The Rocky History of Rockers in Videogames

Guitar Hero III, released last month, quickly became one of the best-selling games in America. Activision licensed the likenesses of real musicians, so Guitar Hero players can now face off against Slash (Guns N' Roses), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Bret Michaels (Poison), instead of limiting themselves to shredding contests against Axel Steel and Izzy Sparks.

But Slash, Tom and Bret are only the latest in an illustrious history of rockers and rappers who have licensed their identities for videogames. Starting in the late 1970s, canny managers and videogame-obsessed musicians have urged their clients and bandmates respectively to sign their names to various pinball and videogame projects. Some turned out to be classics, and others ... well, you'll have to ask the Thompson Twins about that.

Here are's favorite mile-markers on the road of rocker videogames. A road slick with the dignity of once-great idols and lighted with the nerdy synergy of two overly indulgent mediums.

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