I know you’re not going to read this entire article. Who does? You’re a busy guy (or girl, though statistically it’s less likely) and you just don’t have time to sit down and read all 10 of my brilliantly organized and expertly presented facts about Rocksmith. So let me go ahead and get the most important part of this out of the way right now and save you the time: Rocksmith is without a doubt the most amazing product to ever be marketed as a video game. Ever.
Claiming that anything is the best anything is a bold and often unwise decision. But rest assured that it isn’t one that I’m making lightly. Rocksmith takes that title, because it is unlike any game ever made before in every way, and represents the apex of what video games can do for our culture as both entertainment and educational tools.
If you haven’t heard of Rocksmith, it’s a uniquely fashioned “guitar training program” in the spirit of the old Guitar Hero games. However, unlike the highly successful and intensely addictive predecessors, Rocksmith isn’t made just to kill time.
Instead, Rocksmith serves the dual purposes of being fun and actually teaching the person playing it how to play the guitar. And it works. It works so well that the reviewers of Rocksmith haven’t even been gaming magazines. No, the shining praise of this “game” has all come from expert guitar magazines like Gibson magazine or Guitar World, who all talk about Rocksmith as if it were a revolutionary step in the field of musical education.
Now, Rocksmith isn’t for absolute beginners who have never held a guitar before in their lives. It skips several of the fundamentals of how a guitar works. But anyone who has played for a few weeks and at least glanced at a video tutorial online should be able to pick up from where Rocksmith starts.
Myself? I’ve been playing on and off for about 10 years, and played with several actively touring bands. Don’t take that to mean I am a decent guitar player, though. All of those bands were punk bands, and by “playing guitar,” I mean slamming my hand against it a lot. It wasn’t til I bought Rocksmith that I actually started to get good at guitar.
How Rocksmith does this is what makes it amazing, and I’ll get to that in a second. For now, all you need to know is that Rocksmith’s basic functionality actually allows you to plug in a guitar – any guitar – into your computer, Xbox, or PS3, and start hammering out real songs. That alone is pretty astounding… but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
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This article was first posted on February 12, 2013