Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Guitar (anti-)Hero

So, Fender and Gibson have licensed replicas of some of my favorite guitars, so that they can be replicated as little plastic Guitar Hero controllers.. little plastic insults to the beautiful musical instruments they are modeled after. That started me wondering. You can buy a *real* Strat replica for probably about the same amount of money as the little verkakte Guitar hero Stratocaster controller. Why didn't either Fender or Gibson insist that Activision (along with the Guitar Hero controllers) make a simple controller for the various game consoles that takes real electric guitar input, and samples and translates actual strum/fretting actions into the representative Guitar hero controller commands? Nobody said you had to actually produce something musical on the guitar with all this fretting and picking. You don't even have to tune the guitar. Just strum the thing, and let the controller calibrate to whatever the strings are tuned to. You could even color the first through 5th frets on your "REAL Guitar Hero" controller green. red, yellow, blue, and orange. (for that matter, how long is it going to be before a real guitarist shows up on stage playing a guitar that has green, red, yellow, blue and orange spots in the first five fret positions.)

My gripe is, why play at playing guitar when you're that close to the real thing. Oh, and God forbid you decide you actually *like* playing the thing, and decide to really learn to pick out notes, and make chords. Then the Guitar Hero gameplay could then have a mode that expects you to play more complex note patterns as the game progresses.

Also, I'm not talking about ruining a perfectly good guitar by cobbling the existing GH controller into a real electric guitar. I mean a black box that has a quarter-inch jack on one end, and on the other end, a connector for the gaming console of your choice.. you can use any guitar. You could even include colored dots to place under the first five fret positions on an existing guitar. In this way *any* guitar would work. I presume Fender and Gibson would prefer to make the profit off sales of real guitars (even cheap ones) over the pennies they may be making off the little plastic controllers (that are breaking left and right)

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