Blue Oyster Cult lead singer Eric Bloom has been gaming a long, long time, and been part of a very iconic rock band for even longer. If you are familiar with the More Cowbell sketch on Saturday Night Live, you know B.O.C. I remember their music from my younger days, as my brother and I tried to learn their songs for our band to cover (pro tip: the lead in Don't Fear the Reaper is a killer). In fact, it has to be some kind of fate that I would interview him many years later, since his music also blends in perfectly with the gaming lifestyle.
So, what do rock stars like to play? A bit of everything, it seems. Eric also writes for Beckett Massive Online Gamer and has songs featured in games ranging from Guitar Hero to Warhammer Online. Recently, he was asked to help design a quest for the bright and shiny card-battle MMORPG Wizard101. It turns out he had an idea for a quest, and his recent visit to Kingsisle Entertainment was the perfect opportunity to make that idea a reality. Follow past the break to check out the recording of my phone interview with Eric, as well as a sit-down with him and the developers from Kingsisle.
So, what does a successful rock star want to put in his quest? Bears, of course. Grizzleheim bears. It must be helpful that he has used his voice for 40 years, since they asked him to voice both of the NPCs in the quest. The discussion between Eric and the Kingsisle crew feels like sitting down with a group of veteran nerds -- battle-worn gamers who have seen not only the lows of game development, but also the highs of running one of the surprise hits of the last few years. I was thrilled to listen to them talk about the MUD days, and about passing game disks between their friends. The chat represents all that is good and glorious about being a geek.
From my experience, Eric knows what he is talking about. He can reference games with the best of them, and his history with rock is tied in to development probably more than he knows. Imagine having such a long career in music, only to find this newer world of online gaming, and a newer audience for your music because of the gaming. It's a geek's world for sure, and he seems happily entrenched in it. We talk about gaming on the road, his new love for Dungeons and Dragons Online, and the development process.
Expect Eric's quest for Wizard101, called "Does a bear sit in the woods?" later this June, and check out both interviews below!