Monday, April 21, 2014

I Have an AXE to Grind With Guitar Hero

I have always had a problem with Guitar Hero. So many things these days are taking the imagination away from kids, and Guitar Hero is one of them. How so? Well, I'll tell you. Two words. AIR GUITAR! That's right. When I was a kid, before I started playing guitar, my friends and I would jam out to music, and pretend that we had instruments. We were badass, and we all knew it. And, I bet that we had more fun than these kids today who play Guitar Hero or Rock Band because we didn't have some lame game telling us that we screwed up on a fake guitar that in no way, shape or form even resembles a real guitar. Guitars have strings and frets, and are made of wood. Guitar hero controllers (I refuse to call them guitars) are TOYS and nothing more. 

You might think that my hatred of Guitar Hero is irrational, and it very well may be. But, I have a reason, and its a good one. People who hate clowns usually hate them because of one particular experience. Well, I do hate clowns, and it is due to one particular experience, but I also hate Guitar Hero because of one particular experience...And NO, I didn't get embarrassed by someone who was better at it than I am. Actually, ANYBODY would be better than me at Guitar Hero because I've never played. Also, musicians who have tried it have said that its hard to do because it bears ZERO resemblance to actually playing a real guitar. Anyway, back to my hatred of Guitar Hero...I used to be a carpet cleaner. One day, I had a job to do, and it was raining. Pouring. Noah was pairing up animals. I got to this house, and of course, it had no overhang over the porch, so I was going to get soaked. I ran up to the door, and knocked. There was a window in the door, and I could see inside. There were 2 teenagers standing in front of the TV, playing Guitar Hero, and they ignored me. I knocked louder, and they still ignored me. I beat on the door, and they still ignored me. I was completely drenched, and finally, they put their toys down and answered the door. One kid said "Sorry, dude, but we had a wicked streak going." I have hated Guitar Hero ever since.  

Call me when you get the real thing, ok loser?
Before that, I still wasn't a fan. I still thought it was just toys, and thought that it was stupid, but I didn't have this deep rooted psychotic hatred for it like I do now. Lets look at it, shall we? It has nothing to do with playing an actual guitar. It has 5 colored buttons that you click for various sounds. But, that's not the half of it. There are people out there who actually think that being good at Guitar Hero is some type of status symbol or something. They will tell you about their sessions like a musician telling you about an awesome gig he played, and what's worse, they will even try to talk to you like they KNOW how to play guitar! I was talking to this guy, who was telling me about all the guitars he had. It actually took me a few minutes to realize that he was talking about Guitar Hero toys. Is my daughter a doctor because she has a toy stethoscope? NO! And these Guitar Hero players are not guitarists either. 

Did you ever see the South Park episode about Guitar Hero? It was brilliant. Long story short, the kids got into it, but when Stan's dad tried to get them interested in the real thing, the kids thought he was lame. Later, the kids scored a million points, and "unlocked super stardom." Once that happened, a guy popped on screen, and said "Congratulations on reaching a million! Now, here is your super stardom....YOU'RE FAGS!!!" They hit the nail on the head as they usually do.

Derp! Derp! Derpa Derp!
Aside from the obvious reasons I hate Guitar Hero (its a stupid toy that has actually nothing to do with playing a real guitar, its taking imagination away from kids, and making them appreciate real musicianship even less) Another reason is that people just look freaking stupid when they play it. They just stand there, looking dumb, with a blank expression on their faces. What's even worse is when you go to a store that has a display set up. There will be a line of teens and even young adults waiting to play it, watching and cheering like the people who are playing currently are actually shredding on a guitar.

One picture shows a real badass musician. The other shows 2 grown men with toys.

Look, if these people want to spend their time playing with toys, that's fine. But, I guarantee you  that a Guitar Hero master will NEVER know what it feels like to wail on a guitar solo in front of a huge group of people. It is one of the most unique feelings that there is, and more power to them if they never want to experience it. You could say that its just like any other video game, but its not. If these Guitar Hero 'Masters' put the time they play with their toys into learning to play a real guitar, they would be VERY good guitarists, and they might actually get to experience playing in front of crowds. But, they won't. They will just look at you with the same blank stare, and tell you that you're crazy for bringing it up.

Now, as I wrap this up, I do have to say that there is a positive from Guitar Hero. One single little positive. It is exposing kids to the great music of the past that they otherwise might not have heard. I also don't blame bands like Aerosmith, The Beatles, Megadeth, Metallica, and others who have had editions come out featuring their music. Its another revenue stream for them, and it also, like I said, exposes kids to music they might have never heard. Other than that, Guitar Hero is garbage. 

"My grandkids always beat me at Rock Band. And I say, Listen, you may beat me at Rock Band, but I made the original records, so shut up."
-Paul McCartney 

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