My old friend Mark sent me an e-mail a while back in which he talked about spending the evening playing a game called "Guitar Hero" with his family. He said it was the most fun he had had in a long time and that it was hilarious to watching his two small sons tried to play these classic guitar songs. I had heard of the game before but never actually played it.
Then, last week in Newsweek, there was a story about the game. It talked about how addictive it was and how so many people were playing it (including real-life guitarists). In fact, it said, the guitarist for the Bare Naked Ladies had once been late on stage because he was playing the game on the tour bus.
So I decided to give it a try.
The game comes with a custom controller that is shaped like a guitar. There are buttons on the fretboard for your left-hand and a special toggle for your right hand. Basically, a song is played on the screen and you have to press the buttons and move the toggle as if you were playing the guitar at just the right point. I tried a couple of songs and I thought to myself, "Yeah, this is pretty cool."
Then, I loaded up "Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple.
Well, needless to say, once you find yourself playing one of the most recognizable rock guitar riffs of all time (I'd say it's tied with "Layla") you instantly see just how great this game is, which is surprising when you consider that I actually know how to play the guitar.
So, if you ever spent hours in your room playing air guitar, I would highly recommend heading down to your local video store and buying a used PlayStation and Guitar Hero.