What if I were to tell you that you could play Guitar Hero, for free, on your PC, using your own music, right now. Maybe you'd call me a liar, and you'd be way out of line because Facebook application Instant Jam is basically that, and it's currently in open beta and you could be playing it in the time the program takes it to scan your music collection. Details, thoughts and a video after the jump.
Instant Jam is actually the work of Westwood co-founder Louis Castle (meaning he created Command & Conquer), who's since become CEO of GarageGames, a Las Vegas-based casual game company. GarageGames developed InstantAction, a fairly spiffy web application for 3D gaming, and that's what InstantJam uses.
As for InstantJam itself, it's a kind of Guitar Hero lite (and perfectly compatible with any USB guitar controllers you have lying around), but with a huge music database of more than 2,000 tracks playable over 4 difficulty levels. Play songs, level up, and maybe (maybe!) spend some real-world money unlocking some pretend virtual unlockables. Though perhaps "using your own music" is something of a misnomer. Out of the 53GB of music on my PC, InstantJam recognised 11 tracks, thus making me feel like a tremendous asshole.
It's largely interesting as a showcase of both Facebook integration and this InstantAction tech, but hey! I played some songs and had fun, too.
Interested? Here's that link again. Really, really interested? Here's a video of Louis and some of his colleagues chatting about the game.