The Rolling Stones‘ former guitarist Bill Wyman has slammed music simulation video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, claiming they are causing fewer people to take up learning real instruments.
The criticism comes today (September 8) – the eve of the release of ‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ computer game, which allows players to play along with the Liverpool legends’ back catalogue through their consoles.
“It encourages kids not to learn, that’s the trouble,” Wyman told BBC News. “It makes less and less people dedicated to really get down and learn an instrument. I think it’s a pity so I’m not really keen on that kind of stuff.”
The Rolling Stones‘ music features in previous Guitar Hero games.
Wyman was speaking at a recording session at The Beatles‘ former haunt Abbey Road studios, where he was recording a Beatles cover for future release in aid of the Children In Need charity.
Pink Floyd‘s Nick Mason was also present. He echoed Wyman‘s words but admitted he wouldn’t mind his band’s songs being used on such a computer game in the future.
“It irritates me having watched my kids do it,” he said. “If they spent as much time practising the guitar as learning how to press the buttons they’d be damn good by now.”
Abut whether he’d mind Pink Floyd‘s songs being used in a music simulation game he added: “I think we’d consider it. I think everyone’s looking at new ways of selling the music because the business of selling records has almost disappeared.”
The creators of the Rock Band games defended their products.
“We’re constantly hearing from fans who were inspired by Rock Band to start studying a real instrument,” explained Alex Rigopulos, co-founder of Harmonix Music Systems, who make the games.