In the realm of music games, I enjoy Guitar Hero quite a bit. There’s something about putting the guitar strap over your head, getting into character, and banging out Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out.” I’ll be honest with you, I sing along.
I don’t posit that I could play these songs on a real guitar. It would be ignoble of me to make you suffer the strums and picks of my outrageous, albeit ambitious practice sessions. I’m going to need lessons. Lots of lessons.
But I can play Guitar Hero. And what Guitar Hero does well, is make me feel like I’m performing. If I had to pick one word, it would be, “guitaraoke.” Much like it’s vocal cousin, most of the music is taken care of for you. You don’t have to worry about backup singers or a band. The game takes care of that. Instead of words on a screen, you have simplified frets. About the only difference is that you’re playing lead guitar instead of singing lead vocals.
Also like its vocal cousin, when in a group setting, it’s not so much the technical aspects of delivery, it’s the spirit. Get a bunch of people together to play Guitar Hero, you will see people who are having a good time.
Even solo, I don’t play the game to “beat” it. I usually play the game to listen to the music, and realize how complex the piece is, even dumbed down to a mere five frets and up and down strumming.
Well, unless it’s a Ramones song. Then you realize they had to make the song more complex.