When Rock Stars Make Video Games: “Queen: The eYe”

Queen: The eYe (1998) concerns a totalitarian, fascistic government in the near future that has banned pop culture, while the empowering rock music of the protagonists, provided by Queen, brings expression and freedom to the people and defeats Big Brother.

In the 22nd century, an omnipotent, evil computer called The eYe has outlawed the arts. In the game, you play an agent of The eYe who discovers a cache of rock music, and for your discovery, you have to go fight to death in a televised gladiatorial battle. Once that’s done, you have to go destroy The eYe, with loops of remixed Queen songs helping inspire you along the way.

In addition to mirroring the plot of Aerosmith’s Revolution X game, as well as the Queen musical We Will Rock You, it’s basically any late ‘70s/early ‘80s concept album, except that you can play it, and the music of Queen is way, way better than the music of Styx, which used the exact same premise on their 1983 concept album Kilroy Was Here. Seventies arena rock musicians sure were afraid of rock music getting banned; maybe this is an allegory for their fear of punk and New Wave.

If you like music-related nonsense, do check out my just released book of music trivia, history, and witty asides I Love Rock n’ Roll (Except When I Hate It).

Brian Boone

From the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Northwest, I contribute to the Retroist, write for trivia publications, and blog about music in a humorous fashion. I feel about "Back to the Future" the way you feel about "Star Wars." Also, I'm married and have a child (sorry ladies, orphans).

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2 thoughts on “When Rock Stars Make Video Games: “Queen: The eYe”

  1. Badwolf says:

    I have not experienced this entire opus yet, but it would have to be exceptional to be as good as Rush’s “2112,” another dystopian musical epic.

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