Exploring the uncharted territory of the gay videogame experience. Here, I explore the female/LGBT presence in videogame culture, media and industry.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm Surprised They Haven't Made... Part 1

A Lady Gaga themed game.

Lots of bands have gotten the Guitar Hero or Rockband treatment (AC/DC, Metallica, The Beatles, Van Halen, and *shudder* Green Day). Michael Jackson was worthy of his own Dance Central clone. Hell, even Journey had their own arcade cabinet. I think they're the only ones on this list that don't have a rhythm/dance game.

Love her or hate her, she's here to stay. So, with all her popularity, why hasn't Lady Gaga gotten in on this? (Ignoring the plummeting sales numbers for music games, of course.)

Now, we have to take a look at the kinds of music games she could authorize.

1) Rhythm (a la Guitar Hero)
Well, this just wouldn't do at all since there are very few, if any, actual instruments being played in her songs. There were a few bits on her first album, The Fame, that had guitars, and Speechless from The Fame Monster is piano centric. But let's face it, she's a dance/techno artist; it's all synth and drum machine. This would be a very boring game to play with friends, let alone by yourself. Think about it, you'd have to have at least 2 or 3 keyboard peripherals. On top of that, her songs are kind of boring when you break them down like that. Sure, when you wanna just blast it and dance the night away, they're great. But on a technical level, they're nothing special. Looping synth riffs, idioticly simplistic percussion sections, and easy-to-match mid-range vocals. After the first few songs on the set list, the novelty would wear off, and you and your friends would find yourselves growing more and more lethargic. Not to mention angry that you spent $60 to sing along with her when you can do the same thing for free with an ipod and a long subway ride.

2) Dance (a la DDR or Dance Central)
If Nintendo hadn't beaten her to the punch. She could have had a lovely little play on words...Just Dance, indeed.

With that being said, this is probably the best bet for success, however marginal, when it comes down to making a game based on the eccentric Lady Gaga. But even with this style of game, there's still a huge problem.

The choreography.

Regardless of how I feel about her personal/off-stage antics, the woman is a damn fine artist. Her vocal range, flexibility and sustainablity is something that is rarely seen in the age of AutoTune; I often compare her to Karen Carpenter, though Gaga isn't nearly as good a vocalist...she's just the closest comparison. Vocals aside, one can tell she has never been trained in dance....at all.

You'd think that with all that money she spent on that fancy fine arts college she went to, she'd have at least learned the basics of dance. But I guess when you major in Batshit Crazy, you don't have much time to devote to dance.

Most of her choreography is thinly veiled sex-with-as-few-clothes-on-as-possible. And when she isn't dry humping anything she can get her hands on, she doesn't really dance; she just fidgets around alot. As with the rhythm game, you and your friends would quickly grow tired of the premise. Not to mention terribly uncomfortable when you realize you're playing Interactive Strip Aerobics.

And imagine the outcry when parents discover their daughters (or sons as the case may be) gyrating and stripping in turns. Because we all know that the majority of parents, especially in the U.S., don't give two shits about what their kids are doing until they catch them doing something they don't like.

To quote AVGN: There would be lawsuits up the ass.

So, I guess what it all comes down to is marketing. I suppose Lady Gaga would think herself much too avante guard to involve herself with a pop art like videogames. And no developer or publisher I know of would be willing to associate themselves with such a publicly/politically volatile artists.

Sure, Michael Jackson was an alleged child molester...but at least he could dance.

Plus, a meat-suit peripheral would be really tough to make appealing to the consumer.

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