The future, Conan?
That's right. In the very near future, I'll be firing up Half-Life 2: Episode 1. It's downloading now. I hope to share some impressions within the next few days. This is also my first real experience with Steam, since I bought Half-Life 2 at a brick-and-mortar. I love the tangible sense of ownership that a box confers, but the ease and swiftness of digital, on-demand delivery makes a lot more sense. It's environmentally friendly, too. No big losers here, except for retailers and cardboard manufacturers. Hey, it's a brave new world.
For the longer term, Jim sent along this link. It's a tease, really, about Red Octane's plans beyond Guitar Hero 2. While there are no specifics, it seems reasonable to assume that within a few years it will be possible to assemble an entire GH-style band, with a couple of guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. I'll up the ante even further: once that's done, I bet we'll see clubs hosting competitions in which groups of gamers get in front of a crowd and rock virtually. At the very least, people would participate just for the chance to get onstage under the auspices of some truly bitchin' band names.
My band will be called "Days Inn Golgotha."