Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and The White Stripes' Jack White have taken shots at the popular Guitar Hero video game, according to a report in NME.
Speaking at a press conference in Los Angeles on June 19, the two guitarists said "they don't believe video games are an ideal way for people to be exposed to music or learn to play instruments."
As much as I enjoyed Guitar Hero, I have to agree that it's annoying that the game doesn't teach you to play an instrument and depressing that game buyers aren't really interested in the music itself--just how hard the game makes it to play the songs. The silver lining is that bands such as Dragon Force would be even more obscure if it weren't for the game.
"It's depressing to have a label come and tell you that Guitar Hero is how kids are learning about music and experiencing music," White said. He added that although he doesn't try to dictate "which format people should get their music in...if you have to be in a video game to get in front of them, that's a little sad."
Page added that he can't imagine that people are really learning anything significant about playing instruments by playing video games.
"You think of the drum part that John Bonham did on Led Zeppelin's first track on the first album, Good Times Bad Times," he said. "How many drummers in the world can play that part, let alone on Christmas morning?"
There's nothing wrong with people learning about music through games, but it would be great if the games taught something more than hand-eye coordination. As schools cut music programs, MTV plays no music videos, and Ticketmaster gouges customers for concert tickets, something needs to be done to get kids interested in hearing and playing music.
(Note: For the record, I can play the actual drum parts for Good Times Bad Times, who wants to start a blogger band?)
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