The Mouse That Roared

Having recently been with Team Awesome Ready Up to the brilliant Video Games Live at the Royal Festival Hall, I thought I’d share my own point of view on the whole occasion.

The Royal Festival Hall, as seen on my way to it

I was, as John mentioned, posted alongside a full Guitar Hero: World Tour band setup, an admirable position to be in when you’re wearing a Ready Up T-Shirt and a Video Games Live: Access All Areas pass. People looked up to me, which is frankly a position I’ve never been in before. I was shocked.

It gave me an interesting chance to meet all manner of different gamers and, if I’m honest, a lot of them made me feel rather old. It’s all very well and good shielding myself with the statistic that I’m roughly the same age as the average gamer these days, but the problem with an average is that it means that about 50% of gamers are younger than I am.

Lots of these stupendously young people came up to me, and said “Can I have a go?” sheepishly, as if they were asking if they could go to the toilet, and then grabbed a guitar and ripped out a score that was frankly astonishing. Perhaps even more insane, given that this was the first time that Guitar Hero: World Tour had ever been shown in this country, was how well people were doing on the drums. I can only assume that they had some training on a certain other Rock Band simulator… (no names mentioned, of course)

The problem for me though was that this is the first Guitar Hero game that features vocals via a USB microphone. At 2.30pm on a Saturday, myself and City were desperately struggling to find anyone at all to sing vocals and neither of us were feeling quite insane/drunk enough to try it. We began to worry that our four player game was going to be stuck at three players all night and a lot of people wanted to play.

This is where the gaming community stepped up to the plate and knocked the ball out of the park. Personally I had a couple of goes at the vocals, mainly because no one else would. After assassinating Muse’s Assassin and just not being Northern enough for Oasis’ Some Might Say, I thought I’d call it a day. I sounded like someone who had been forced to go to church and sing hymns; you know the sort. head down, singing barely loud enough for the microphone to pick them up.

This guy *really* went for it, and he was good, too!

Then the gamers came and man was I blown away. The reason I called this post The Mouse That Roared was because almost everybody that wanted to sing came up to me first, many of the guitar/drum players just piled on as soon as the song was over, and they all asked me, extremely politely, if it was OK if they sang. I gave these people the mic, and BANG, they were off. The biggest transformation since Cinderella and the pumpkin. These modest, quiet, Clark Kents turned into rock supermen/women the minute the vocals started, changing from shy gamer to rocking lead vocalist in a heartbeat. You know when you are playing on a Wii, how you don’t need to make such wild arm movements, but you can just shift the controller in your hand to do a kind of half-arsed job? Same goes for Guitar Hero: World Tour on vocals, a mere mumble will keep the game happy, but these guys still were singing loud enough to be heard by all around and the experience was all the better for it.

To everyone that played and particularly those that sang, I salute you. RAWK!







4 responses to “The Mouse That Roared”

  1. barry avatar

    Great blog Tony, will make sure my mate Luke gets directed here for his props on the drums ๐Ÿ™‚

    I must add, vocals is all about balls and talent. You can do it or you cannot, its not skill its something truly natural in my eyes.

    First couple of songs i sang were bearable (I swear they changed the words!) but I did do justice to Assassin by Muse-

    Had quite a few people let me know that I had done well after bellowing ‘Aaaassaaaassin is boooorn yeah!’ for the final time. I was almost a celeb, almost! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. City avatar

    I looked over at one point and saw Kirsten with a Mic too.. I think nearly all of us had a go.. some of the people were brill though, one girl had an amazing voice she was on the setup to the right of Aerosmith, very cool..

    Though hearing Bon Jovi done several times in one day, i wont be letting my house do that one for a while ๐Ÿ˜›

    Im liking team awesome btw..

  3. Minh avatar

    Fantatastic title – the Mouse that roared!

    GH:WT was very much fun! and yes, ‘Some might say’ is indeed one of the many songs you need ‘less’ beer to singalong to =D

  4. Michael avatar

    The Mouse that Roared is a Peter Sellers film

    /movie trivia

    That guy in the picture has hair almost exactly like my brother when he was going through his “I’m too lazy to get a haircut so I’ll have a ponytail” phase.

    Oh, and I’m a teeny bit jealous!

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