Who said pretending wasn’t any fun?
Rob Walker of the New York Times seemingly belittles the enjoyment level of my latest addiction, Guitar Hero III. And I quote:
“You’re not actually playing the guitar. No matter how good you may get at Guitar Hero, if you decide to take up the real instrument at some point, you’ll be starting from scratch.”
Being that the man writes for the Times, I’m sure he can appreciate the difference between the entertaining fantasy of video games and the dedication required to learn, play, and ultimately enjoy creating live music — in this case with a guitar.
Guitar Hero works, however, because it convincingly feels like you are a seasoned musician, even if you play real guitar like myself.
I’ve played rhythm guitar for 14 years now. I’ve also performed live in several bands to crowds upwards of 300 people. It is a powerful experience.
Why would I play Guitar Hero then? Because I can be the lead guitarist that I never was. Because I can play songs that otherwise would take much more practice to pull off. Because I can stir feelings from my youth — a memorable time in my life that has since past as the adult in me pursues more rewarding ends.