Rick Wakeman’s Caped Crusades: Game on! Or rather, off…
The computer game Guitar Hero was all the rage last Christmas and is probably going to be on lots of Christmas lists this year as well. I do admit to having had a “go” round at a friend’s house where I found it about as entertaining as playing Truth Or Consequences with Peter Mandleson.
I’m sure it can’t just be me who thinks this, but I cannot believe that thousands, if not millions, of people worldwide have bought a piece of plastic that looks like something Woolworths used to sell for five bob back in the 50s, and sit in front of a television trying to follow pretty coloured blobs on the screen and play along with graphics of so-called “rockers” that make Thunderbirds look like real people.
Music and computers do seem inseparable these days and I have to admit to using them for both recording and orchestrating purposes and they are fantastic for that. My view is that as long as the musician is controlling the computer and it’s software and not the other way around, then for me that’s fine.
In recent years, though, computers have started to creep in to live performances. Now, that’s fine if they are being used to generate sound sources or controlling lighting or helping to mix the final sound, but I do object vehemently to bands playing along to pre-recorded music on disc. That’s cheating.
But I digress.
So what’s to come after Guitar Hero then ?
How about X-Factor Sing-A-Long With Talentless People including a free upgrade to version number two that automatically puts your voice in tune and in time.
Version three will offer the option to cry if Simon Bowel votes you off and version 4.5 gives you the opportunity to win a free week at The Priory for counselling along with a News Of The World journalist hiding in your wardrobe.
I suppose I should be grateful that at least Guitar Hero is not violent, which seems to be the case with most of the current batch of computer games these days. I suppose that will come very soon though as they are bound to incorporate violence with Guitar Hero eventually and have a retro 1966 The Who special edition, where you smash the plastic guitar to pieces at the end of the game if you don’t score enough points.
I do have a final suggestion for all the Guitar Hero players out there. Buy a guitar. A decent start-up guitar is not that expensive. Teach yourself to begin with and then have some lessons maybe, and then perhaps even join a band or form one yourself…
Oh yes… and take your Guitar Hero to a car boot sale!
Rick is a regular columnist for Prog