Feb 25, 2015 · 2 minutes

It's not too hard for me to reconnect with my inner 15-year-old. We're only seven years apart, after all, and I still have many of the same interests I had when I was in school.

So it might not mean much when I say that rumors of new "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero" games makes the teenager inside me leap with some semblance of adolescent excitement. But I think the revival of these flash-in-the-pan franchises is worth being excited about, even for those farther removed in years and spirit from young adulthood.

Sure, all they do is task people with matching colors on a toy instrument with a tide of "notes" streaming down the screen. And we can all agree it's been nice for the past couple years not having to deal with anyone who thinks "mastering" these games means they can really play the guitar.

But it's also nice to remember a time when multiplayer games allowed people to sit in the same room and goof around together instead of facilitating whiny anonymous verbal snipefests over the Internet. (Surely I'm not the only one who misses the days when the biggest argument between playmates was over who's Player One.)

Those games have seen a resurgence of late. "Sportsfriends" allows people to play four different games with each other; "TowerFall" and its "Ascension" expansion are some of the most fun to be had on a video game console; and "Super Smash Bros." is a hit.

"Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" are the ultimate party games, though. Not everyone wants to shoot bows at each other or control Nintendo characters as they fight to the death. But I suspect a broader swath of the population wants to feel like they're rock gods, even if it's only in a video game.

I remember when being able to play "Guitar Hero" on "expert" mode felt like an actual achievement. I also remember laughing as my then-girlfriend played the drums on "Rock Band" without the sticks, like she was playing an oversized game of Whac-A-Mole.

It would be nice to have some of that fun again. Maybe that's just the nostalgia talking. Maybe it's a desire to experience those games after everyone's had too many whiskeys or an entire bottle of wine. It's probably both. (Not that you should drink to excess, children.)

No matter what, I hope these rumors turn out to be true. I miss being able to play games with people in the same room -- and if I'm being honest with myself, I might miss feeling like a badass even though I was only strumming a plastic instrument along with the TV.

[photo by Ross Catrow]