It’s a very entertaining thing. And not only entertaining, educational too. Others may read that last statement and think, how? Well, it introduces the player to a variety of music. I have had this happen to myself. For example, before I played my first Guitar Hero game (which was Guitar Hero II), I’d never heard of artists like Cheap Trick, Buckethead and Avenged Sevenfold. Now, Jordan (by Buckethead) is one of my favourite instrumental songs, while I’m a fan of Avenged Sevenfold’s new album, Nightmare.
Not only that, it introduces people to playing instruments. I’m one of these people. I’ve started playing the bass guitar after playing the bass of Sweet Child O’ Mine on practice mode as I wanted to get better at the game, but unintentionally fell in love with the sound of the bass riffs in that song. Indeed, I am a sad child for admitting that fact, but it proves a point. The chances of me picking up a bass guitar would probably be next to non-existent if I didn’t play a few songs on practice.
But there’s one thing that rather confuses me, and I call it ‘guitar snobbery’. Allow me to expand.
There’s this website – let’s call it Ultimate Guitar, because that’s what its called – and on this website these days, there are some articles about Guitar Hero and Rock Band. And all these articles on this subject matter, some users have the same train of thought. Allow me to quote one of the comments from the most recent article about Rock Band’s new Pro Mode…
“In all seriousness….IF YOU ARE A PARENT AND YOUR KID ASKS FOR THIS CRAP BUY HIM A REAL GUITAR….”
Apparently, people who think playing games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band are fools, as they are spending so much time on the game while it is clearly better to play and to invest time in becoming a brilliant guitarist.
I don’t know about you, but this makes no sense to me. Guitar Hero is a game. It doesn’t make you think that you can pick up a real guitar and play Raining Blood by Slayer after the first time you four star the song on Hard. It, along with Rock Band, is a game. Why can’t guitarists get to grips with this fact?
Out of all the instruments available to play in these games, it seems like only guitarists are the only group of players who have something against this game genre. Even bassists – with the bass guitar usually looked down upon as it has only four strings usually, so it must be an easy instrument to master (which, to me, is the wrong thought to have, and if you do have this thought, listen to YYZ by Rush) – find music rhythm games fun to play. Drummers also like the games as they are playing the drums, even if its on a small plastic kit. And yes, I know I’m generalising everyone here, but it seems that the majority of the people who think the same way as the commenter above are guitarists. I have never seen a comment saying learn to play real drums, though I have seen many a comment stating that they have actually learned the basics of drumming from these games.
All I’m asking, dear world, is that why can’t people understand that Guitar Hero and its relatives are only trying to help the music it holds in its being? These games are promoting different bands, music and genres to the player, and the world will be a better place if it resulted in more young people listening to rock-driven music. It would be unfair of me to state that music by Justin Bieber, The Saturdays and JLS aren’t that good, but to me that is the case. But this article isn’t about miming groups and over auto-tuned vocals. Its about trying to make people understand that Guitar Hero and its brethren are not trying to take people under its spell, but to give people the chance to play music and, possibly, influence them in picking up a real instrument and playing that too.
I thank ye, world.