Guitar Zero

Story By: Kyle Calvert

Ever talked to somebody about how good they are at Guitar Hero or Rock Band? 

Don’t you just want to push them off something tall?

Let me get this out of the way immediately: I love the Guitar Hero series.  I shamelessly click away on the strum bar of a small fake Les Paul, doing hammer-ons with nothing going through my mind but, “ORANGE, RED, RED, BLUE, RED, LONG RED.” 

Playing the games got me to like a lot of bands I never would have heard of, most of whom I now keep on my iPod.  I’m also very good at the game.  That probably makes a huge difference with how much I like it. 

The big deal is that I also love actual guitar.  I’ve only recently come into possession of the family IbaneWz, and I’m being taught how to play by guitarists I know.  It is through these people that I have come to learn that just about anyone who seriously plays guitar tends to hate the Guitar Hero franchise. 

Luckily, I’m very well aware that Guitar Hero does not make you a guitarist by any right.  It means you play video games and you like music.  That’s about it.  You don’t acquire any real musical skill by playing them, save for maybe finger control using the fret buttons or rhythm playing the game’s drums. 

Anyone who brags about their Guitar Hero or Rock Band accomplishments to anyone that plays a real instrument will be met with distaste.  Honestly though, playing Guitar Hero at any level is no bragging right in any area other than being a geek.  True, it takes a good deal of skill to excel at the higher levels of the game, but no sensible person is able to compare a five-star score at ‘Cult of Personality’ on Expert to learning a worthwhile musical talent or real skill. 

People that don’t see that are under the delusion that it makes them a musician of any sort, are suffering from making themselves look like an idiot along with everyone else that plays the game. 

Someone might as well play Wii Sports and brag about how good they are at boxing.  Chances are they are not among the people that make that game look fun. 

Musicians are utterly talented, in one way or another, and even if they don’t play the kind of music you like, they still have that talent, and they’re obviously good enough to make more money than you by doing it. 

Talking about your plastic peripheral prowess as if it’s remotely akin to playing a real instrument trivializes all the practice and effort a real guitarist puts into his talent, and you’re a loser and a jerk for doing it.