For teens who’ve caught the 8-bit retro madness of the chiptune craze, the people at SyntheticDreams have managed to make their dreams come true: Guitar Hero on the Commodore 64.

The FREE Shredz64 project let’s folks hook up their guitar controller and play along with a huge user repository of .sid files, which are music files designed to be played on the Commodore 64 system. These range anywhere from NES games to cheesy 80s hits.

If your library still has one of these lying around the office (and I know some of you do), then you and some adventurous teens can breathe new life into the old system. If you don’t, you can lead teens into the wonderful world of emulation. Here’s what you need:

  • Commodore 64 emulator. Your computer can simulate the C64 environment, opening up your computers to a whole host of fun, independently-designed games. PC users can check out CCS64, while Macs have Power64. For Shredz64, what matters is that your emulator can emulate paddles. Commodore 64 emulation can occasionally be tricky, so make sure you read the documentation.
  • Playstation to USB adapter. This will let you hook up your Guitar Hero controller to the computer. The Stepmania site currently has a great guide to finding the one that will work for you.

After a couple of mouse clicks and text commands, you’ll be all set. Have fun, and be sure to check out the demo on Youtube!

About Joseph Wilk

I'm a teen library assistant with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Main location. Here, I'm the graphic novel and music librarian in addition to running anime, music, LGBTQ, incarcerated youth, and video programming. I'm happy to serve YALSA as a blogger, member of the Teen Tech Week committee, and as chair of the Music Interest Group. Otherwise, you can find me in da club.

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