In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Ethan Smith covered the popularity of Guitar Hero amongst band members and musicians. It appears as though whether you’re Korn’s John Davis or Nex and his fabulous hair, we all love to rock out to Guitar Hero, frequently looking like idiots and sometimes pissing off our neighbors by playing too loudly.The article talks about John Davis and Korn, along with Rascal Flatts, My Chemical Romance, Incubus, The Donnas, The Day’s Grace, and more who play Guitar Hero. My Chemical Romance actually provided my favorite story, saying:
While My Chemical Romance was holed up at a rented Los Angeles mansion doing pre-production work on their new album, Mr. Bryar and guitarist Ray Toro built a daily ritual around Guitar Hero. Mr Bryar played Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon” on the game, though a massive sound and video system, while his bandmate played along using his actual guitar. Although Mr. Bryar, the drummer, says he can barely play a lick of real guitar, he hit more notes of the song playing his virtual instrument than his bandmate did playing the real thing.
The front page article also had to explain the game to the Wall Street warriors, and did a fairly good job of describing the game. Whenever I read the Wall Street Journal‘s video game articles, they usually do very well, with only an occasional slip-up (i.e. DS is “old tech” for Nintendo), which I had the misfortune of reading in last Thursday’s paper.The Journal tends to screw up whenever it comes to articles about Nintendo, though. In the article from last Thursday, it took them until the seventh paragraph to even mention the Nintendo Wii by name, instead making allusions to it by saying things like “The Nintendo Console” or “Nintendo’s new console”, while mentioning the 360 and PS3 by name earlier on in the piece.Overall, the article is written in a manner that leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I can’t quite pinpoint why. I guess it’s because the article was constantly downplays the Wii, saying that it’ll succeed because it’s “simple”. It just doesn’t seem like they really understand what’s going on too well, and just pick a random reason as the whole key to the Wii’s success. While I understand that the article is praising Nintendo, it just sits badly with me nonetheless. It’s not just this one article either, the Journal always screws up when it comes to Nintendo. It seems to me that print journalism just doesn’t understand gaming that well if they’re not focused on it.Just a personal rant against the WSJ, which is really a fine publication. I like it better than The New York Times or USA Today, actually. Hella expensive, though.