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Future Reality vs. Future Game Reality...


Published Tuesday 13 Jan 2009 11:14am | 20
Tags: Music, games, bass, rock band, Tetris, guitar hero world tour, pac man, drums
 

Future Reality vs. Future Game Reality...

Two of my favourite things in life are music and video games, so when these mediums combined together on a take-home console I was overjoyed, as were my peers, but at what possible future cost? Music and technology have walked together hand in hand for some time, from instrument design to sound quality via a medium such as the Mp3 player and speakers, and without each other music in our world today would be quite different.

The progressiveness of the music and gaming connection has continued to turn over at a faster rate. From the bleeps and whirs of early gaming machines to full movie-like scores to accompany the user through their desired gaming experience. This, coupled with ergonomic and user friendliness, has seen gaming become a solid part of our contemporary lifestyle. Consequently, such games have taken in revenue up there with successful movies and bands, as well as causing another crossover of games made for movies and vice versa, but that story another time.

The two worlds were now able to create a fusion and cross boundaries with the popular music concept of Karaoke fused with a video game point system. Initially, a microphone plugged into a Playstation containing the Singstar series of video games began to revolutionize parties, events and family environments to a new entertainment level. People would come out of their shell and belt out favourites from popular artists such as Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Queen and all in the safety of our own living room. The popularity and ease of use (if you didn’t know the words you could just hum in tune to play), gave the series immediate success and numerous titles followed to cover its unbiased demographic with the most recent title being a dedication to 70’s icons ABBA. Whether critical audience member or budding high score singer it was this concept that would further the ideas between the fusion of games and music.

That was, however, what seemed like a decade ago in 2004. Here now in the glorious future of 2009 we can sing along with a larger variety of songs, and additionally play surrogate instruments to accompany the actual songs. With the inclusion of games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, we are now able to live vicariously through rock songwriters and choose our weapon of musical destruction with choices of guitar, bass, drums or your own vox (vocals). By taking the complexity of a real instrument down to mere nuts and bolts, even the most musically inept user can sound like a rock god. For example, the life-sized guitar-shaped controller (that sits around your neck for added realism) is manipulated by 5 different coloured buttons, a ‘strum’ button and whammy bar. It is within this design and musical content that the success of these gaming products has been so well received. In an almost hypnotizing display, indicators show the player when to hit the appropriate button to accompany the song, subsequently showing your success at the end of the song with “YOU ROCK!!!”, or your demise part way through with “YOU SUCK!!!”

This begs further questioning about the future of both industries as now kids seem more likely to pick up a video game than an actual instrument, and as a result numerous outlooks are possible. Back in my day I would escape into the world of video games by controlling a pizza pie (sans a slice) around a maze of edible ‘dots’ while being chased by ghosts (a.k.a. Pacman), or challenge myself by attempting to make ‘lines’ from various shaped blocks that fell from the sky (a.k.a. Tetris). Accompanying these were the sounds of munching on dots (which actually sounded more like a frogs ‘ribbit’), and a compelling Russian tune that would grow in intensity as it got faster. These will never escape my memory. With this in mind, the advancement finds me curious to the ongoing social experiment at hand, with humanity as the guinea pigs. Back then, if given the same games as today, would my young inquisitive mind been more likely to pick up a real guitar, or play a drum set, or perhaps want to sing? If the end result was the same after practice, then most likely, or would I remain a subject of this easily distracted environment and want the immediate gratification as a video game ‘muso’ (musician)?

Similarly, the transition from gamer to musician has given people on either side of the industry mixed ideas about the combination. Although the games emulate the actual songs the artists themselves find the transition difficult to manage due to their musical knowledge base on an actual instrument. For example, after first playing the games   Trent Resnor from the band Rage Against The Machine notes “This is the first time I’ve had an 11 year old beat me… at my OWN song!” Likewise in reverse, a solid gamer would undoubtedly find it hard to pick up a real guitar and perform as he or she has just prior on the game.

So, will this future of music lead toward the actual demise of the professional musicianship? Or, will it further fuel the desire of expression between young and old alike to actually invest in a relationship with one if not many chosen instruments. Herein lies the dilemma of the more persuasive virtual future and our current societal lower attention span that develops needs of instant gratification. Similarly, will games take over concerts and have ‘professional gamers’ onstage showing how good they really are at pressing buttons via someone elses music? Or will the games evolve so much that you can assemble a thirty piece orchestra with your friends to accompany an evening event for example a wedding. As with the future, limits are only what we put on them and if there are none then these and many other ideas will certainly flourish, lets just hope that the creativity will be at the foremost part so people can continue to communicate with the world through their own preferred medium.

 


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Comments (20)

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Srassy NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Tuesday 13 Jan 2009 7:27 PM Posted by Srassy
It's shames me to say but when I was a young midget I would play games muted. I missed out on some awesome tunes back in the day. :(
 
 
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Orgo
On Tuesday 13 Jan 2009 8:01 PM Posted by Orgo
"life-sized guitar-shaped controller"
not quite, but close. Otherwise, spot on :)

I truly hope that real instruments don't become obsolete next to the wonders of technology...
 
 
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Goku
On Tuesday 13 Jan 2009 8:36 PM Posted by Goku
I seriously doubt that video games are going to change the face of music..
 
 
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Ruptunex
On Tuesday 13 Jan 2009 10:26 PM Posted by Ruptunex
I don't think it would either. It may influence some music but it won't change the face of music.
 
 
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ChatterboxZombie
On Tuesday 13 Jan 2009 11:37 PM Posted by ChatterboxZombie
As long as there are techno rave mixes and Caramell Dansen, i will game on.

Nst nst nst nst nst nst.
 
 
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Gazza22 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Wednesday 14 Jan 2009 9:15 AM Posted by Gazza22
Just because it relates to the topic at hand.
I played Guitar Hero for the first time the other day and now I can finally see what all the fuss is about.
 
 
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BobGodson
On Wednesday 14 Jan 2009 10:06 AM Posted by BobGodson
My younger sister began learning the guitar after playing guitar hero. I doubt she would of taken that step had she not played the game first.
Good blog, reasonably well written and f**king amazing picture. 5 stars =)
 
 
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Chris Redfield NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Wednesday 14 Jan 2009 11:02 AM Posted by Chris Redfield
Trent Resnor from Rage Against the Machine?
 
 
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Koopa18 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Wednesday 14 Jan 2009 12:30 PM Posted by Koopa18
14 January 2009, 11:02 AM Reply to Chris Redfield
Trent Resnor from Rage Against the Machine?
Haha. Awesome.
 
 
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Anthony
On Wednesday 14 Jan 2009 2:25 PM Posted by Anthony
tl;dr
 
 
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SuperKeizChain NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Wednesday 14 Jan 2009 5:53 PM Posted by SuperKeizChain
Well done to Chris Redfield and Koopa18 for actually readin' the whole thing throu and solving the mystery quiz! The correct answer is actually is Tom Morello, whom is a boss in the game and admits to being 'not much of a gamer'. Nicely done guys, your grand prize of audience satisfaction to all who read about it is wingin' its way to you!
 
 
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puppydogtails
On Wednesday 14 Jan 2009 10:50 PM Posted by puppydogtails
Hahahahaha!!! Doesn't resemble pacman......sigh....I am easily entertained.

Never know, it might happen. Thousands attending a sold out concert featuring four teenage boys rocking out on their latest version Guitar Hero.......I can picture it now.......

P.S. Loved the Blog 5 Stars
 
 
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pantomimechicken
On Thursday 15 Jan 2009 10:14 AM Posted by pantomimechicken
Just for the people that don't know Trent Resnor, is Nine Inch Nails.
 
 
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Ruptunex
On Friday 16 Jan 2009 4:30 PM Posted by Ruptunex
15 January 2009, 10:14 AM Reply to pantomimechicken
Just for the people that don't know Trent Resnor, is Nine Inch Nails.
Reznor. If you're gonna say his name, get it rightly spelt. And Who cares if you pretended it was a trick. We all know you f**ked up.
 
 
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SuperKeizChain NZGamer.com VIP VIP
On Saturday 17 Jan 2009 1:55 AM Posted by SuperKeizChain
HA HA HA Who cares? obviously SOMEONE does as the rookie has left a comment... heh heh, no F**k ups here buddy, just good times with people who read blogs....heh heh....hilarious...
 
 
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orbis1357
On Tuesday 20 Jan 2009 1:47 PM Posted by orbis1357
14 January 2009, 10:50 PM Reply to puppydogtails
Hahahahaha!!! Doesn't resemble pacman......sigh....I am easily entertained.

Never know, it might happen. Thousands attending a sold out concert featuring four teenage boys rocking out on their latest version Guitar Hero.......I can picture it now.......

P.S. Loved the Blog 5 Stars
haha i laughed at this

btw nice blog
 
 
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Wozza NZGamer.com VIP VIP Gold
On Tuesday 20 Jan 2009 3:17 PM Posted by Wozza
Then there are games where the music intereacts with the gameplay such as Rez and Every Extend Extra, which both really trance me out.
 
 
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chinaman71 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
On Wednesday 28 Jan 2009 10:19 AM Posted by chinaman71
Pacman = 5Stars
 
 
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Chaos_Strikes
On Sunday 8 Feb 2009 3:20 PM Posted by Chaos_Strikes
pacman!!!
 
 
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Chaos_Strikes
On Monday 16 Feb 2009 3:17 PM Posted by Chaos_Strikes
hahahaha pacman.
 
 
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