I thought I was good at Guitar Hero III … until I got royally schooled during the “friendly” competition held at Family Music Center. The Center began Tuesday Guitar Hero and Rock Band competitions a few weeks ago, with winners coming together for a final round on December 9. Weekly winners receive a $50 gift certificate to FMC, which, with its built-in theater, is the perfect venue for this type of activity.
At 43, I’m a journalist first, but a video-game geek second, and I’ve grown quite fond of Guitar Hero III. So I figured, why not size up the competition? On this particular day, that was to be Alex Limon, 15, a Las Vegas Academy student, and Chris Mason, 22, an intern at Greenspun Media Group, the company that publishes, among other things, this very magazine. We competed in a double-elimination bracket; songs were randomly selected (all on expert level, of course).
I beat my first opponent easily, but that was to be the extent of my success. Against these other GH “veterans,” I lost by a considerable margin (more than 100,000 points on a particularly arthritis-inducing Muse song). Limon went on to win.
Then, as I was about to leave, an 11-year-old boy poked his head in, informed me he had qualified for the Rock Band finals a few weeks prior and asked if I’d like to play him in Guitar Hero. Just for fun, right? I could salvage a bit of dignity, maybe even take it easy on him. The little ringer beat me by a couple thousand points. Maybe it’s time to take up gardening …