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Man turns Christmas lights into Guitar Hero game

A California man decides normal Christmas lights are passe. Instead, he creates Christmas Lights Hero, where, with your Wii wireless controller, you play Guitar Hero and your Christmas lights react.

For gamers, Christmas can, indeed, come early.

Because here is every gamer's dream wrapped up in a Christmas paper so beautiful that you might never play Guitar Hero in a living room ever again.

Please hail Ric Turner, who realized the holiday season was upon him and it was time not to keep up with the Joneses, but with the Brian Jones Massacre's. So, according to Make, he created this astonishing Guitar Hero Christmas lights extravaganza, which he calls Christmas Light Hero.

If you are not utterly entranced by the skill and wonderment of this technological exercise, then your fingers are pork sausages and your emotions are boiled semolina.

I know you are going to ask me how he did it. Thankfully, he explained to Make in some detail.

Here is just the first part of his explanation: "Christmas Light Hero is using 7 light controllers from Light-O-Rama built from kits to control 21,268 lights and LEDs. Each controller has 16 outputs and 2-3 TTL level control inputs that are used by the game system to fire different programmed light sequences depending on what happens in the game."

He continued: "It relies on the fact that the game sequence is very consistent. If the game and the lighting sequences start together, they will stay in very good sync through the length of the song."

For the full explanation--it goes on for some paragraphs--please enjoy the Make link.

Turner is so wonderfully talented (Oh, did I mention that he used to be a special effects guy at Disney Imagineering?) that he even thought about not disturbing the neighbors with renditions of Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover".

He said: "When you play, you watch only the Christmas lights, but the audio you hear is from the Wii, so your flubs are broadcast for all to hear (people in cars can tune 99.1 and crank it up as loud as they want.)"

If you happen to be passing Turner's house (a commenter on Daily What says it's somewhere near Disney in Burbank, Calif.), please know that it isn't so easy to get on the high score list.

He said on his YouTube posting: "Optional TV screen is available if you get in trouble, but if you use the screen, you don't get your name in the high score list."

I know some of you will be wondering how many bulbs are being put to such good use here. The Daily What reveals that it is 21,268.

May your neighbors be even one tenth as imaginative this holiday season.