The Grateful Dead lost their infamous leader Jerry Garcia in 1995. Their music legacy has been revived in the form of a video game released by Curious Sense. We'll have to see if Deadheads change their allegiance from vinyl to video.
The Grateful Dead sold over 17 million albums
Deadheads, fans of the psychedelic folk rock band, tagged along with the group from venue to venue, musical nomads in the time of hippies and flower children. Will these wild, wide-ranging eccentrics sit still in front of a video monitor? Creators must have realized the restless character of Garcia's followers in that the game moves about - cultivating flower gardens.
Adam Blumenthal of Curious Sense says "The visuals are psychedelic, they're fantastical, they're colorful, they're whimsical but no drug reference," alluding to the drug based culture that encircled the band. The company wanted to keep their game family rated. Families mean children and how to interest youngsters of today in the icons of the 1960's era is a challenge. The Deadhead followers of the band are well past the "Don't trust anyone over 30" years. They face the challenge of drawing their own children of the MTV generation into themes from the 1960's era.
Gamers, however, come in all ages. The Entertainment Software Association has statistical studies showing there are more women gamers than 17 year old boys who play. The overall average age of the gaming population is 37. For a generation not familiar with the Grateful Dead, their parents are along almost 100 percent of the time when games are purchased. We can see dads encouraging their children to "give this Epic Tour game a try."
Grateful Dead Greatest Hits album cover
The Epic Tour Game combines what was voted as the top 10 best shows of the Dead's many tours. Votes for venues ranged from 21 votes each for the shows at the Capital Theater in Passaic, New Jersey and the Fillmore in San Francisco, California to 1,788 votes for the Barton Hall show in Ithaca, New York. Shows voted for ranged from some in 1968 through 1989 with 1,977 performances at both the top and the bottom of the list. The 1977 performance at Cornell University was ranked as number one.
On Curious Scene's website, swirling balls fill the deadhead skull as the game loads. You can design your bear's outfit, some accouterments are free, some reserved for members. Typically solids are no charge, prints carry a premium. There's even a bikini top for the female player. Fur can be default white, neon solids or a psychedelic tie-dye print. Head gear ranges from Indian braids, to a rainbow colored top hat and a space helmet. The Grateful Dead encouraged their fans to freely record the concerts they attended which by word of mouth and sharing of tapes built their following. Will enough people "Like" the new video game enough to promote it as well as the band promoted themselves?
The creators have posted a YouTube video to help you get started in the Grateful Dead Game. It will be interesting to see what the reaction is from genuine Deadheaders to the game, if they even bother to sign in. It will be equally interesting to see the reaction of gamers who don't have a clue as to what the game is based upon.
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