Friday, April 21, 2006

Guitar Hero Rocks!

We bought Guitar Hero! For the past year or so we've been doing LAN parties for teens. We set up a couple of our computers with multi-user games like StarCraft and Halo. Many of the teens bring in their own rigs and play each other. The party goes all afternoon. We typically get 15-20 teens each time. (The pizza and chips probably help draw, too.) Recently we bought some Dance Dance Revolution pads, similar to the those in video arcades. Players dance on the pads in response to arrows on the screen. The arrows are synchronized to the beats of a song, and they get points based on their accuracy. Now we've added Guitar Hero to the party.

I tried Guitar Hero and it's way fun. It's similar to DDR except that you strum the guitar and finger the colored buttons on the neck when shown on the screen.

The guitar has even has a whammy bar for extra points. It takes a little while to get the timing right, but as you get better the crowd yells louder and the other band members get more excited. If you mess up, the crowd boos and the band shakes their heads in disgust. You start off playing in seamy basement clubs, then work your way up to stadium gigs.

There is an educational aspect to this game, really. You can choose from 8 different guitars. As you browse the selection, you can read the history and characteristics of each model.

Why did we spend money on something like this? Libraries are not just book repositories. They're becoming more important as community centers, stressing their social and recreational aspects. The LAN parties are a great way to get teenagers into the library. And it doesn't hurt to have these future taxpayers think of the library as a fun, cool place.

(The screen shots below are from the Guitar Hero home page.)


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