For The Love Of God, This Week's Rock Band Tracks

This week's new batch of downloadable tracks for Rock Band all have one thing in common. Did you catch it? The post-Easter releases from bands like Anberlin, Hawk Nelson and Skillet all fall under the "Christian rock" label.

That's a fact that wasn't overtly publicised by MTV Games and Harmonix, who simply referred to the groups as "alternative rock" acts in the official announcement that went out last week. The official Rock Band 'Zine was slightly more descriptive, calling the half-dozen new songs "from artists ranging from inspirational alternative rock to positive alternative pop."

The 'Zine writers later joked "It's like the clouds parted and a ray of sunshine shone upon the office of Harmonix... and then these songs appeared, fully authored."

Given that this is Religion Week on Kotaku, it struck us as more than a little curious that MTV seemed to be so... sneaky with its announcement, one that was recognised as a full Christian line-up by fans of the bands, but got little publicity otherwise.

And we're not the only ones. Rapture Ready! author Daniel Radosh writes on the site Beliefnet that the makers of Rock Band are "obviously hoping to attract the interest of the Christian marketplace, so why not throw the word Christian into the announcement as one selling point among others?"

"It's almost like they're trying to sneak that fact past non-Christian audiences who might automatically dismiss Christian rock without listening to it," Radosh theorises "or even think that having Christian rock in the game makes the entire platform less cool by association."

MTV declined Kotaku's request to be interviewed about the newest additions to the Rock Band library, only confirming "there already have been other Christian acts that have appeared as part of the Rock Band catalogue in the past."

Rock Band makers may simply be exploring the viability of appealing to the Rock Band fan with a thirst for music with a message, appealing to the more family friendly and E-rated LEGO Rock Band crowd, which exhibits stronger restrictions on the content that can be downloaded and played. But would MTV Games go as far as making their own version of Christian music game Guitar Praise? Themed track packs we can see, but maybe not a full-fledged game.

What do you think? Do you find the video game audience dismissive of content aimed at the Christian or otherwise devoutly religious gamer?


    Is the reason people are upset about Christian music being released on Rock Band just because it doesn't contain gratuitous sex and violence references? Musically, it will be just as fun to play to as any other track. Plus, no one is forcing anyone to buy it.

    Take a listen to the songs first. And also check out Demon Hunter on Rock Band - Bet you didn't guess they were a Christian band too...

      Have know they were for years now.

      I see no reason to get upset about christian music being on Rock Band.

      The only difference between Christian Rock and other music is that the musicians are on average, less talented and the lyrical content is far less believable.

        if christian artists are so untalented, why is underoath and as i lay dying so famous, or switchfoot for that matter...i could easily name more non christian artists that are far less talented than many christian bands

      It makes me upset because they censor the word "god" in "god damn". And then shove songs about how fantastic jesus is down our throats.
      Of course I'm aware I can just not play the songs. And I'm totally cool with them offering religious songs for religious people. I'd just like a fair playing field for songs that have swearing and/or religious profanity.

    The funny thing about this is there's plenty of posts on the Guitar Hero forums asking for Christian music, and they never deliver it (then again, they don't deliver all that much at the best of times). It's nice to see MTV/Harmonix/whoever else may be responsible stepping up to the plate, even though they still haven't bothered releasing RB2 here. One can only hope RB3 will be a world-wide release. Not that I have a working PS3 these days, but I could always buy an Xbox...

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