In response to "Kickin' It Nerdcore" from The Escapist Forum: Nerdcore's probably a "truer" genre of music than gangsta rap. A lot of g-rappers are just making stuff up that people want to hear, denying their middle-class backgrounds to appear as though they grew up in the midst of poverty and committed a number of heinous crimes, because that's the type of music that sells to the biggest purchasers of that genre: upper and middle-class white boys. At least in nerdcore I can believe that the artist actually played the game.
I think the best part about nerdcore though is that, unlike the aforementioned gangsta rap, it actively embraces the uncool truth of its subject matter and works to make it cool. Where public perception of a rapper as a thug or criminal is key in establishing a stage persona to sell records, nerdcore artists work almost without that safety net. Their persona is not undeniably "cool," in fact, not so long ago it would've caused open derision from the majority of the public (and may continue to). But the irony in the role reversal, that while some of their hip hop contemporaries are using the genre to claim credit for crimes likely not committed, nerdcore artists are claiming credit for actions in video games or in relation to video games, something that seems mundane in comparison to drugs, prostitution and murder.
Anyway, it was a great article, and I hope to see your book on a shelf somewhere soon.
I love gaming culture that has little to do directly with games.
I'm really torn about that Guitar Hero Hero song. It's really smart, and it's obviously made by a gamer, but while I don't really like Guitar Hero I can't stand people who keep arguing it's nothing like playing a real guitar, because no one said it's like playing a real guitar, and, in fact, that's kind of the point.
In response to "Texture the Beat" from The Escapist Forum: I sincerely loved every word of this article.
It's a shame that Western game developers still haven't made a game that fully embraces hip-hop. Games like PaRappa the Rapper and Jet Grind Radio were some of the first to attempt this and succeed, but only with a Japanese aesthetic. A Western, rap-oriented game still has yet to be made.
While the West does have games like 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand and Def jam to satisfy our thirst for hip-hop, they only capture the glamor of being a successful hip-hop artist, rather than capture the spirit of hip-hop music.
Again, thanks for writing this article. If you've ever been on a forum, it would come to no surprise to you that most gamers hate hip-hop. Hopefully this article will open some eyes!
Great work. Keep writing to the Escapist :)