What is Headbang Hero?
Headbang Hero is a music/dance videogame for testing and improving your headbanging prowess.
You are awarded points for your personal headbanging choreography... but you should be aware that your health is at risk! To stress this point Headbang Hero also analyses how hazardous your performance is. Using a wireless motion-sensing wig as game interface, anyone - regardless of how much hair they have - can become a Headbang Hero!
To know more about how to headbang Wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive article about headbanging, which you can access by clicking here.
How does it work?
A special wig is used as a game controller, feeding motion data to the game software. The game then analyses in real time how well is the player's headbanging following the rhythm of the music.
The game keeps track of two distinct aspects of the player's performance. The first is the player's (potentially heroic) sense of style and rhythm as he headbangs along to the music. The second is the amount of health damage the player is causing himself in the quest to become a hero. Opposingly to what happens in games where the player is in control of an avatar, in Headbang Hero what matters is the player's own health.
When the game ends the player receives a printed health report based on his performance analysis. Included in this report are tips on how to improve the performance and advice on how to avoid injuries.
Why do this?
First of all, because it is funny. Another motivation is that dancing, rhythm and music games have been around for over a decade, but only recently has the western world been witness to gaming phenomena such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band and more generally motion-sensing game controllers and even health-concerned games - much to the dismay of many a hardcore gamer. In a sense, Headbang Hero is a humorous take on all these gaming genres and paradigms as well as to the habit of headbanging to heavy music which identifies and unites hard rock and metal fans around the world.
But more importantly, many people manifest their concern that headbanging can cause physical injuries. Concerned parents find it hard to get some sleep, aware that their beloved sons and daughters might be in risk of severe injury as they whip their heads like crazy at tonight's metal concert in town. Surprisingly enough, among the initial reactions from the gaming community to the Headbang Hero concept we may frequently find concerns about whether or not such a game would cause physical damage to the player and if so, how worthwhile is it then to play it. Apparently, all these people are right in their concern. A study published online in the British Medical Journal  points out and attempts to quantify the inherent risks of this activity, focusing on head and neck injuries.
The authors of the study suggest that metal fans either attend a training programme before going to a concert, wear a neck brace while headbanging, or altogether change their music-listening habits to include artists such as Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Richard Clayderman and Enya.
We suggest a few minutes of Headbang Hero every day.
Equipment needed for presentation
- 1 PC computer: dual-core Intel Processor with 2 Gigs of RAM, dedicated soundcard and Bluetooth connectivity
- 1 projector 3000 lumens
- 1 Headbang Hero software
- 1 Headbang Hero wig
- 1 Stereo sound system
- 1 printer (black/white, Inkjet or Laser)
 Patton D., McIntosh A.. “ Head and neck injury risks in heavy metal: head bangers stuck between rock and a hard bass”. BMJ 2008;337:a2825, doi: 10.1136/bmj.a2825 (Published 17 December 2008)
Tiago Martins | Ricardo Nascimento | Andreas Zingerle