Grateful Dead Videogame

<Grateful Dead Comix 2

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new online video game being developed about the Grateful Dead:

The developer, Asheville, N.C., based Curious Sense has permission to use any material from the band’s deep archives, which includes three decades’ worth of film and video and thousands of live concert recordings. For instance, Curious Sense founder Adam Blumenthal says he’s itching to repurpose an animated sequence from 1977’s “Grateful Dead Movie,” featuring a cosmic pinball game. His company can also tap the Dead’s vivid album cover art, as well images of the band members.

The game project is in its earliest stages, with developers currently mapping out which elements of the Dead universe to incorporate. Blumenthal says some songs are particularly conducive to gaming because of their narratives (“Terrapin Station”), imagery (“Dark Star”) or characters (“Cosmic Charlie”). Such elements will be molded around templates common to casual games, such as hidden-object hunts and so-called “tower defense” games. “Think of the song ‘Samson and Delilah,” Blumenthal says. “Maybe we can make that into an Angry Birds kind of game?”

And more about Adam:

Not surprisingly, Blumenthal is a deadhead—he drew the name of his company from a line in the Dead song “St. Stephen.” It’s not an overstatement to say he’s been working toward this job his whole career. In the early 1990s, while he was a student at Ithaca College, he pitched his services to Phish, helping the young jam band dip into the burgeoning field of interactive media.

I actually know Adam from his days at Ithaca College. He and I met while enrolled in the first of several multimedia courses we took at the Communications Department at Cornell. We ended up working together on our course projects and I am particularly proud of our final collaboration - an interactive installation on the art of Chuck Jones, creator of Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew and Daffy Duck amongst others. This was, sadly, just before the meteoric ascent of the World Wide Web, so the project, written in the then hot Supercard authoring system on an Apple Quadra, has now ascended to the Great Bit Bucket in the sky. Anyway, it was obvious even back then that Adam was someone special and I couldn't be happier at this amazing opportunity he's created for himself. Congratulations!


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- January 13, 2011 10:49 PM // Music , Technology