From Haight Ashbury to video games, the Grateful Dead's 45-year history continues to be one long, strange trip. The iconic, pioneering jam band has just announced it will be the subject of a new game that its developer, Curious Sense, hopes to launch by summer.
"We can't wait for everyone check out the fun new toys we are building," the band's longtime archivist, David Lemieux, said yesterday in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. According to that report, an agreement with Rhino Entertainment, which oversees the Dead's intellectual property, means that the as-yet-untitled game will include authentic music, images and art. But perhaps most important to fans is the fact that the surviving members of the group have given their thumbs up to the project.
The Dead's video game aspires to bring the band's music to younger audiences much in the same way the Beatles' music resonated with teens after its version of "Rock Band" hit store shelves. Curious Sense, the independent outfit based in Asheville, N.C., has evidently been given permission to pull material from the band's vast archives, including studio efforts, film and video projects and its thousands of hours of live music.
It's still unclear what kind of game it will be, but Curious Sense founder Adam Blumenthal intends to query Deadheads to find out what kind of games turn them on. But don't expect any drug references in the project. "There's no collecting of LSD as you move around the parking lot," he said.
The project team is still mulling game sequences, but Blumenthal suggests songs like "Terrapin Station" and "Cosmic Charlie" seem ideal because of their respective narratives and characters. Blumenthal also says the game could feature a variation on the animated "cosmic pinball" sequence from the group's 1977 "Grateful Dead Movie."
At first, Curious Sense will probably launch the game online before moving into other platforms. The company says it is considering a "freemium" version - similar to Farmville - that will hopefully entice players to make purchases within the game. Blumenthal also wants to take advantage of his access to the Dead's multi-track and live recordings, which would offer users the opportunity to create their own remixes.
Thanks for the report to Spinner.com.