The absolute best thing about this game Guitar Hero, is it really convinces you can be a mega-rock star. When you hit those awesome combos and really nail a hard sequence, you get a SERIOUS "I Rule" moment. This ties back to the creating passionate users stuff - make your users rule. The beautiful thing about Guitar Hero is all the positive feedback. If you make it all the way through the game the screen says "You Rock!" and the fake newspaper headline shows your paper review - either 3,4 or 5 stars. The headline ranges from "
The other beautiful thing about this game is the great music. I have started to just love some of the songs just because I played them many times. I made a small mix cd of about 7 of them and listened to those songs for an 11 hour car drive. You close your eyes and see the scrolling field of notes, and can make the finger motions.
I have heard that playing video games is not a skill - well clearly this is not true, since people can become better at it, I think what people are really saying is "I think it's a waste of time". The value judgment has to come out as an absolute statement, but I think that is just a generational gap thing. I remember a Nintendo DS game called Brain Age which trains and stimulates your brain. This might well be the first game targeted solidly towards baby boomers.
In the end, for some of us, video games are not just consumer items, they are pop culture items. They are as essential and integrated with our self identities as the rolling stones were to those growing up through the 60s and 70s.