As a consumer of popular culture in all its various forms, I have an acute sense that I am missing out on something significant by not owning a gaming console. The last time I had a video game in my house was back in 1995, when Patrick had a Sega Genesis and the 308 Boys played NHL ’94 for hours on end. Apparently things have changed considerably since then.
There are times I regret not having a machine in my house. I have never punched a hooker (Grand Theft Auto III), tortured a prisoner (Manhunt 2), scored the winning touchdown (Madden NFL), designed clothes for a girl (Barbie Fashion Show), or raised a family (The Sims). Actually, I guess I have raised a family, although something tells me the video game version is a lot easier than the real life version.
Over the holidays, I had the opportunity to try my hand at Guitar Hero 3, a little-known video game that was recently released without fanfare. It was awesome. After the first ten minutes, I was immediately reminded of the first time I tried cocaine – that feeling of euphoria, hyperactivity, and gnawing paranoia.
The amazing thing about the game is you get the sense you’re actually playing guitar. Of course, that’s ridiculous, as it takes at least an hour to learn how to play a real guitar while you can be up and running in just five minutes with GH3 (that’s what the cool kids call it). Guitar makers should take note, though, that brightly coloured buttons are much easier to use than those pesky strings and frets.
I would love to play GH3 again, but it would cost about $600 for an Xbox, the game, and two controllers. Call me old-fashioned, but for that kind of money, I think I prefer the real thing.
Aidan and Kieran entertaining the family with their version of Suck My Kiss.
My little Yngwie Malmsteen.