Guitar Hero Culture
On March 14, 2008, Chris Chike was transformed from mere mortal to a rock god. The 16-year-old from Rochester, Minn., snatched the "Guitar Hero III" world record for the highest score on a single song with 840,647 points earned on the track "Through Fire and Flames." During the performance, Chike stared intently at the screen, as though possessed by the spirit of rock 'n' roll while fans and media crowded around him. His fingers whizzed across the fret buttons as his thumb gyrated up and down on the strum bar. At the end of the song, the Guitar Hero replied succinctly, "You Rock."
Interestingly, the half a million YouTube hits of Chike's accomplishment pales in comparison to the 7.4 million views of "Conrad the Great" and the 4 million of 9-year-old Ben Eberle battling the same song. Indeed, the prevalence of Guitar Hero-related videos on YouTube -- and the astounding number of people who have watched them -- perhaps represents the most solid proof of the cultural obsession with this game. Bars now host Guitar Hero nights, and many a partygoer has joined a hypnotized throng of Guitar Hero addicts. The message board on the official Web site recorded more than 111,000 comments about the release of "Guitar Hero III." ScoreHero.com now allows players to publish their own scores to see how they match up to the rest of the world.
Then, there are the tournaments. If you live in a large metropolitan area, chances are, there's a Guitar Hero tournament scheduled nearby. RedOctane, the Guitar Hero creators, sponsors a number of tournaments through Beaguitarhero.com. Some tournies are for pure competition, while others may have charity tie-ins. If anything, these events take the winners beyond virtual victory and put them in front of real people. In this sense, tournaments may be the closest Guitar Hero prodigies get to true rock 'n' roll fame.
With the success of Guitar Hero and its rival Rock Band, rhythm-based video games have set a new standard for entertainment. Rockers of the world, rejoice.
For more information about Guitar Hero, check out the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
More Great Links
- Activision. "'Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock' Instruction Booklet." 2007. (March 24, 2008) http://www.guitarhero.com/static/about
- Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers. "Games: They're Playing Our Songs." Playback. Summer 2004. (March 24, 2008) http://www.ascap.com/playback/2004/summer/games.html
- Brandweek. "Look Ma, No Strings." Feb. 18, 2008. (March 24, 2008)
- Browne, Nicole. "Rock 'Hero' Worship." Billboard. Feb. 9, 2008. (March 24, 2008)
- Caulfield, Ben. "Guitar Hero Rules!" Forbes. Feb. 24, 2008. (March 24, 2008) http://www.forbes.com/2008/02/24/top-video-games-tech-personal-cx_bc_0224topgame.html
- Dobson, Jason. "Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk getting in-game ad treatment." Joystiq. Nov. 14, 2007. (March 26, 2008) http://www.joystiq.com/2007/11/14/guitar-hero-tony-hawk-getting-in-game-ad-treatment/
- Economist. "World of dealcraft." Dec. 8, 2007. (March 24, 2008)
- French, Rose. "Gibson sues retailers over 'Guitar Hero'." USA Today. Associated Press. March 22, 2008. (March 26, 2008) http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2008-03-21-gibson-guitar-hero_N.htm
- Gamasutra. "Exploring Guitar Hero III's Patent Secrets." Oct. 26, 2007. (March 24, 2008) http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16014
- GameSpot. "Guitar Hero III Record Goes Up in Flames." March 14, 2008. (March 24, 2008) http://www.gamespot.com/pages/news/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=26288405
- Johnson, Stephen. "'Guitar Hero III' Announces Tie-Ins." G4. Oct. 24, 2007. (March 26, 2008) http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/680288/Guitar_Hero_III_Announces_TieIns.html
- Knutson, John. "Plotting Notes on the Highway." GameSpot. Aug. 31, 2007. (March 24, 2008) http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/puzzle/guitarheroiii/news.html?page=1&sid=6177993
- Kohler, Chris. "Facing Stiff Competition, 'Guitar Hero III' Cranks Gameplay to 11." Wired Magazine. Oct. 26, 2007. (March 24, 2008) http://www.wired.com/gaming/gamingreviews/news/2007/10/guitarhero
- Kohler, Chris. "'New Blood' Helped Guitar Hero Development. Wired Blog Network. Oct. 26, 2007. (March 24, 2008) http://blog.wired.com/games/2007/10/guitar-hero-i-1.html
- Kuchera, Ben. "Guitar Hero: The $1 Billion Game by the Numbers." Ars Technica. Jan. 21, 2008. (March 21, 2008) http://arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.ars/2008/01/21/guitar-hero-the-1-billion-game-by-the-numbers
- Kuchera, Ben. "Rock and Roll isn't something you do, it's something you are." Ars Technica. Oct. 30, 2007. (March 21, 2008) http://arstechnica.com/reviews/games/review-guitar-hero-3.ars
- Kuchera, Ben. "Songs included in Guitar Hero 3 see a dramatic leap in digital music sales. Nov. 21, 2007. (March 24, 2008) http://arstechnica.com/reviews/games/review-guitar-hero-3.ars
- Manjoo, Farhad. "How 'Guitar Hero' Saved Music." Salon. Aug. 15, 2007. (March 25, 2008) http://machinist.salon.com/feature/2007/08/15/guitar_hero/
- McBride, Gareth. "Jeff Masushita, Executive Producer at RedOctane Talks Guitar Hero 3 Legends of Rock." Associated Content. Oct. 26, 2007. (March 25, 2008) http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/423680/jeff_matsushita_executive_producer.html?page=3
- Mullen, Michael. "Creating the Songs Behind Guitar Hero III." GameDaily. Oct. 24, 2007. (March 24, 2008)http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/features/creating-the-songs-behind-guitar-hero-iii/71088/?biz=1
- Navarro, Alex. "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii)." CNET. Oct. 29, 2007. (March 26, 2008) http://reviews.cnet.com/wii-games/guitar-hero-iii-legends/4505-9993_7-32328827.html
- N'Gai, Corey. "They Put a Guitar Hero in Every House." Newsweek. Dec. 31, 2007. (Mach 24, 2008)
- Palmeri, Christopher and Lowry, Tom. "Guitar Hero: More Than a Video Game." Business Week. Oct. 29, 2007.
- Reuters. "Guitar Hero Lawsuit." The New York Times." March 22, 2008. (March 26, 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/22/business/22guitar.html?ref=technology
- Rusli, Evelyn. "Notes of Discord for Guitar Hero." Forbes. March 13, 2008. (March 24, 2008) http://www.forbes.com/media/2008/03/13/guitar-hero-videogames-tech-personal-cx_er_0313guitar.html
- Schmidt, Daniel; LoPiccolo, Gregory B.; Egozy, Eric. "Game Controller Simulating a Musical Instrument." US Patent Application 11/683,136. March 7, 2007. (March 24, 2008) http://www.google.com/patents?id=lfWgAAAAEBAJ&dq=game+controller+simulating+a+musical+instrument
- Snider, Mike. "We will, we will rock you." USA Today. Dec. 18, 2007. (March 24, 2008)
- Yoshitomi, Kensuke; Omori, Takahiro; Miyauchi, Fumihito. "Game System and Computer-Readable Recording Medium." United States 6,347,998. Feb. 19, 2002. (March 25, 2008) http://www.google.com/patents?id=66wJAAAAEBAJ&dq=game+system+and+computer-readable+recording+medium