After the last week of new weekly Rock Band DLC, we asked fans to send us their stories about Rock Band to share with the community. This story is from @RockBand Twitter follower @RoboGles about his journey as a Rock Band superfan.
When Rock Band announced the end of new weekly DLC in April I took a few moments to think about the last five-ish years and how much of an impact a goofy music game with goofy plastic instruments had on my life. I’ve written before about my family: my disabled brother who loves the drums, my Easy Rider-era Dad who likes to play “Blue Sky” over and over, my Mom and I’s shared love of the Bee Gees track pack, and my wife who has loyally played along whenever we host a Rock Band party (that wasn’t even in the vows. PROTIP: put that in your vows). But words have been posted about all of that.
Five years ago I was a different person in some ways. While on the outside I was a goofy guy who liked to joke around and make people laugh, I had a lot of issues internally with social anxiety. I don’t know when it kicked in during my adult life but it kicked in and kicked me. Panic attacks and constant worrying were my hobbies, which is still better than stamp collecting.
But one birthday I decided to pool together my funds and buy a game called Rock Band. I remember asking a coworker if I should spend all the money on RB or buy some boring new release. He tried to turn me away from what would eventually be a catalyst for my personal growth.
Weeks went from being a blur of worries and boredom to gearing up for Friday DLC announcements and Tuesday releases. That usually meant getting up a half hour earlier for my shift at work (before 5 am because mortgage) to test out the new jams and likely wake up the neighbors with my passable vocal skills. I remember a Thursday morning where I thought it was actually Friday morning. Rushing to my computer to see what DLC was announced, it slowly dawned on me that it was still a day away. That really messed up my day. Stupid Thursdays.
But RB also helped me grow out of the shell I lived inside. Likely a mix of self-esteem and the whole anxiety thing, I was not one to reach out to the world and talk to people if I didn’t have to do so. But some RB nights with friends and friends of those friends got me to socialize, likely due to my need to sing vocals and eventually not caring what the audience thought. The truth is in the stars, buddy.
So five years later I’ve grown up in many ways. While I would like to give RB all of the credit, I don’t think awesome people like my supportive family would appreciate that. But it did do so much. It got me to take a chance, relax, and not worry so much about the world around me.
It’s a little bit ironic (don’t you think?) that it led me down the path of eventually getting to write for the great people at Harmonix, along with making friends with them at PAX 2012. There’s Fish McGill who talked me into pushing my creative side, which meant writing stuff like these blog posts and even my own episodic interactive book series of varying quality on Amazon (KarateQUEST, shameless plug). But also Nick Chester who told me to take as many chances as I can, and of course Aaron and Christine who let some sweater vest-wearing super fan from Seattle write for RockBand.com. The Harmonix team is packed to the brim with amazing people who are some of the nicest people out there, likely due to some sort of wizard spell or ancient prophecy.
Let’s not also forget all the amazing music that I discovered thanks to all of the DLC. While the stream of new DLC may have ended, there are so many songs to play that you went above and beyond for all of us. There are a bajillion songs out there and you guys took a several thousand of them and made them fully rock-able.
I’ve given Harmonix and RB so many thank yous over the years that I’m sure it might come out as worn out, but I promise that each time it is truly sincere. But I’ll say it again and mean it just as much as the first time, “Thanks for the ROCK.” I can’t wait to see what you guys do next.