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A few suggestions for the Grateful Dead video game coming this summer

Despite reports of flagging sales of Guitar Hero, DJ Hero and Theremin Hero (ostensibly), the video game industry continues its quest to re-create every conceivable experience for PC and smart phone users. Hence, the recent report that a video game based on the Grateful Dead will hit stores this summer.

According to Curious Sense, which has partnered with Grateful Dead Productions and Rhino Entertainment, "within seconds of entering the Grateful Dead Game, Dead Heads, and new fans alike, will be drawn into an experience that will adapt to the type of visitor they are. From the first click the player will enter into a universe of Grateful Dead music, sounds, and visuals. Games and activities will reside within several regions of the World, each designed according to a theme from Grateful Dead lore --  the Old West, Space, San Francisco, Giza.

"At every turn whimsy, surprises, pranks, and miracles may be presented... Dead Heads will dig the experience for the novel ways we’ll offer them to play with the music they love. Prospective fans will have a new port of entry into the Grateful Dead World."

Because we here at Pop & Hiss are connoisseurs of whimsy, surprise and miracles (but not pranks), we're offering a few suggestions to the game manufacturers (from a fan who doesn't miss Furthur shows and has purchased enough "Dick's Picks" to need bankruptcy protection.)

  • Discover Who's Selling Bunk L.S.D.

Utilizing a series of Choose Your Own Adventure-like options and a careful reading of body language, you will be forced to guess which dreadlocked hippie is attempting to sell you plain sugar cubes and not the Bear's finest chemistry. Should you be able to get the right flavor of Orange Sunshine, you will be treated to an extremely trippy version of "He''s Gone."

  • Predict the Set List

Based on a "Rain Man"-style memorization of past set lists done on a given tour, players will be challenged to predict the correct list the band will play. There will be different periods to choose from, including pre-Pigpen, post-Pigpen, the Donna years, "the '80s, oh the '80s," the Dylan experiment and the "Touch of Gray" era. Winners will be treated to a high-quality, ultra-rare acoustic recording of Jerry clipping his toenails, circa May 1977.

  • Save the Keyboardist From an Untimely Fate

Sadly, the Dead was plagued by a series of keyboardists who fell victim to unlikely demises. But unlike actual existence, video games have no bearing on actual reality. Think of it like "Back to the Future," but rather than Chuck Berry, Marty McFly is obsessed with Uncle John's Band. Win and reenvision the Dead of today as a baleful blues outfit fronted by a sexagenarian and still-mustachioed Pigpen.

  • Spot the UFO in the Giza Sky

While listening to a bootleg of the Dead's famous shows at the Pyramids, you will be asked to pick out the unidentified flying object in a sea of stars. To make matters more difficult, your eyesight will be marred by blurred vision intended to simulate an acid trip. It will be like a psychedelic "Where's Waldo." Winners will receive a free brick of limestone.

  • Pick the Best Version of "Dark Star"

Through a panel of digital celebrity judges including Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and the ghost of Ken Kesey, you will be asked to select the best version of the iconic Grateful Dead jam. Players will look for smoothest transitions, most tripped-out guitar work and how messed up everyone in the band was that night. Careful listening will be rewarded with a Lossless digital version of the band's "Dark Star," circa 11/2/69.

-- Jeff Weiss

 Photo: Undated file photo of the Grateful Dead. From left: Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia, Brent Mydland, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (14)

wait. what?

and for a real backstage re-creation, trade t shirts for underage groupies!

"pre-Pigpen, post-Pigpen, the Donna years, "the '80s, oh the '80s," the Dylan experiment and the "Touch of Gray" era."

This statement shows some ignorance of dead chronology. "Pre-Pigpen"? I was not aware of such an era. He was the original keyboard player. "the '80s, oh the '80s," the Dylan experiment and the "Touch of Gray" era." - These all over lap. You would probably call 85 - 89 the Touch of Grey era. The Dylan experiment was roughly 87 - 89 and the "the '80s, oh the '80s," includes bot. I would have gone with "the '90s, oh the '90s," which was the worst era of dead music.

guess which double sided dead shirt vendors are pirates!
woo hoo, rarely do you get commentary from journalists (I use the term loosely) that know WTF they are talking about! you go Jeff…

Will it available through Dead.Net?

Jeff, you hit the nail on the head! Classic!!!

A Dead game is probably a dumb idea, but your suggestions are even dumber.

How about a few arcade games like "Keep Jerry from nodding" and "pin the tie dye on the dancing hippie" among others. How about a "Name that tune"?

More like trade a t shirt for a ticket, a few beers, a poster, or even a shirt for a space in a motel room............Deadheads arent groupies, they're there for the music, ,,,,,,sex is second.

From a technical perspective, I wouldn't do anything more visually to simulate an acid trip than play with vibrance, and hdr tonal imaging........(just brighter colors and with the good stuff trails)
I would also cut the "pick out the UFO", nobody wanted to deal with jerrys fungal toes............

How about spot the narc?

""the '90s, oh the '90s," which was the worst era of dead music."

So, You're saying that current 2011 "Dead Music" is better than early 90's dead music? To tell you the truth I'd rather listen to 20 random 90's shows than 20 random 60's shows because at least with the 90's you aren't hearing the other one, st. stephen, darkstar every night.........Personally, I really liked "so many roads", "liberty", "standing on the moon".........historically, how do YOU rate an era? From past personal memories, or from a mixture, including what songs manifested and what was created in a certain era? I alway wondered why nobody ever pinned the term for the post touch head generation as the 90's "built to last" generation. .......and I can't grasp the concept of the dead lasting 30 years playing st. stephan every night.

I would sensor out the drug aspect......and have it focus more on the music, the event itself, etc. An accurate portrayal is enough, in itself, to blow peoples minds........I don't think that any true deadhead would want to see drugs in this game.

What's going to make or break this experience is going to be the Moderators who decide what avenues the music takes on a moment to moment basis. No matter how much or how technical "the setlist formula" is, there will still be a few avenues that the next song could go.......which I don't think a computer could do all alone.....or at least not well.....
I also think that the activities and "games" need to be historicallly accurate, like calling the opener, playing music in the lot (really), playing cards, points for turning a "new head" onto the dead (really), fabrication in photoshop of tshirts and stickers to be sold in the lot by the entrepreneurs (really), things like paying to be a vendor? and possible business networking in the phil zone. Direct communication should be the building blocks of the game. A place where people can come together for the music, but be able to "be themselves" and openly convey whats on their minds........I imagine it as like having a dead show every night, . Adapt the experience to multimedia. Don;t adapt multimedia to the dead like "taking pictures of stickers".....NOBODY is going to go for that

Yeah nix the stereotypical drug related stuff. It was never about that. I've been to hundreds of shows with nothing more than a glass or two of wine or a few tokes of a harmless joint and that's all I needed.


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