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"It's sad that kids learn about music via games"

"It's sad that kids learn about music via games"

White Stripes singer Jack White claims to be saddened that children learn about music through games nowadays.

White Stripes frontman Jack White has commented that he finds it saddening that children are learning about music mostly through computer games nowadays, though that hasn't stopped him from signing his tunes to games like Guitar Hero.

Speaking to NME recently White implied that there was a lot of pressure on bands to try and get their music into games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero.

"It's depressing to have a label come and tell you that [Guitar Hero] is how kids are learning about music and experiencing music," said White, who claimed that although he tries not to dictate the format that music is presented to audiences in he is a little saddened that the music has to be put into a game for some groups.

Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page echoed the comments and said that he was frustrated by it all as games like Guitar Hero really didn't teach players anything about the music or the level of commitment it requires from some musicians.

"You think of the drum part that John Bonahm did on Led Zeppelin's first track on the first album, Good Times Bad Times. How many drummers in the world can play that part, let alone on Christmas morning?"

Of course, that hasn't stopped either artist from signing up to include their music in music games though - both have got music appearing in the upcoming Guitar Hero 5.

Do you think videogames detract from the intrinsic worth of music as it's own medium or are you to busy rocking out with a plastic guitar to consider such things? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

35 Comments

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mjm25 24th June 2009, 13:34 Quote
it's a pretty empty statement, how does anyone hear music for the first time? usually by accident or from their parents or peers.

people aren't born with their taste in music (probably) and who's to say they won't hear a track, discover its origin and go and buy albums, look up the band etc?
capnPedro 24th June 2009, 13:44 Quote
Some people are able to play musical instruments, and some people are literally so naturally ungifted that the only thing they'll be able to manage is Guitar Hero. That's better than having nothing, IMO.
Whalemeister 24th June 2009, 13:56 Quote
I don't see their problem here, if it's getting their music exposure to an audience that they otherwise would have missed that can only be a good thing for them.

Quit whining and enjoy the money!!
Mr Flibbles 24th June 2009, 13:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm25
it's a pretty empty statement, how does anyone hear music for the first time? usually by accident or from their parents or peers.

people aren't born with their taste in music (probably) and who's to say they won't hear a track, discover its origin and go and buy albums, look up the band etc?

I agree, I found out about the Senses Fail from Guitar hero, did a bit of research, got one of their ablums and now listening to it regularly. I also find music from films - i got into Stoned Temple Pilots from watching the Crow,

nowadays the music industry are "losing money" through pirates, and music channels imo are playing the same thing over and over, The way I find out about music is from my peers, friends, watching films etc.

most bands these days will "sell out" (and I use that expression lightly), and try and get themselves out into the world by any means necessary, be that in games, which is a multi billion pound/dollar franchise. If you only used CD's and charts, your band might not be as big as you might think if you didnt use other forms of media.

but thats my opinion.
Paradigm Shifter 24th June 2009, 14:22 Quote
Typo alert - it's John Bonham... not Bonahm. ;)
Ending Credits 24th June 2009, 14:41 Quote
So what if I find about some bands through GH?

Much of my favourite bands are quite niche anyway.
tank_rider 24th June 2009, 14:43 Quote
I find most of my music through mountain biking films. Why does it matter? I agree with Fibbles, it doesn't matter where you hear about music from. To say it detracts from the whole music experience I also think is rubbish, all games, no matter what they genre are a lot easier than the real thing, whether it be shooting someone in an FPS, racing a car round a track or playing the latest tracks in Guitar Hero. It can only be a good thing for music in general as it will serve to encourage youngsters playing the games to try playing the real thing and creating their own music, once the boredom of only being able to play someone else's music kicks in.
Rexxie 24th June 2009, 14:45 Quote
I don't get it. What's so bad about it?
Would it be better to hear the music from a friend who is playing the CD? How?
Just cause I can play the song on guitar hero does not mean I respect the musician less. Guitar Hero - Metallica is awesome, and I still think Kirk is a bad ass guitarist.

+ I've found 3 or 4 new bands that I listen to through Guitar Hero, if anything it's just opening my eyes to more music.
k4p84 24th June 2009, 14:55 Quote
Kids might actually play rock band, like the idea of playing an instrument and actually go out buy one and learn it. Shock horror they could start to make there own music in time......
naokaji 24th June 2009, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Of course, that hasn't stopped either artist from signing up to include their music in music games though

So they should both just STFU and enjoy the money they make of it.
Veles 24th June 2009, 15:16 Quote
I think musicians need to realise guitar hero is a game and not a guitar simulator.

For every musician who slates it there's one who loves it. Zack Wylde wanted one of his songs in the first rock band when he heard about it and made them put it in, Primus liked the idea so much they allowed them to use their original recording back in GH2 when all the others had to be done as covers.
Joeymac 24th June 2009, 15:18 Quote
I thought the drumming part of these games was actually fair representative of real drumming? There are some amazing videos on youtube where they have a real kit and a rockband/GHWT kit synced up and it's hit for hit. So isn't the part of Good times bad times on expert the same just with less drums to hit?
Mr Flibbles 24th June 2009, 15:34 Quote
I do play the drums and haven't tried this game yet, I want to cause I cant' play on my kit all the time cause of the neighbours........dont people appreciate good music these days....lol
Hovis 24th June 2009, 15:57 Quote
Once they sign up to do these games they kill any credibility they have to criticise them to be honest. I mean it's not like these folks aren't already rich, they could say no to the money if it was a legitimate matter of principle to them. But no, they'll take the money. So what are they saying, "This is bad, but we'll still be a part of it, because you can never have enough millions!!"?

If you ever find yourself stuck for a textbook example of what selling out is, I think this article pretty much nails it.
yakyb 24th June 2009, 16:33 Quote
i agree with them

the first time i heard CKY was watching the OLD landspeed / CKY2k vids and it gave me a real understanding of the band and what their lives where like and i could very much relate to things that where going on in my life at the time .

its what annoys me when people dance around when smells like teen spirit comes on the radio / bar and they go i love this song yet know nothing of the artist / band / lyrics

same can perhaps be said for Creep by radiohead (basically any great song that has crossed into more mainstream)

now to appease some of you here i'm going to mention that there is nothing wrong in just enjoying the song
but GH seems to fail to perhaps portray the meaning of the Song accross to the audience but hey they would never have heard the song otherwise

right im sticking the Backyard Babies back on
Lepermessiah 24th June 2009, 16:34 Quote
Nothing wrong with it, just another avenue to discover music, he makes it seem like that is the only way kids learn about music, which is bull. Get with the times JACK.
Aracos 24th June 2009, 17:57 Quote
They don't have a leg to stand on really, I found lots of bands I now listen to regularly thanks to RB and GH and I don't respect the members any less by playing their music and the skill you need to play it. For example I listen to deep purple a lot and some of the drum solo's are out of this world, making me wonder how it is possible to hit drums that quick and change which drum to hit repeatedly, I know stuff like that would NEVER be on a GH or RB game because it would be far too hard to play with the lack of drum heads and lack of skill. Same for guitar solo's, when I play them it's very rare I actually think "Wow it's like playing the real thing" because I know it's not and it's no where near as hard as the real thing :)
wafflesomd 24th June 2009, 18:39 Quote
He sounds like a self righteous douche bag.
[PUNK] crompers 24th June 2009, 18:53 Quote
i think they're missing the point slightly to be honest, GH isnt a way to learn music, its a game based around music.

and if you hear a track on a film, from a friend or in a game, does that really matter? i think not
badders 24th June 2009, 18:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the article

Jack White...Jimmy Page

Who?
toyomatt84 24th June 2009, 19:28 Quote
As for the comment Jack White had, it's difficult to hear all sorts of music on the radio, when you have no control over what gets played. It's even more difficult if you live in a region that's not terribly diverse in culture, so the music that does gets played is only chart toppers for the masses (99% of which is garbage music). GH/RB give people a way to experience new music, given that the content is diverse and robust. I personally have found at least a dozen bands that I listen to now on a regular basis, just by playing Rock Band. I cannot say the same for most other venues for music.

As for Jimmy Page; I find myself perplexed. He comments negatively on the talent required to play a video game, when compared to the real instrument... but seems to neglect that most people who enjoy these games, do it for a challenge. Not everyone can be a rock star, and live a life of fame and fortune. Heck, I've grown infinitely more respectful to musicians that play these challenging instruments, just from the fact that it takes me a while to even play them on a game. In most cases, I can't imagine the real thing to be any easier, so I applaud the effort given to make the sound in real life. Also, it's kind of hard to comment on people replicating your music... when you're completely stingy and never let any of it be used in media or in entertainment, without miles of red tape.
Otto69 24th June 2009, 19:55 Quote
I"m pretty baffled by the initial statement. I first heard classics like the Barber of Seville and the William Tell Overture while watching Bugs Bunny cartoons, and later went on to learn to enjoy classical as well as other forms of music including Country, Pop, Rock, Ska, Reggae, Punk, New Wave, and Jazz.

I like the White Stripes, but I don't consider it great music. It's just pap, er, Pop. Cute drummer though.
thehippoz 24th June 2009, 20:32 Quote
well rock will never be like it was in the late 70's early 80's.. I mean those guys were pushing the limits of what a guitar could do and inventing.. I mean eddie van halen was a freaking genius of his time imo.. and randy rhoades before he died was also one of the greats- to watch their fingers on a guitar was absolutely mind boogling.. it was just a different time :D
HourBeforeDawn 24th June 2009, 20:34 Quote
Well he has a point, I remember in like 4th grade we had a music class and we would learn about music and instruments but I noticed most public schools have dropped education about music which is pretty sad but hey if kids are learning through games then lets make game with a little bit of fun education in them at the same time, sorta like hey you just learned something without knowingit lol.
liratheal 24th June 2009, 20:45 Quote
tbfh, it should not be a shock.

Unless you ask someone already in the know you're not going to get a decent response.

The fact that most of these games are 'spanning the decades' in music means it should be no surprise that people are hearing (and arguably playing along to) songs with band names attached.

It is kinda disappointing that they can't research like we can/do.

It's more depressing, to me, that I'm agreeing with Jack White.
Faulk_Wulf 24th June 2009, 22:20 Quote
Like everyone said: Who cares how you hear it? I learned about A Perfect Circle through Underworld. *shrug*

Also: If you're signing up to be part of the game you're bitching about then just STFU-GTFO. Seriously. Its. just. that. simple. (They would fit into Seether's Fake It song quite nice, tbh.)
jamesthebard 25th June 2009, 02:16 Quote
Wow.

No really, wow. I can't tell how many times I've walked into a Guitar Center (as a bassist) and seen kids picking out guitars and showing a genuine interest in playing them.

So what if people are discovering music through video games. Hell, it's better than the radio of yore...I'd go so far as to say that people are getting more of an idea about how difficult music is to play. It's sad to hear Jack White and Jimmy Page say that. Both are talented musicians, but something has to spark a person's interest in new (to them) music so why not have it be an interactive video game?
BLC 25th June 2009, 08:47 Quote
I think people are missing the key phrase in this quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-article
It's depressing to have a label come and tell you that [Guitar Hero] is how kids are learning about music and experiencing music

Most of us already know that records labels and "the industry" are, by and large, completely out of touch with how people access and enjoy music these days. Even without GH and/or Rock Band, they'd still be out of touch - I don't think that GH was around at the same time as Napster all those years ago.

Besides, others have already made my point - why does it matter how someone finds out about your music? You get a new fan and you & your label still get the royalties from it - everyone wins.
B1GBUD 25th June 2009, 09:53 Quote
GH and RB is just another way for record companies to generate revenue streams for music that is essentially old. They can't go on releasing the same old Greatest hits albums from artists of yesteryear so they have to find alternative ways.

Would I have liked "Wings - Band on the run" before I played it on GH? yes... did I hear it elsewhere before playing it on GH? yes...

I can't honestly say that GH has proved to be the the only place that I've discovered music/artists that I've not heard before. As Tank Rider points out, I've found loads of new artists from Mountain Biking videos such as the New World Disorder series (Blackalicious and Slightly Stoopid spring to mind).

I heard White Stripes music on the "ol wireless" way before the likes of GH.
pizan 25th June 2009, 16:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnPedro
Some people are able to play musical instruments, and some people are literally so naturally ungifted that the only thing they'll be able to manage is Guitar Hero. That's better than having nothing, IMO.

I can't even manage that, sober at least.
jamesthebard 25th June 2009, 22:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pizan
I can't even manage that, sober at least.

Little known fact, it's the booze that powers the awesome when playing GH/RB.
knuck 25th June 2009, 23:54 Quote
i hate when clueless people have the luxury to speak publicly and actually get exposure. Too bad they don't notice they look like asses
logan'srun 26th June 2009, 09:10 Quote
I think what a lot of people are missing from the two comments are you have to take into the age of the artists. Since White is the younger of the two it's easier to just focus on him - his stance is generally that of a person who is nostalgic and reminiscing about his own childhood. He obviously is depressed by the change in technology and feels that the way (perhaps) that he was exposed to music is superior than the way kids are being exposed today. It's an attitude of someone who is getting older. Simple really.

I applaud games like GH and RB - anything to make the obese youth of today get up and do something instead of sitting on the couch, eating crisps and watching Hell's Kitchen should be a plus.
boiled_elephant 3rd July 2009, 03:00 Quote
It's sad that kids discover lo-fi through The White Stripes, too, but what can you do?
BentAnat 3rd July 2009, 11:23 Quote
I believe that they should stop crying and appreciate the extra exposure.
bands like GnR, Led Zep are (much as this saddens me) Has-Beens. My "baby brother" (he's 8) has no cooking clue about who slash is... nor has he ever heard Led Zep.
Seeing that the musical environment we live in changes with every day, i find it great that oldschool rockers still get a chance to shine in the new world, and get their music noticed by the kids.

Let's face it: how many bands have I personally (as a rock/metalhead since i can remember) picked up from radio play? The last i remember is Kittie... and that's only because there was one show that played my kinda music. Nowadays, i didn't know that "all summer long" was a song by Kid rock until i bought the KR album (yesyes... guilty pleasure of mine). Whereas when i play guitar hero, i hear bands like Anoukh (sp?). A band that i knew existed, but had no idea what they sounded like... Same with various other songs from guitar hero.
Hell, i found what is now one of my all time fave bands (A7X) through playing Need For Speed. I sure as hell can't see what's wrong with that. It's another form of distribution, and from a quality perspective, as well as the level of interaction with the song, it beats the crap out of Radio/TV.

For that matter, i know i relate songs to moments/scenes in my life. As such, i have painful memories to Enrique Iglesias (long, sad story... don't ask), Dislike the way i feel when listening to SOAD, and when i hear A7X's Blinded in Chains, my mind goes back to racing a Gallardo with the cops chasing me... good times.
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