Steven Colbert’s brilliant attack on the fallout of Citizen’s United by way of an outlandish super PAC relied on actual donations. His biggest donor? Alex Rigopulos, the founder of Harmonix. That’s right, with a $9,600 donation, the guy who invented Guitar Hero and Rock Band topped Colbert’s list of supporters.
Motherboard met Rigopulos back in 2010 to talk about his history in the world of music gaming. Since leaving the M.I.T. Media Lab in 1995, Rigopulos created a handful of music games before striking genius: For a music-based game to really take off, the players need to actually be playing instruments. He’s since made fistfuls of cash off of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, and Harmonix will always go down as the god of the console rock universe.
Still, we’d never pegged him as the overtly political type, even if Colbert is nothing more than a joke candidate trying to point out how much of a joke everyone else is. (Richard Garriott, another video game giant, has some words for Washington too. Does this signal a new trend, of video game impresarios diving into politics? Maybe I’ve got that the wrong way: politics is looking increasingly like a video game. A really expensive one that’s hard to win and doesn’t have nearly enough guitars…
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