Our family got a Nintendo Wii for Christmas and it has transformed our living room. Aside from a few broken glasses (we’ve only had one semi-serious injury with my seven year old flipping over an end table – don’t worry, he’s OK) we have had a blast gathering around the TV. All four of us standing, talking, and playing a variety of games. Even my wife likes it – after being dead set against any video gaming in our house, she is regularily initiating Wii activity (yeah!).
If you have never played the Wii – it is an amazing piece of tech. Tactile and responsive, it is a blast.
Our latest Wii adventure is Guitar Hero III – Legends of Rock. Now you have to understand that I have played guitar for 25 years. When I mentioned to a co-worker that I was planning on getting Guitar Hero he said, “Yeah it’s really fun, it’s addictive, but you already play guitar.”
With Guitar Hero they’re doing a ton of clever things – too many to run through here. The basic experience though is right on. Guitar hero lets you rock.
You can lose yourself in the song – totally immersed, concentrating, losing track of time and space you hear the music, sense the crowd. It is very close to truly rocking out – achieving a musical flow experience that normally takes years of practice to get a glimpse of. Music is about becoming one with your instrument, joining your voice with others – being able to suspend time and thought.
Guitar Hero spoon-feeds that “flow” experience – enabling you to rock immediately – insant rockification. I predict (hope) the current Guitar Hero frenzy will isnpire a new legion of dedicated real world rockers. Where will they go to get their gear? Guitar Center of course, that’s where you go in the game to buy fancy axes you pay for with your hard earned gig bucks (you can even click on the Guitar Center logo – clever, evil marketing folks).
Fortunately for me there does appear to be some overlap between real world guitar chops and Guitar Hero. This advantage inspires me to throw down – any ArcStonian who can outshred me gets a guppy named in their honor….