Tuesday, January 29, 2008

OK, let's talk about Guitar Hero III

I know you are sitting there thinking about it. Don't pretend. You were:
(A) Humming "Through the Fire and Flames" - a song you didn't even realize you know and would never admit you like.
(B) Trying to figure out if you had enough time on your lunch break to go home and try and beat Slash. Fucking Slash!
(C) Debating between the fist pump and the leg kick as the definitive rock move of choice for when you hit star power.

Let's admit it, that is some nerdy shit. Seriously, when you were 7, it was OK to set your alarm a little early to get down there and try to beat another level of Mario before the school bus came. At 9, it's casual that the pattern
Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, B, A, Select, Start rolled endlessly across your eyelids as you laid there
in bed. But really, quasi-adult person? You own a $139 belt. You pride yourself on your knowledge of the hottest happy hour spots around town. You can (and do) use the word vitriol intelligently in a sentence. So why is it that when a quiet moment rolls around in conversation, you honestly think the right thing to say is, "So I wonder if it's the hammer-ons or pull-offs that are getting me?"

Actually, what I really want to know: why have I started a savings account called "Rock Band" ($169.99 at Best Buy...)? Why do I have a band named Hamilton? I think the answer is simple, the feeling is elemental. Everyone deserves to rock. So don't fight it, don't worry if you're not the best in the room - you know who you are - you also don't like bowling, archery and other sports that necessitate showing off anything less than total physical mastery of your body and your surroundings. Grab a couple friends, ice a couple cold ones and let her rip. You know you want to.

1 comment:

Meeps said...

Tonight I went to a focus group that was presided over by Activision, the geniuses behind Guitar Hero. We spent three hours deliberating and discussing current video games. Specifically, what makes them a success or failure in the eyes of our generation. Ultimately, the lion's share of the group all agreed that a winning game must:
have a quick learning curve
be great for group settings
be constantly challenging and rewarding
have short, quick segments/levels
have a unique competitive advantage
This is why Guitar Hero III is King in the video game world right now. Its easy to pick up and play. Any idiot can strum and push a color coordinated button.
Everyone wants to rock hard and rock out in front of their friends.
You're constantly challenged w/ new songs, levels and speed.
There is always a reward with successful mastery of a song.
Competitive advantage? Well, you're jumping around your living room playing Knights of Cydonia on a freakin' plastic guitar while your buddies hoot and hollar.

Basically, the Activision people were able to reemphasize notions that they already had; while the focus group members played video games, ate Falafel and walked home with $100 cash.