands found out that even virtual success is tough to win.

“There are a lot of really good bands in there,” said Jeff D. Nanney ’10, a Crimson Editorial editor. Nanney and Peter G. Salas ’10, Andrew O. Okuyiga ’10, and Michael Y. Mi ’10 came out to compete as the team “Candlepin Slampiece”. They maintained that despite their estimated 12 hours a week of practice this year, they were still far from the top.

Worse yet, even more threatening competition lurked just on the horizon. A group of guitarists, drummers, bassists and vocalists—all members of the heavy metal band “TiZrHf” from MIT—were barred from entry, but their brief presence affected the mood. One of them was especially notorious. “I’ve seen him at an MIT ‘Rock Band’ event. He didn’t even have a single facial expression as he got 99 percent on expert”, said Yvette N. Saenz ’12.

Inside, however, the normal run-of-the-mill band drama continued. Tomo Lazovich ’11, a Crimson IT editor, announced that he was quitting “The Quarky Bullfrogs” after their failure to get through a song. “We were 99 percent of a one-hit wonder,” he said.

At the end of the day, though, the competition wasn’t really about just music, or cocaine, or money—it was about the art of gaming. “In a lot of circles, games aren’t accepted as legitimate forms of art,” said Adam R. Gold ’11, president of the HCIMG. At least to the screaming virtual crowds, those circles were dead wrong.