October 31, 2008

The Beatles as video game

As a guy who learned to play guitar and piano at a young age, I'm sort of against kids playing games like Guitar Hero on the principle they could be learning to play a real instrument instead. I've never played any of them, despite having an Xbox 360. But that may be about to change. The maker's of the Rock Band games announced yesterday it was doing a game based around the music of The Beatles.

The game will aim to feature the entire Beatles catalog and will offer an "experiential journey" off the band...

"This game will take you on a journey from the Beatles first album Please Please Me until the last album at Abbey Road,” said Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones. “It will span samples of the whole catalogue all the way through.”

Here's an "imagining" someone did of the game using The Sims engine:

Still, despite the fact Sir Paul says "The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out," I can't help thinking that many of the kids who'll play it would be better off "having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out" by learning to play it on an actual musical instrument. What if Guitar Hero (with Buddy Holly, Chet Atkins, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley songs) had been around back when John, Paul, George, or Ringo were teenagers in Liverpool??


gilligan said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto! I would add that kids (and adults) think they're playing sports via video games without ever having picked up a bat or ball. Now, you can have virtual friends and a virtual life as well. It's all getting a bit ridiculous.

The only thing I guess I would like to maybe encourage would be the hunting video games. Much rather you take out your frustrations and bloodlust on a digitized Bambi than a real one (per your recent post).

Blognor Regis said...

I still think the Wii looks great though. I've never tried it though, my boredom threshold wrt computer games is incredibly low. I've tried Guitar Hero on a friends and it is great fun. But like you say, I'm sure the time spent could be much more productively channelled into learning an actual instrument. (Not that I can mind.)

Chris said...

I can't wait to try this game! If the reviews of it are excellent, I'll buy it and the requisite fake guitar. I have no problem with kids who can play, or are learning to play, an instrument playing any of the Guitar Hero type games.

AlsoBoredInNacogdoches said...

I have to say (and I realize I may be the exception to the rule) that my brother's kids brought Guitar Hero to my house about a year ago and I fell in love with it. Within a few months I had gone out and bought myself an electric guitar (at age 40 no less!) and I'm slowly learning to hammer out a couple of tunes.

If it inspires, that's cool. If they believe what they're doing is anything like the real thing, that's pretty bad...although, I gotta admit, the silly game got my pinky ready for the fretboard :)