Last night I had only my second go at the band version of Guitar Hero. My first attempt a month ago had left me with the realisation that I wasn’t a natural drummer – despite my skill at air drumming. Fortunately, my coordination is improving and so is my rhythm. Given a bit more practice I might even manage the transition from ‘easy’ to ‘medium’.

Since my last efforts, the friend who owns the game has also thoughtfully created a specially designed ‘Liz’ avatar for me. At home I have ‘Judy Nails’ who’s been my chosen player since I was first introduced to the game months ago. She’s nothing like me – has red hair, a rather daring electric blue outfit (with matching Gibson guitar), stripy socks and blue converse (the only thing we have in common). She can also be rather slutty, but that seems to be a feature of most characters!

Sure, creating personalised characters is fun. That’s been hours of entertainment on the wii – creating (amongst others) several good friends and key figures from history, like Jesus. Always a bonus to have him on your side in baseball! My wii mii looks a lot like me and its hair gets changed according to my haircuts. (Though, as with my own hair, I’m kind of longing for the day when the two plaits look can make a return.)

Anyway, I was a little intrigued to see what my friend had come up with. Actually “worried” might be more appropriate. What would his interpretation be?

What I got was something essentially a close match to me – or at least the me that I often look like when wasting hours playing senseless computer games. Baseball t-shirt (colours matched to one I own), cropped jeans (a shade lighter than I’d usually go for), short blonde hair, blue converse.

However, there was one thing that disturbed me. How shall I put it? The proportions of the avatar were a little, well, surprising. I realise that this is the second time in three posts that I’ve mentioned my cleavage, but, honestly! With these things you get options in the design as to how big/small, tall/short & light/dark certain aspects are.

So my question is, are they that much of a feature? Really? Did they have to be so prominent? Or perhaps, it’s just in line with the aforementioned slutty nature of the game’s characters?

I think I’ll be sticking with that last theory. Anything else doesn’t really bear thinking about and I will put it straight out of my mind.

Acquiring new skills

I’m an eager beaver when it comes to learning things. (I blame my parents.)
I’m also a little bit competitive.

Both these facts might explain how I came to be playing Guitar Hero till nearly 3am on Saturday night.

I went to bed honestly believing that I’d finally acquired the ability to play the guitar. (This being the instrument that I feel would be most useful to play at my current stage of life!)

This may be an opportune moment to share with you an amusing discovery I made about a year ago…actually, two discoveries. In chronological order:

(i) The ‘Worship Team Hero’ group on facebook.
Basically, it develops ideas for a Christian rock version of the popular game, with various challenges. It includes such gems as:

“Every song will use a mystical progression called “The Jesus Chords”, consisting of G, D, Em, C. Should you decide to alter this progression in any way, brace yourself for mass confusion amongst team members and congregation alike.”

“It is possible (although difficult) to unlock a bonus level by successfully turning off the volume for “the bad singer”; leaving their voice only coming through their own monitor, yet convinced that everyone in the congregation can hear them.”

There’s also a ‘Worship Sound Team Hero’ suggestion, for all the die-hard techies out there, including the challenge of: “Managing a band consisting of bass, drums, 3 guitars, 2 keyboards, a piano, and 4 vocalists on a 16 channel console without anyone noticing which instrument/vocalist has a “dummy” mic. Bonus points for dealing with that last minute accordion player without breaking any commandments.”

(ii) Guitar Praise, as discovered on Gizmodo last summer.
Essentially, Guitar Hero with American Christian rock tunes instead of Aerosmith…

At the time, I thought this was a slightly ridiculous idea. On the way home listening to a rather cool sounding chord progression that was probably in a Tim Hughes song, I got thinking that maybe this would be rather fun. (As long as it was more British/Antipodean based, I don’t get American Christian rock unless it’s Switchfoot or DC Talk.)
Who says you can’t be competitive, have fun and praise the Lord at the same time?!