If David Cook’s underpants-clad performance in his Guitar Hero commercial hasn’t already soured you on video games for life, we’ve got some more bad news: Activision released the debut trailer for Guitar Hero: World Tour last week, and, along with the addition of a microphone, the game promises “the most realistic drums” available to would-be rockers. Unlike Harmonix’s Rock Band drum kit, which features four chintzy pads and a kick pedal, Guitar Hero’s setup has two raised cymbal pads to provide a more authentic experience — one not unlike playing real drums. Awesome, right?
Wrong! In fact, we find this development terrifying. What’s next? A guitar peripheral with real strings? Being required to tune our plastic instruments before we rock out? Activision’s more-realistic drum kit puts us one step closer to a horrifying future in which video games will require real skills and teach us how to do things. The appeal of Guitar Hero is being able to play a blistering, five-button version of “The Number of the Beast” without having to learn to hold a guitar pick properly. We just want to feel the naked, stupid exhilaration of accomplishing a musical feat in a few hours that a real guitarist might spend years on. All this realistic new game play threatens to take away that thrill and replace it with challenge and learning. Hey, game developers: We want to be rock gods, not musicians! —Tammy Oler