Rock stars cool over video games

‘Former Rolling Stones star Bill Wyman has expressed concern that music games like Rock Band stop young people from practising real musical instruments.

He told the BBC: “It encourages kids not to learn, that’s the trouble.

“It makes less and less people dedicated to really get down and learn an instrument. I think is a pity so I’m not really keen on that kind of stuff.”‘ – Read the rest here

As a musician and guitarist I’ve never liked these kind of games, I find them a waste of time and energy. But I’m like that with all games really. I have a PS2 which lives in a drawer, I love the survival horror games and I worked in a Playstation shop – but given the choice I’d leave them well alone.

As a teacher of guitar and bass I’ve found games to be the distraction that kids do not need. They eat into practice time for both kids and adults.

But again as a teacher I’ll be honest they work for me in a weird way.

Kids don’t see the two as the same thing, kids are much more aware that Mr Wyman gives them credit for.

When ‘School oF Rock’ first came out I got lots of enquiries regarding lessons.

Now I get a lot of kids coming through who have been turned onto guitar because of Guitar Hero and Rock Star not in spite of them.

Furthermore I’ve actually got students who under normal circumstances would not have heard of Foghat, AC/DC. Black Sabbath and Guns n Roses coming into lessons asking to learn songs by those artists because of the game.

As much as I want to agree, I just can’t.

I still think they’re rubbish but in a snobbish way that I can’t shake off.

And that is my malfunction and not the games.

Anything that promotes music IS a good thing.

Updated: September 8, 2009 — 4:07 am

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