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Can't We All Just Get Along?

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This is a rant, so I'm sorry ahead of time but this is a topic that has been on my mind for literally years. It has to do with a specific game of a certain genre and the seemingly endless dispute of it's legitimacy among the generations of disgruntled gamers and patrons of it's parodied art. It's an argument with sides that are so separated by personal pride that neither side is willing to accept the the others position and therefore continuing a rivalry whose only purpose is to destroy the others credibility. Of course it's obvious that I am talking about guitar hero.

The release of guitar hero sparked the insane growth of genre dominated previously by Japanese kids who just wanted to dance. Instead GH gave people who are rhythmically challenged a chance to stretch out of their comfort zone and try to become someone of interest at the next high school party. It challenged it's players by giving them a small plastic guitar and asked them to push colored buttons corresponding with colored lights on screen. It became such a hit with the public that copies and versions poured out of studios until the market was more saturated than a fat kids t-shirt during a sweat house LAN party. Of course from this point it became something every teenager aching to rock had to pick up and power their way to expert just because it was something that made them feel special in between episodes of Lost.

But my problem isn't with how many GH games there are or even the people who play them, well not only them anyway. It actually has to do with the problem the people who DON'T play the game have with those that do. It seems that playing guitar is one of those things that people actually put time into and they get angry when suddenly they feel like all they're hard work is being over looked. What I mean to say is it seems that kids who really get into the game, and do not actually play guitar, start to believe that the game is somehow indicative of playing a real guitar. They then make the mistake of going up to real guitarists and basically spitting on their passion and hard work. On the other side of the argument is the musician who's only response is "why don't you just play a real guitar" as if having fun pretending to is some kind of waste if human brain power.

If it isn't clear by now I'm not taking either side of this argument. Personally I don't see the problem. I play guitar hero pretty efficiently on hard mode, so clearly I've put in some time. However I also have been playing real guitar for almost 7 years. I think it's ridiculously single minded for anyone to believe it's impossible, or even illogical to attempt to enjoy both. But just like in every other disagreement it's because one side does not understand the other and refuses to be open minded due to lack of interest and/or understanding. I would like to take one second and make an appeal to both sides and maybe quell the fuming masses.

GH Players:
I'm sorry on behalf of the musicians, games increase your hand eye coordination and Guitar Hero is legitimately hard. But still, you do not know how to play guitar. There is no correlation between Guitar Hero and actually being a rock star. It takes over 10,000 hours to actually become an expert, no matter what the screen tells you. Please realize that a game is for entertainment purposes only and by no means should you grab your dads guitar and strum wildly, our ears all thank you.

I apologize on behalf of gamers everywhere for stepping on your art, But seriously, its a video game, get over yourselves. Just because you play an instrument doesn't mean you're the coolest person ever. Gaming is here and it's gonna be a around awhile, make peace with it, it's happening.

Hopefully my rant has not fallen on deaf ears and those of you who feel the same way as I do will help battle this prejudice in hopes of bringing peace to our two worlds.

Lightsout Writer

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  1. Dhalamar's Avatar
    Actually, it wasn't only the Japanese kids who just wanted to dance that got that Guitar Hero/Rock Band bullshit started ... Konami started it with Guitar Freaks in the arcade. RedOctane made the hardware, they thought it was neat, stole it and popularized it.

    And now we've got heaven only KNOWS how many of the damn games coming out every year across Guitar Hero (and whatever other kind of shit Activision shovels out *cough*DJHero*cough*), Rock Band and the smaller games that come out for the iPhone and other handhelds that do basically the same thing.

    I personally play guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and piano all to varying extents (all of which are mediocre at best. But fuck it, I enjoy it. hehe) ... and I don't care if someone plays on a little plastic guitar ... even though it worries me that we may see an entire generation of guitar players who never play past the first 5 frets. :P

    I can also play the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games decently enough on the hard difficulty ... but it generally only takes me about a week tops to end up getting bored with them. And seeing a full "band" setup in these games is ... looking in from the outside of course ... depressing as hell.

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