When the concert ticket, the downloaded album and the official t-shirt aren't enough, there is the official video game of the band. Why play Linkin Park's video game? It is for the fans.
The trailer for Linkin Park: 8-Bit Rebellion title shows a side-scroller, a throwback to the run-right-and-punch-the-guy brawlers of Double Dragon and River City Ransom of times past. Kotaku played the game yesterday on an iPod Touch (it is also coming to iPhones), and it is indeed kind of like that. Customise a character's hairstyle, face and outfit, then bring them to several districts of a digital city, questing to repel the soul-crushing forces of the PixxelKorp group while collecting six pieces of what will comprise, by game's end, a game-exclusive Linkin Park track. The game is set to a soundtrack of Linkin Park songs transformed into 8-bit sounding retro tunes.
Along the way you collect weapons that hurt enemies and break down barriers in the game's levels. One, earned after helping an old lady stamp the bugs dropping from her clothes, is a chainsaw, good for slicing PixxelKorp henchmen and wooden gates.
8-Bit Rebellion appears to be neither a great beat 'em up nor a terrible one, but is surely the only one that rewards the player for being a Linkin Park fan. Playing the game on an iPod or iPhone that contains five Linkin Park songs download from iTunes unlocks an in-game trophy. Owning 15 unlocks another, as does owning 35. Other trophies are earned by adding fellow game owners to one's friends-list (the game supports text-chatting and players' avatars can hang out, though not go through the game adventure together). Some trophies are earned by sending in-game gifts to friends. The goal is clear: to network Linkin Park fans together and reward them for both spreading the word and for legally buying and downloading Linkin Park music.
There was a time, years ago, when you proved you loved a band by screaming for them at a concert or slapping a sticker of their logo in your locker, or wearing an official t-shirt. Maybe you started a fan page or simply told your friends they had to get this album or that single. Love the band. Spread the word. Why not do all that via a video game?