Gameworld: New music video games really teach wannabe rockers

Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:14am EDT
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By John Gaudiosi

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The success of video games for wannabe rockers has prompted a new wave of music games -- ones that actually teach players how to really play music.

Harmonix, the game developer that created the first two Activision "Guitar Hero" games and now works on MTV Games' "Rock Band" franchise, has put musical instruction in its latest game.

"Rock Band 3" introduces a new Pro mode that helps players move from rhythm gameplay to actually developing real-life musical skills on the keyboard, drums and guitar.

"Featuring instrument-specific instruction on everything from theory to hand positioning to chording, 'Rock Band 3' lets interested players start to gain real-life instrument technique while having fun at the same time," said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder, Harmonix.

"We've worked with (guitar company) Fender and the Berklee College of Music to help strengthen and validate our work."

The game also supports three expansion cymbals for its drum set, introduces a keyboard to the band, and works with a number of new hybrid guitar controllers that double as actual guitars.

Harmonix and guitar company Fender collaborated on a real guitar controller that allows gamers to plug the guitar into an amplifier and simultaneously rock to the video game's soundtrack.

New game developer Seven45 Studios is introducing more than a real guitar controller with "Power Gig: Rise of the SixString."   Continued...

<p>French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand (C) plays Guitar Hero 5 game during the video game show in Paris September 17, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau</p>