Saturday, January 10, 2009

Guitar Hero

I've been playing guitar for 20 years now. It's an enjoyable skill, and I'm pretty good at it. Then along came Guitar Hero and reduced the value of developing an 'actual' skill on an 'actual' guitar to a virtual mockery in the form of a game.

There. My cynicism about that aspect of Guitar Hero is officially done.

A few days ago, I played Guitar Hero for the first time and had a lot of fun! Mind you, it was a tad confusing for me when I was following along with the scrolling dots playing a Metallica song I can actually play, and my fingers wanted to play the song for real. Needless to say, there were a lot of misplaced (even though they were properly placed for really playing the song) fingers.

But then this morning, while I was reading an article about some Gospel singers making a convention for the Superbowl (cough, gag, sputter, spew), I came across this advertisement -- Why, dear God? Why?

Yes, that's right: Guitar Hero has been Christianized. Now, instead of having to listen to those evil, nasty, satanic, and godless rock-bands, you can listen to the good, peaceful, godly, and worldless rock-bands. And all-the-while you'll be tapping four fingers over five fret-buttons, developing the same gaming capacities but without the possibility of cognitive dissonance from exposure to other creative human endeavours.

Oh, and let's not forget the appeal to pity in the advertisement for Guitar Praise: the wee 'uns so happily rockin' it out without the parental discomforts of CGI rock stars, and their studded shoulder pads. But don't worry, you can still send your hyper-Christianized kids to public school where they'll get a first class education in pornography, drugs, anti-Christian ideas, negative peer attachments, outcome based learning, and evil rock music.

9 comments:

toshido said...

"you can still send your hyper-Christianized kids to public school where they'll get a first class education in pornography, drugs, anti-Christian ideas, negative peer attachments, outcome based learning, and evil rock music."

Funny, I don't remember the porn classes. You the home ec section about rolling doobies and the shop class about building bongs. i was never once taught that Christianity was wrong in school.
Peers are present whether you are in public, private or even home school.
Outcome based learning sounds reasonable to me. Based on the words and no actual research mind you.
When I endeavour to teach my children something I am aimed at an outcome. If I teach them to read, I want the outcome to be that they can read. Is that so wrong?

now that I am done the comments about public school now on about the Guitar Hero main subject.

This is not a Christian venture, this is a financial one. It is simply a company looking to profit from an untapped niche market. Smart marketing if you ask me.
Remember money makes the world turn. As unfortunate as that is.

toshido said...

One more you may like. There are GH clones out there for real guitars.
Now nothing about them other then they exist...

Craig said...

Guitar Praise sounds like a great idea! Homeschooling, not so much.
lol

Christopher said...

"Funny, I don't remember the porn classes. You the home ec section about rolling doobies and the shop class about building bongs. i was never once taught that Christianity was wrong in school."

Seems you either missed the irony of the post, or chose to ignore it.

"Peers are present whether you are in public, private or even home school."

Yes, but that's not what I was talking about, is it? I wasn't talking about whether peers are present or not. I was referring to a very specific thing: negative peer attachment. Or as other's call it, Peer attachment disorder. That's a very differnt thing than stating that people have peers.

"Outcome based learning sounds reasonable to me. Based on the words and no actual research mind you."

Thank you for your honesty. If you haven't researched it, does it make sense to even begin an evaluation of it?

"This is not a Christian venture, this is a financial one. It is simply a company looking to profit from an untapped niche market. Smart marketing if you ask me.
Remember money makes the world turn. As unfortunate as that is."


Exactly my point! That was the irony in the article. Of course it's not 'Christian' but you'd be surprised how many people out there believe music made by Christians therefore means sacred, or Christian music. Given that the focus of the game is to play a virtual guitar to 'Christian' music, I can almost guarantee you that there are a good number of people out there who would conclude that it is a Christian game, a sanctified, holy game.

My article was a stab against that mentality. And the comments about public schooling was to point out the inconsistency that some of these people no doubt live: my child can't listen to secular (worldly) music, or play secular games; but they can attend a governmental school where any number of bad influences can freely affect them from day-to-day. In other words, if you're going to apply censorship to entertainment, why wouldn't you go so far as to apply censorship to something that is supposed to be foundational to your child's mental and social health?

Christopher said...

"One more you may like. There are GH clones out there for real guitars.
Now nothing about them other then they exist..."


Yep. I've heard that, too. Like you though, I know nothing more about them. So until I do, I really have nothing to say about them.

Christopher said...

"Guitar Praise sounds like a great idea! Homeschooling, not so much.
lol"


I think Guitar Praise is a cheap idea. If you want to have music written by Christians for Guitar Hero, simply make an extension pack. But to package it under an entirely different name, as if it'll somehow take on a different dimension... nonsense!

Do care to offer any support for your view on homeschooling?

Craig said...

oh man... it looks like we're finally starting to find our polemic....

Homeschooling is a difficult argument to win because everyone is different and will react differently to their nurturing environment, so obviously it's not cut and dry. I think we would have to start by at least agreeing that there would be some percentage of people who would benefit more from homeschooling and some percentage that would benefit more from the public system. Regardless of the side that we take, we have to allow that for some people in some situations the other would for some reason or other be better.
Personally, if someday we are blessed with a child, my first choice would be french immersion, but my wife's would be public school.
My argument? well, I agree that the system is screwed up, but it's not as screwed up as it could be. You have to choose what you're going to shelter a child from and what you aren't. It's like in youth ministry, there is a balance between protecting and mobilizing. There are extreme examples, but for the most part, the current status quo of public school is still in the range of what I would rather have a child learn to survive in rather than protect them from. Homeschooling isn't perfect either and they have to take care of themselves in a fallen screwed up world someday.

Christopher said...

"oh man... it looks like we're finally starting to find our polemic..."

I'm not sure we have, Craig. I suppose I could stand my ground against your perspective, but I'm not sure it would do either of us very well. The reason: because your comments reflect a serious lack of research. If you looked into educational philosophies, statistics and percentages on the benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling and public schooling, the intended outcomes of public schooling, the actual outcomes of homeschooling, the egregious myth of 'socialization', the origins of public schooling, the historical precedence for children being educated within their families, and the definition of education, then we would find ourselves in an evenly paced polemic. But until then, I think we would find ourselves arguing semantics, and talking past each other.

I will take you up on a couple of things, however.

First, you stated the following:

" I agree that the system is screwed up, but it's not as screwed up as it could be."

The logic here is dead. Admitting that something is in error but not as full of error as it could be, points out one thing: that that thing is in error. Period. You are saying that you would subject your children to error purposefully because it's not as much error as it could potentially have. There are 9 levels of hell in Dante's Inferno: would you be willing to send someone (given that you ever could) to just the 8th level so as to keep them from the fulness of hell? In the absence of any decent churches, would you send your child to a benign cult because the church of satan down the street is a little too much?

The point is that willingly exposing your children to something you know is in serious error is an act of negligence at best; it is malice and abusive at worst. It's kind of like doing nothing when you know that your spouse is abusing your child.

"You have to choose what you're going to shelter a child from and what you aren't."

Absolutely. I totally agree. One of those things that I wish more parents would shelter their kids from is public school. On the other hand, you'll find, if you do your research, that most homeschoolers don't homeschool to segregate their children; they do it because it simply makes more sense for their families.

"Homeschooling isn't perfect either and they have to take care of themselves in a fallen screwed up world someday."

I agree. Which is why children should be educated at home, under the loving scrutiny of their parents. Thrusting a child out the door at 3, 4, or 5 (whatever you choose) so they can go learn to deal with a "fallen screwed up world" just makes the "someday" come quicker than the ability to deal with it.

What we can agree on also, is that "some percentage of people... would benefit more from homeschooling and some,,, would benefit more from the public system." Children whose home lives are abusive would do much better being rushed off to school 5 days a week than stay at home for more abuse. But I only advocate that as a form of babysitting; the education those children will receive is still beneath them.

stephy said...

I think Guitar Praise is...an interesting concept.