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Opinion

Guitar Hero addiction transforms existence

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March 26, 2008

I am about a decade late on this subject, but I wish to write about it anyway.

I’ll just go ahead and admit it: I recently discovered Guitar Hero, and it has been eviscerating my free time for the last week and a half.

Homework and school in general have reached an even lower status on my list of priorities (kidding, Mom) as my skillful hands have become accustomed to the weighty, satisfying heft of that plastic Les Paul axe.

Everything has changed since I discovered the classic riffs and addictive game play of Guitar Hero. So far, I’ve given up both food and water, relying instead on the vibrant and rhythmic sustenance of my favorite video game. This means there is a massive shortage of energy in my body, but that’s alright by me.

As long as my fingers can flail on the fret board and I can will my eyelids back open each time I blink, I’ll be okay. Either that, or someone will find my body days from now, frozen in the motionless dance of rigor mortis, clutching a plastic guitar.

How delectably dramatic!

And this is crazy. For one half of a second last week, I actually biologically morphed into Eddie Van Halen while strumming to “You Really Got Me.” It only lasted for a few fleeting moments, and it was pretty trippy.

My girlfriend freaked out because for that ONE second, she was dating an actual rock star. I think she felt pretty special, which is understandable. It’s not very often one gets to date a Guitar Hero hero.

Well, I really shouldn’t talk. Truth be told, I rarely beat anyone in Guitar Hero. It’s hard trying to catch up with everyone else in the world, who have all been playing this damn game for years now.

I’ve seen the YouTube videos—it’s sick. There are toddlers out there just owning the game on the Expert difficulty level. Nothing makes me feel like less of a man than seeing a three year old cruise through “La Grange” without a hitch while I’m stuck screaming and mashing buttons like an unskilled monkey on PCP.

I suppose I’ll have to struggle through somehow, and tolerate those ugly moments of extreme frustration.

It’s all worth it, in the end. Someday, I’ll be able to confidently stride across campus with my plastic axe strapped across my back, like a Johnny Cash of the 21st century.

If anyone dares challenge me, I can whip out that wireless Les Paul and flame out on those buttons, even the orange one, eventually.

Until that fateful day, I will huddle in my darkened apartment and practice the hours away. But mark my words: I will catch up to the toddlers. Maybe.

Joe Hager is a student at UW-River Falls.