In which the author becomes part of a global phenomenon: Guitar Hero!

Having a Wii suddenly appear in our house when our daughter returned home from school has opened my eyes to the video gaming phenomenon.

Ana bought herself a Wii and a used television at the end of the semester to give herself a reward for surviving a very challenging year at McGill. It turns out she is a gamer, and had long desired to have a gaming system. This is not something that we provided over the years, although some computer games have drifted through the household. She decided to fulfill her desires herself.

Since then, I have begun to learn about the mysteries of Metroid and Zelda. All I have done is watch, however - until she brought home Guitar Hero, on loan from our son's household. I had to try this one.

I suck, of course, but it is early in the learning curve. I have created my own band, The Debits, and passed one song, Slow Ride by Foghat. I even got into the groove for a few minutes. To succeed, you have to go into a meditational state where you respond to the note symbols flowing towards you without thinking about what you have to do next. I've also watched Ana tackle some songs. She has already moved up into medium territory, where you have to be pretty fast.

The biggest surprise for me is an increased appreciation of hard rock music. These songs by Poison, Metallica, and other bands who I do not often hear, are quite intricately put together. There are lots of complex rhythms and sounds. The people making this music are obviously intelligent folks who play with musical texture and layers of sound.

To me, this is the most fun part of the experience - not pushing buttons on a fake guitar, but seeing more deeply into a type of music from which I have held myself apart.

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