2001 – Rez
Behind The Music: Enter a surreal, vector graphics representation of cyberspace and clear it of viruses by using a targeting reticle to highlight enemies and dispatch them in a psychedelic spray of colored light and shapes. Ever-present house music rounds out the experience’s peyote-tinged favor, which players can currently experience as Rez HD on the Xbox 360.
Why It Rocks: One of the earliest games obviously intended to be played under the influence, Rez’s use of synesthesia (the stimulation of various senses through a single sensory input; in this case, sound) is well documented. It also integrated support for the Trance Vibrator, a USB gizmo that shuddered and pulsed in time with the soundtrack, further prompting several fans to conduct well-publicized experiments in masturbation.
Did You Know… THQ’s de Blob (2008) on Wii similarly uses synesthesia in its gameplay; as Blob paints buildings, different colored paints create different musical effects that can be layered on top of one another when applied in sequence.