Articles review on the net, revue d'articles sur la toile

Inscription : feeds, flux :
(Atom) Gabriel Real World News

19 juin 2008

Guitar Hero, Rock Band ... isn't it all a bit Peter Gabriel?

Keith Stuart, # The Guardian

Rock Band probably won't save the music industry

It's great that the mainstream media has switched on to videogames as an inventive and exciting form of media rather than the work of Beelzebub and all his techno-demons. The only problem is, every new trend is being eulogised as some sort of minor cultural revolution. If you believe everything you read, Wii Fit is going to solve childhood obesity, brain-training games have crushed idiocy, and online casual gaming could eradicate boredom and loneliness by 2012. Global warming? Games will probably have that fixed within the decade.

The latest example involves the rock music sims Guitar Hero and Rock Band - both of which allow users to download new music tracks to twang along to. It turns out this is going to save the music industry. Admittedly, there are some compelling stats doing the rounds - Guitar Hero players have now downloaded over 15m tracks, while Rock Band users are at the 12m mark. Furthermore, when the ageing glam rockers Mötley Crüe recently debuted their latest single on both Rock Band and iTunes, sales were five times higher on the former. Music industry execs everywhere are crawling back from 20th-storey window ledges to their desks.

But let's look at the groups using Guitar Hero and Rock Band as a distribution platform for new material. So far, Mötley Crüe have been joined by Aerosmith and Metallica, both of which are set to have special editions of Guitar Hero based around them. We're hardly at the chalkface of contemporary music here. It reminds me of that period in the late 90s when artists such as Peter Gabriel and David Bowie started making awful websites and interactive CD-Roms. Call me back when Crystal Castles, MGMT or No Age start launching songs in this way and maybe we can talk. And no, the fact that Coldplay has just released three tracks for Guitar Hero III doesn't count.

Most recently, we discovered that the latest Guitar Hero sequel/cash cow, subtitled World Tour, is set to include an "innovative" studio mode, allowing players to "lay down" their own tracks. Amazing. A revolutionary concept. Except, 10 years ago, Codemasters introduced its Music series of sampler/sequencers on PlayStation, and later PlayStation 2. Cheap, yet powerful, these games were employed by a generation of urban artists - Dizzee Rascal for example - to create their first tracks and gain the attention of record labels.

This latest interplay between the game and music industries ... well, it's interesting, but certainly not new or world-shatteringly pertinent. Just as videogames are unlikely to destroy civilisation, they're probably not going to save it either. At least until Little Big Planet turns us all into brilliant game designers. Or Spore makes us gods.

Aucun commentaire: