Monday, 11 January 2010
Since Guitar Hero’s inception back in 2005, it has gone from strength to strength much to my dismay, due to my being a player of the actual real instrument. Parents all around the globe for the past 20 years have claimed that their kids spend way too much time on their video game systems; shut in their rooms, the curtains drawn when it’s a gorgeous summer’s day outside, there’s homework to be done, perhaps ignoring family that have come to visit, and eventually comes the sound above everybody’s heads of a controller being slammed on the floor because the grumpy little thumb-basher couldn’t make it to L7 on whatever new £50 game the fucking parental unit gave in over. I haven’t had much of a problem with video games over the years. Being young, I’ve played my fair share but due to work and relationships, you know, the “real world” I’ve outgrown it and look upon all that stuff now as somewhat immature. If kids and adults want to spend all day staring at a TV screen whilst monotonously pressing bits of plastic, who am I to tell them not to? If that’s something you want to do and you get enjoyment out it, then so be it, that’s fine.
The problem that I have, I lay squarely at the door of a company called Red Octane who are the publishers of Guitar Hero and its constant slew of instalments and editions. It’s the fact that kids are now wasting their time pretending to be musicians – some being deluded enough to think that they are musicians and that they can actually play the songs on these games if they picked up a real guitar! I don’t understand the complete idiocy of parents today, where they’ll shell out 100s of £’s on a game console, all the peripherals and the actual games themselves, when they can buy a real instrument for the same price, in most cases, cheaper. Why not give your child a decent hobby, whereby they are learning about real music, they can be productive, creative and shock horror……possibly gain a career out of it! There’s nothing more satisfying than finally nailing a solo after months of practice, feeling that sense of accomplishment – growing in confidence, talent, being able to genuinely impress and entertain others, even score with the opposite sex – it’s wonderful. Compare that to gawking at a screen for hours on end holding a fake guitar and trying to make a track play through correctly like some sort of anti-social organ grinder! The only thing you are rewarded with is maybe, a high-five from your greasy neighbour or a sandwich provided by mommy….
I’ve conversed with a few people my own age and a bit younger who are hooked on this craze and they all whine the same thing: “Oh, I tried playing a guitar one time, but it was too hard” or “I can play songs faster on here, rather than practicing for real. I haven’t got the patience.” Do these people realize what they’re saying!? So, you’re willing to quit at something because it’s too hard and you won’t attempt something due to impatience? What kind of attitude is that to have? Seriously, there’s a hell of a lot of young people out there who are in for a shock when the world comes and kicks them in the butt. They won’t get far in life at all. But hey, life’s “too hard” right, so let’s leave them to it….
Then, I’m just browsing the internet and I may happen to listen to a song someone has uploaded onto YouTube, I scroll down to see the comments – Lo and behold! …”This is from Guitar Hero”. That’s all I ever read: “That’s from Guitar Hero”, on Credence Clearwater songs, Poison songs, Sammy Hagar songs and Kansas songs! Err, hello! These are records that are 20-30, even 40 years old! They have been committed to vinyl, tape and CD long before any of these mindless zombies were even sperm and egg cells! There appears to be a miracle, of which I am clearly not aware – that people are actually born yesterday and are then, fully capable of spouting as much crap as possible whilst obviously being right! Go back years and years and you will unearth a whole treasure trove of wonderful varied music. All the kids seem to dig the stuff they hear on these games just as much, sometimes more, than what the radio and charts are shoving down their throats. Quality and class prevails, that’s why a majority of these games use older music, from the times when a guy (or girl) could pick up a guitar and be considered a god due to their technical ability. You don’t see or hear that today and if the next generation is quite satisfied with just pressing buttons on a lump of plastic, then where is the music of tomorrow going to come from?
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