God gave rock & roll to you – then he made it playable with an obnoxiously loud fake plastic guitar. Still, long before titles like Guitar Hero and Rock Band ever took the video game world by storm (before suddenly crashing overnight), the interactive universe was already a hotbed for headlining acts. As seen in new book Music Games Rock: Rhythm Gaming‘s Greatest Hits of All Time by Rolling Stone contributor Scott Steinberg, chart-topping artists and thumb-numbing digital diversions have long enjoyed a hit-making relationship.
As with the continued success of some of the Eighties’ hottest acts, everything old eventually becomes new again. Chronicling the field’s best, worst and wildest smashes — and the rise and fall of gaming’s hardest partying genre — consider the following excerpts your backstage pass to some of virtual rock’s finest moments.