Virtual vs. Real (on the Wii & Guitar Hero III)

I bought the Nintendo Wii a few monthes ago after reading Steven Johnson‘s account of the Tennis game in Wii, which redefines the experience of playing virtual games. Since then I saw my family playing dozens of games & joined them on weekends, along with all of our friends & family. We never become tired of these games, as you never become tired of playing real sport with friends, or real fun social games. Last month we bought the best game yet, Guitar Hero III, & since then I saw my wife performing in rock concerts every night.

Whenever she’s playing a nice song, it’s terribly resisting to try it too (last night I played the full Metalica’s One, in medium level though) – the feeling of performing & playing is just so real! You hear your playing (when you miss a note it isn’t heard, you also hear when you’re off-key, & the dancing audience reacts well to both bad playing & excellent one (especially rock star gestures like tilting the guitar).

I never dreamed my wife (a serious mother) would be interestd in learning to play electric guitar & myself (a guy with musical taste stuck in the baroque period) enjoying Metalica & Rolling Stones… Is it characteristic of virtual games – that they let you experience things you never did & wish to do them in real life? The problem there is no real need to do them in real life.

I hope I’m not getting too virtual – need to join this Saturday a car envoy to the sieged town some 80KM south of my town, to protest the collective punishment there, causing people to be out of electricity & food, in the middle of the winter. (Shocked? that’s how “interesting” the ugly place I live in)


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