Guitar Hero is to robots, as Wii Music is to musicians

Editor’s note: We know it’s difficult for Jack to realize that Nintendo is on the verge of releasing its second Virtual Boy this fall in the form of Wii Music, but we’ll let him play devil’s advocate just this once.

Apologies in advance, but I’m not going to give up on this title until I play experience the final product. Why? Because, as we learn more about it, and the knee-jerk, obtuse reaction to E3 begins to wear off, it’s quickly being revealed as a pretty ingenious effort on Miyamoto’s part. I’m not the only one who seems to think so, either. Here’s another take on genius of Wii Music, and why comparisons to Guitar Hero and other rhythm games are startlingly incorrect.

This is why musicians love Wii Music while everyone else is confused about it. “You cannot mess up!” squeal the hardcore. But the purpose of music is not to play notes. Is the novelist about writing sentences and grammar? No, it is about writing stories. If it was writing, instead of music, then the rhythm games would be ”˜grammar games’ set to people’s favorite stories, and an actual ‘story game’ would be what WiiMusic is where sentences and grammar are no longer ”˜issues’. Imagine if acting was seen as nothing more than ‘saying lines’. How an actor would be horrified by that definition! And how guilty we would be if we believed it! Acting is far more than rote memorization. So why are ”˜music’ games seen this way? It is because they are not music games at all. Even children instinctively realize this until their joy is trampled by mediocre teachers to ”˜not make mistakes’ and to ”˜make notes’.

Maybe I’m warming to this title more and more because I’m a musician. Maybe the initial reception was poor because, as Malstrom suggests, the people playing it were trying to play notes, and not make music (it’s something you learn about early on in the music space). I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that the closer we get to this Blue Ocean title, the deeper it appears to be.