Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fake Fake Music

I think we've just reached a turning point.

RockBand is a popular video game played by holding fake instruments and striking buttons. It's the latest sensation from the people who brought us the smash hit Guitar Hero. Games like this offer the ultimate in posing: people with no talent or training get a taste of the rush experienced by those who've actually worked to accomplish something musically. All the glamor with none of the tedious, nerdy work!

But, actually, it does take work to master a video game about fake music. Indeed, people everywhere are spending long hours on this and on Guitar Hero. Which naturally makes me wonder why they don't simply invest that same time and effort into learning to play real music!

Well, here's a mind-bender. Several days ago a competition was held for Rockband players at Harrah's, where the winning fake band won $10,000 and the opportunity to open for the B-52s (plus an all expenses paid trip to London, MTV interviews, etc.). And a friend of a friend of mine was in the winning fake band, playing fake guitar. But get this: the guy's a very talented real guitarist. And he just achieved more from a night of fake guitar playing than he ever could with a real gig.

It's a turning point, because I've long had a creepy feeling that our world was in danger of turning into World World...and this makes me think the transformation might now be complete.

But, then again, look at me. If I were still a real journalist, writing for real publications, I'd pitch the story to an editor, interview the musician, and produce a polished, fact-checked feature article. But as a real writer posing as a blogger, I've simply delivered the snarky gist without doing any of that tedious, nerdy legwork.

Will the last authentic person to leave World World please turn out the lights?

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