Crispy Gamer

Need a Band Name? Look to Classic Games

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So after getting recommendations from roughly one gazillion people I trust and respect over the years (both virtually and in person), I'm finally getting into the Scott Pilgrim graphics novels these days. There's a a lot to like there -- the natural writing, the complex relationships, the slowly evolving characters -- but one of my favorite parts is the subtle video game references.

The gaming allusions appear all over the place, but most notably so far (I've just finished book 3) in the fake band names that pop up in the book. Sex Bob-omb, The Clash at Demonhead, Kid Chameleoon, Crash and the Boys (a.k.a. The Boys! And Crash!) -- for some reason classic game references seem to be the major inspiration for band names in the Pilgrim-verse. I know there's at least some real world basis for this, too, after seeing local fave River City High (from River City Ransom) at Washington D.C.'s 930 Club back in college (I'm sure there are more out there, but that's the only one I know)

Anyway, the constant game-themed bands in Scott Pilgrim got me thinking: What other video games would make good band names. So I fired up Firefox and headed over to Mobygames, ready to do a quick browse and compile a short list of the best game-names-as-band-names I could find.

Creating a short list quickly became impossible when I realized an important fact: Practically every classic video game name would also make a killer band name.

There are a few general exceptions, of course. Games that are already too well known as games (or TV shows or movies or board games, etc.) generally don't work well enough (except in cases of extreme irony). Games based on sports tend not to work so well (would you see a band called Championship Bowling? Actually, maybe you would...)

That said, the classic gaming catalog is a veritable cornucopia of great band name ideas! Just check out this small sampling of classic game names/potential band names:

  • 10-yard fight 
  • 720o
  • Abadox
  • [Adventures Of] Rad Gravity
  • Airwolf
  • Alfred Chicken
  • Alien Syndrome
  • Alpha Mission
  • Amagon
  • Archon: The Light and the Dark
  • Arkista's Ring
  • Artelius
  • Astro Fang: Super Machine
  • Astyanax

Sure, some of these are better than others, but that's 14 perfectly serviceable band names right there, and I didn't even have to get past the As or go outside the NES catalog. Open the selection up to all letters and classic game system, and you'll have hundreds of great options. (I'm sure you readers can think of some great options of your own. Add them in the comments!)

So I guess this is really a public service to all aspiring rock bands out there. If you need an absolutely killer name, don't go to BandNameMaker.com or The Band Name Generatoror or even Dave Barry's ever-expanding list of stuff that Would Be A Good Name For A Rock Band (WBAGNFARB). Instead, just head over to MobyGames and get browsing!