Rhythm Games – Guitar Hero, Or Zero? by Matthew Slater

Guitar Hero. Rock Band. DJ Hero. All three games have one thing in common. They all allow normal, everyday people with no musical ability whatsoever, to rock out. A lot of musicians think this is pretty silly, the amount of time some people put into these games to get high scores, to unlock this and that, and to beat their friends at it - they could be learning to actually PLAY an instrument, rather than messing about on silly bits of plastic. Admittedly I’m not that great at these games, so I don’t care that much if you could pummel me into the ground with plastic Les Paul. I mean, how much does it cost you for a plastic guitar? For all of your Rock Band setup, the drums, bass guitar, guitar and mics? What about your DJ Hero decks, the stand and a case for keeping it all in? You could've bought any rock instrument you wanted by now – guitar, bass or drums. It's only a game, and you're just playing it because it's a game. If you wanted to learn how to play guitar for real you would've already. Ok, ok – I get it. Let’s move onto another point that frustrates me. In no way does your musical opinion account for anything more, all because you can hit some buttons in time to some scrolling colours onscreen. I mean, Parappa The Rapper is fun and all but, it doesn’t make me think that I’m Eminem and that I can rap with the best of them, and at the very least, I don’t run about trying to impress skirt with the fact that I “owned” Chop Chop Master Onion. Computer games are meant to be for kids and virgins, but that stigma doesn’t exist anymore with systems like the Wii, and your skill and ability on these silly faux axes is meant to be something to brag about - it’s not far better than having air guitar competitions in your living room – yet for some reason I’m in the minority with this? There’s always that argument that these games are letting a new generation of kids get into proper, guitar based music that they might’ve not heard before. No doubt many of them will pick up real guitars and hit real drum kits and try the whole music thing – play in bands and feel like mini-rock stars, local celebrities because of it. Until that happens, let’s not get carried away with playing make believe shall we.