Next Step for Guitar Hero and Generative Music

BoingBoing had a really interesting two part conversation between Xeni Jardin and Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and Matt Ganucheau of Expression College about generative music.

There was a question asked toward the end about the next direction for Guitar Hero.  I didn’t feel that they had a good response (off the top of their heads) to it, so here’s my (had some time to think about it) opinion.

There are two directions to go from the current state of Guitar Hero, and in opposite directions.  I expect to see offerings in both directions in the future.

With regards to generative and collaborative music, there is the more creative direction (which as mentioned is less emotionally safe) in which people are collaborating in new composition.  It would be interesting for the software/game to lay a background and others to layer on that.  Perhaps with the software reacting and changing depending on player input.  Think drum circle with more instruments.

The other direction is toward more realism in instrument play.  I can’t recount how many times I’ve heard musician friends say “why would I want to do that when I can play real music?”  I can imagine a future generation of this style of gameplay that takes input from “real” instruments.  Using a MIDI interface is the most obvious choice.

Whether either of those directions will ever be as popular as the current Guitar Hero and ilk is unlikely in my opinion.  The dumbed-down, lowest common denominator game play is what leads to this genre’s popularity.

Video embeds for the conversation that got my mind churning: