Publication Details

Moore, C. L. 2009, ''Digital Games Distribution: The Presence of the Past and the Future of Obsolescence'', M/C Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 1-5.


A common criticism of the rhythm video games genre — including series like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, is that playing musical simulation games is a waste of time when you could be playing an actual guitar and learning a real skill. A more serious criticism of games cultures draws attention to the degree of e-waste they produce. E-waste or electronic waste includes mobiles phones, computers, televisions and other electronic devices, containing toxic chemicals and metals whose landfill, recycling and salvaging all produce distinct environmental and social problems. The e-waste produced by games like Guitar Hero is obvious in the regular flow of merchandise transforming computer and video games stores into simulation music stores, filled with replica guitars, drum kits, microphones and other products whose half-lives are short and whose obsolescence is anticipated in the annual cycles of consumption and disposal.