07:49 11 September 2009
At first, many guitarists were convinced the concept was a bad idea. Recently ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman has showed his disdain for example, but the video game industry obviously knew there was more to it than that.
For the few who may not be familiar with the gaming revolution that is 'Guitar Hero', 'Rock Band' and various other titles, it's simple. Combining two much loved activities - karaoke and air guitar, gamers play their instrument by following a series of colour touch demands as chords.
These games bring out the rock star within, that even avid guitar players can't deny after they have had a little dabble.
But what initially began as a play along guitar game has spiralled out into allowing players to transform their front room into a stage, complete with drums, bass, microphone and of course a guitar.
Despite the recession, this category of video games is thriving. In 2007 for the first time, 'Guitar Hero' and 'Rock Band' made £100m more profit between them than all digital music sales from iTunes and its ilk.
The 'Guitar Hero' name made a staggering $830m profit in 2007 a record for any gaming franchise.
But it's not just the game that is making the money. The bands whose songs feature in these games are also feeling a pleasant revival of their music.The dual release of the Beatles' remastered back catalogue and their Rock Band title is one prime example.
The fab four hope to bridge the gap between their old, established fans and the potential for new ones from a digital age. Their Rock Band game allows for the player to download full albums such as 'Abbey Road' for the first time.
Previously (due to a dispute between The Beatles' Apple Corps and the similar-named Apple computers, and resistance from EMI), the band have not allowed their music to be downloaded on iTunes for example. The game is a handy loophole that gets around this, and it benefits the fans, not just the bigwigs. This download market is still rather new, but incredibly lucrative.
For example, 80s glam rockers Motley Crue now sell more music through Guitar Hero than music downloads. Swedish pop sensations Abba and Queen both have game titles.
With this gaming revolution there is a number of forgotten records that have been ruthlessly revived following their success/difficulty/popularity as a 'Guitar Hero' title.
Revived rock lost before 'Guitar Hero'
'Through Fire and Flames' by Dragonforce. After a nine-year-old boy showed-off his 'Guitar Hero' skills on YouTube and received 11.5 million views, the original Dragonforce video has been watched more than a million times. With 3,722 notes and at 10 and a half minutes long, it's one of the most difficult tracks to master on the game.
'Painkiller' by Judas Priest. Deemed as being one of the most finger burning difficult tracks on 'Guitar Hero'.
'California Uber Alles' by Dead Kennedys. This was already a favourite with games familiar with Tony Hawk's 'American Wasteland' but the track has been introduced to the masses through 'Guitar Hero'.
'Carry On Wayward Son' by Kansas. With brilliant lyrics, challenging drum rhythms and vocals, this track is a seriously enjoyable song to tackle.
'My Name is Jonas' by Weezer. With textbook air guitar to ease gamers in at the start for two minutes then building up into the climax - it's perfect to rock along to.
What is truly incredible about this genre is that it allows gaming to become more of a social activity and brings together a generation gap through music, with families and friends getting together and rocking out, live in their own living rooms.
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