Rocksmith : Do we Need a Serious Guitar Game?

Ubisoft is announcing their new guitar game to be released in several months from now: Rocksmith ! They claim that now you will be able to play the game with a real guitar! Looks like a déjà vu as they are not the first company to announce this.

Now unlike most of these companies, UbiSoft has the power to make this real. They are able to make the first serious guitar game! By serious I mainly mean that this could be the first guitar game that might actually teach you how to play guitar! And then I wonder why the hell should they make such a game??

Seriously, do we need a serious guitar game? I mean guitar playing is already a game, isn’t it? So why adding a top layer of video game on the only game that matters: playing the guitar!

Ok… I think you would be right to tell me that if it brings more kids to play guitar then it is not a bad thing!

But aren’t you afraid that:

  • Jamming with the TV will be the 21st century vision of live music?
  • It could mostly give rise to a generation of imitators, and clones instead of creators?

I’m not backward-looking but I really wonder how good it will be for creativity. And the trailers released by Ubisoft are not reassuring me! I mean they are perfectly produced with the right amount of story telling.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sY–R7apIg[/youtube]

Talking about story telling I especially like this second video! A cutie explaining how she improved her guitar skills with the video game… That is not even released yet? Yeah I know: test panels, and stuff but still! I think their story telling is a bit clumsy!

If I sum up the idea, she is saying: I tried to play guitar before but I’ve never had fun! Now, I have so much fun playing guitar with this video game so I might stick to it this time! I have to say that it’s the weirdest line of argument I’ve seen so far! It is all about the game, it is not about playing guitar! Maybe it’s not that clumsy after all… It only depends on which side you are looking.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAP-IvVXoHM[/youtube]

Yeah you might have noticed in the past that I’m not the biggest fan of video games! Actually I have a historical reason for that matter:  about 14 years ago I’ve met the Ubisoft team as they were looking for people with a scientific education to help them write scenarios for some serious games! I didn’t push the experience further for several reasons that I tend to sum up as : my instinct told me that video games won’t last anyway !! That very same instinct that I’m so proud of most of the time was so crappy that day to give me such a bad piece advice! It was a bad advice because it looks like the video game industry is pushing very hard into the serious games field.

Anyway… What do you think about this Rocksmith thingy?

About Sem

I am the founder of Muzicosphere (that also exists in a French version). In 2011, I also created Guitar Fail, the Guitar LOL place to be. And before that I created GAS a GoGo, a gear giveaways blog in French.

10 comments

  1. i hate guitar hero with a passion. the previous guitarist of the band im in used to concentrate more on getting better at guitar hero than he did playin actualy guitar which was a shame as he sucked really bad on the real guitar! eventually they realised that i can play a real guitar and he can only rack up xbox achievements and the band has never sounded better. took them about 2 years to realise though!

  2. I’m sure that it’ll be a hit whether we guitarists love it or hate it.

    But tell me, did anyone every become a racing driver after honing their skills on Gran Tourismo? Or a Sports pro after hours of thumb twiddling with EA sports?

    To be frankly honest, you’ll never become an accomplished player without the experience of jamming with a band, or some face to face time with someone who is, in their own way, teaching you.

  3. @Matt: There’s a huge difference: in Gran Tourismo you don’t drive a real car, in EA Sport Game you don’t use a real basket ball, baseball ball or whatever…With this Ubisoft’s Game, you will use a real guitar, not a controller…
    Thus, i can’t get any différence between playing guitar with this game (guitar + screen + soft) and with a guitar pro tab (guitar + screen + soft), no matter where the guitar is plugged: at the end you’ll get some kind of guitar sound…

  4. Ted, Yep you’re totally right, that’s something that I never thought of.

    I just hope that people don’t get too enthusiastic when jamming with along to a something by The Clash, The Who or The Sex Pistols, and end their set with smashed guitars and destroyed amps!

  5. @ Ted GMG : you got a point but it only works if you are running Guitar Pro or some kind of tabs reader.
    Plug your guitar in the Rocksmith thingy, and just like if you were plugged with GP or having tabs/scores in front you, you are trying to learn / clone a song (call it as you wish).

    But if you don’t have this, then you are improvising or composing or even just noodling around… And that is a big difference!

    I reckon these are 2 very different process i.e. learning Vs creating (or attempting creation), and you have first to learn before you create! What I don’t like with these tools: the fact that it doesn’t emphasize the importance of developing your own guitar personality!

  6. A raison d’une guitare par jour pour apprendre un morceau mon budget bouffe va y passer. Plus sérieusement je ne suis pas sure qu’apprendre la guitare par le jeu soit nuisible à la création musicale. Bien au contraire plus tu t’enrichis de sons, de techniques plus au final tu peux laisser libre cour à ton esprit d’initiative et te laisser aller à créer ou improviser.

  7. Il y a aussi un aspect financier. J’ignore le prix que le jeux va couter mais si en plus il faut acheter une guitare électrique pour débuter, l’addition risque d’être salée. Je doute que des personnes désirant apprendre à jouer qui ont un faible budget se paye se jeux a la place d’une simple gratte classique avec un bon vieux livre.
    à voir

  8. Pour ma part, je pense que ce jeu pourrait donner envie à des jeunes de commencer la guitare.
    Comme un guitar hero, le djeun’s va découvrir des standards du rock ou autre style et va en plus pouvoir apprendre sur sa gratte les morceaux.

    Pour les grattes, t’es pas obligé de filer à ton fils une Les paul d’entrée de jeu, tu peux commencer par moins cher. En plus, c’est pas perdu, car s’il fait trop froid tu la mets dans la cheminé 😉 !

    Sinon, je pense que dans le futur, les cours de gratte pourrait se passer de profs, c’est à dire que l’internaute pourrait brancher sa gratte dans son pc, puis se connecter à un site, puis jouer en live des cours et des partitions et le prof virtuel corrigerait en live les défaut et proposerait des conseils.

    De toute façon, si tu fais gaffe plus on modernise la société, plus l’humain s’isole…mais ça c’est une autre histoire…

    Je vais quand même essayer ce jeu car les guitar hero c’était pas du tout réaliste en tant que guitariste contrairement à la batterie. Là on va pouvoir prendre sa gratte préféré et l’utiliser dans un jeu. L’idée est sympa maintenant il faut voir comment le cable jack/usb retranscrit les bends ou autre bizarrerie que l’on peut faire sur la gratte…

    A voir.

  9. Bon ben voilà Arobase a sorti la guitare qui fonctionne avec guitar pro 6 :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIQJ1I4jsS0&feature=player_embedded

    Je ne sais pas si prof de guitare sera rentable dans les années à venir…

  10. @ Rems : Merci pour le lien… J’en ai carrément fait un billet 😉 et sinon pour rebondir sur la phrase:

    “De toute façon, si tu fais gaffe plus on modernise la société, plus l’humain s’isole…mais ça c’est une autre histoire…”

    Justement je ne crois pas que ce soit une autre histoire… Je crois que c’est carrément le thème central ! J’adore l’innovation, les outils divers et variés mais cette évolution vers plus d’isolement (et je sais de quoi je parle!!) est embêtante quand on parle de musique et de plein d’autres domaines dont le cœur est plutôt l’interaction, l’échange,… !

    Conclusion: faut que je me trouve une groupe !! 🙂

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