Thursday, February 21, 2008

Guitar Hero

If you want to see sisomo in action in its purest form of sight, sound and motion on screen, take a look at the video game Guitar Hero. But first a question. Why are we still calling these things video games? Seems to me that none of them use video – and even the idea of “video” has that decrepit smell of “radio with pictures”. I know there’s always an and/and phase when technologies shift, and we use automobiles and carts, sailing ships and steamers, GPS and maps, but surely it’s now time for video to push off and give way to a more useful idea like sisomo. Now that’s clear, let’s get back to being Guitar Heroes.

Guitar Hero was invented by Harmonix Music Systems (you guys could get a new name too) and published by RedOctane (your name is great) for PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii. The idea of the game – like all great ideas – is simple but not easy: use a virtual guitar and follow the music. Points are given for how accurately you play. If that was all Guitar Hero was, I guess it would have died a few days after release, but enter Career Mode. Now you can perform in different venues choosing your own stage character and earn extra points for great performances. Get the picture? Get the sound? Get the action? Songs you can perform include Hendrix’s mighty 'Bark at the Moon', 'Iron Man' by Black Sabbath and Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water'.

To watch an expert Guitar Hero is to see the future of sisomo. An enveloping virtual world, a totally interactive experience and an experience to set the heart on fire. Hold onto your Gibsons. It’s going to be one hell of a ride.


willow51674 said...

Now if they only had something like this for teaching kids real skills, like social interaction, changing tyres, being parents, and doing laundry! However, the quote from G'n'R "You know where you are? You're in the jungle baby!" I think fits much better! Let's enjoy it while we can...

Tony said...

Sorry mate, this isn't SISIMO this is SISOEMO in action.

SISOEMO is the next level where EMO stands for EMOTION (forget about the EMO style/ culture).

Guitar Hero connected with me on an emotional level (Ok so you might call it a Lovemark - I'm not there yet).

The music was great but the game play makes it excellent. It's encouraging and satisfying as I climb the rock ladder & get paid for my gigs.

Feel free to use SISOEMO - just give me some credit :-)

Cheers! Tony from NZ

Chris said...

Interesting POV Kevin. Really, video games are synonymous with gaming consoles, and gaming consoles are synonymous with computer games. Computer games and consoles are many things, (Playstation and Nintendo – of course), but also online gaming and the exquisite N Gage, which is also a console, but also a beautiful Nokia Mobile MP3 Player, Camera and Phone with, seemingly, limitless wireless gaming capacity and high definition graphics. Graphics, animation and a whole range of content is video and video is mobile phone and online gaming. Video is also “a movie”-in the sense of uploading or downlinking through a WAP device or site. It’s never ending and this is one area I think you need to be a tad careful about labeling! Video is also all about profile and peer group social networking and that’s all about blogging and that’s all about community and that’s all back to all being about gaming. Plus-the metaphor of camera actions, zoom, toggle, interface panel functions, chat functions, targeting functions, action bar functions and movement keys is all part of digital life and “mass” digital lifestyle.

As for Guitar Hero…hmmm….There’s an interesting thing here…Both Dance Music and Digital share short but intrinsic histories of 10 years each and each one of those changing and ground breaking years until yesterday are important. I think ‘Hero is more like all the rock and pop acts from the early ‘90s still trundling around the world, but video gaming or just games played online and on mobile phones and its place in this culture is about a genre that has very few of its original groundbreaking artists still performing live, with some notable exceptions being Daft Punk and Chemical Brothers. (I put Basement Jaxx in there as well, but they have not been doing it as long).. And these guys, (Daft Punk and Chemical Brothers are still filling stadiums based on still connecting and being ‘of the moment’.) Video is currently ‘of the moment’ in the digital culture, but it depends on so many things….Originality and being able to constantly change are givens. Content that might one minute be a lo-fi instant message and the next an MMS and the next animation and the next a HDD TV show! A bit like Google’s constantly changing label or logo….And how long did it take Google to become number one world brand, two years or something…Didn’t it take Mars 40 years? I’ll stick with Google’s ‘brand of open social entertainment’ and then there’s branded entertainment…(And Mars did some pretty cool ‘branded entertainment’ from memory)…WOW! It is never ending!

THX 4 such an interesting piece. CUL8R. Bracket Boy. (AKA Chris Simon)

Chris said...

Meant to also say in my previous comment that I loooooovvvvvvvve
SISOMO...THX 4 THAT 2. Bracket Boy.

Renea M said...

I haven't heard anyone under 15 use the term "video game" so I guess it must be fading. Most kids say "game" then go on to define it by platform - PS3, XBox, Wii etc.

I haven't played Guitar Hero but I have played SingStar. It's a lot of fun but there is no room for innovation. You must get as close to the real thing as possible. It would be interesting to see a version that allowed you a little bit of artist license.

SingStar on PSP (with a headset) would be fun! You could sit in a bean bag and play.

Piotr Jakubowski said...

Whats funny about this recent Guitar Hero invasion (yes, I have 2 guitars and all 3 games) is that the game was a hit in Japan years ago under the name Guitar Freaks. I remember playing it over 8 years ago, just after it moved from an arcade game into the living room.

This concept is such a fantastic way to differentiate oneself and the game from the market. With endless possibilities of expansion (I would love to see a Metallica bonus pack), and a career mode that is pretty menacing the game has such prospect for growth in the future.

Its also great to see the spinoffs. In Japan there was BeatMania and DrumMania and here you have Singstar, RockBand and I've even seen a game that comes with maraca controllers.

Stan Lee said...

Funny you should say that about video Kevin, I was thinking the same thing myself about an hour ago.

As for Guitar Hero, it is wreaking havoc with my internet account. Why? Because my 11 yr old son is always watching YouTube videos of people playing Guitar Hero. Weird!

It's also introduced him and his mates to some great music. Never thought I'd see the day a bunch of 11 and 12 yr olds were into 'classic' rock.

Kevin Roberts said...

Stan - Nothing like sisomo to bridge the gap!

Chris - Glad you like the post. The power of Sight, Sound and Motion has always been with us but the ubiquity of it today is still astonishing. Hard to see how print is going to survive long into the future.

Tony - Very nice. EMOtion is great.