Shocking news today, as Michael Jackson has passed away from a cardiac arrest. While his contributions to the music world are almost too numerous to count, but he also left his mark on video games in a few select, but memorable, titles.
There were a few versions of "Moonwalker" on a variety of platforms (from the arcades to the Sega Genesis), but the basic premise was the same in all. Playing as the pop star, you had to rescue children who had been kidnapped by a gangster. To aid you in your quest you had a range of super powers, including the ability to transform into a giant mech with the help of MJ's pet chimp, Bubbles.
Jackson's next role came in in the genre-busting rhythm game, "Space Channel 5" and its subsequent sequel. In the games, Michael played a character called Space Michael, an interstellar pop star who battled evil robots with his singing.
Most recently, rumors have been swirling about a potential Michael Jackson rhythm game in development, planned for a holiday release this year. It was never officially confirmed, but if it is legit, seems like a posthumous release would be likely.
Apart from those specific games, Michael Jackson's music has been used in a number of video games, including "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" ("Billie Jean," "Wanna Be Starting Something") and "Lips" ("ABC"). He was also rumored to have contributed to the soundtrack of "Sonic 3," which features some uncanny similarities to his music. In addition, he had a cameo appearance in "Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2."
His personal issues aside, there's little doubt that Michael Jackson left a huge impact on the world and his love of video games (as evidenced by a recent arcade auction) was undeniable.