Today, Activision/Blizzard cut the life support of the ‘Guitar Hero’ franchise (and the mediocre ‘True Crime’ series) due a decline in the genre of people playing Simon while pretending they’re musicians. While I understand that these can be fun party games in the same way karaoke, quarters, or fisting is… there’s a percentage of a generation and a half of people who at least partially consider this as something more than just goofing around with colors and timing while listening to tunes both old and new. Plenty of people see it as just a party game but the cult of Guitar Hero and its imitators simply got too big too fast. I have no doubt someone will snap up the rights or outcry will cause it to come back in a few years… but while my hate of these games is a bit irrational so too is the belief that a whole new wave of virtuoso musicians or music scholars is going to be born out of this. Or the belief that it has nothing to do with musical instruments. You get from it what you bring to it, and though I’ve had arguments with folks about the product and its relationship to actual music I’ve also had to deal with people saying that Guitar Hero is a form of music. It doesn’t really matter. It had a good run.
Plus, if Guitar Hero created one new Aerosmith fan it’s a public enemy.
The next wave of brilliant musicians and scholars? Those people have instant access to every song in the universe. They have instant access to the entire history of music from Neanderthal farts to Lady Gaga (which is a short trip). Shit, Pandora Music has more power than any video game ever could. They can download a program and if they have some patience and creativity can have professional grade work in no time.
Activision/Blizzard is feeling the economy. Bottom line. And people are using peripherals like the Kinect, Playstation Move, and [hopefully] fisting more. Evolution. Not better, not worse, but new. Or rather, Wii for people with pubic hair. Just as long as Activision leaves Bungie alone I’m fine with whatever changes they make.
Maybe it’s time to put World of Warcraft out to pasture. Bet you some of those folks would find sunlight pretty cool…