The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is continuing its fight to stop people from illegally downloading from the Internet, and, at least in its opinion, saving an the music industry. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is moving on, and embracing new technologies and new means of distribution.
My personal story, detailed below shows how the Guitar Hero series of games could actually be doing more to help the failing music industry from itself than the RIAA and its worldwide partners could ever hope to with their targeting of pirates.
I’m a huge fan of the Guitar Hero games, and currently own numbers I, II, and III, and play them on a daily basis. That has been the case since receiving one of the games for Christmas 2006. Since then, I have acquired the others, and played through them on all of the difficulty levels.
I was already a fan of guitar music, and some of the bands, especially the British ones featured on the playlists. But, playing through the games on such regular occasions saw me start to gravitate towards certain songs, and bands on them.
I found my taste in music changing slightly, and becoming more and more harder, towards the metal end of the range. Bands like Pantera, Metallica, and Slayer started becoming more and more my kind of band, and I started seeking out more songs by them.
Luckily my girlfriend was already in to that sort of music, and had an extensive collection for me to work my way through, but I found myself also filling in the gaps, and buying albums to sate my thirst for these bands.
One in particular, Dave Mustaine’s Megadeth just blew me away. And since first hearing Hangar 18 on Guitar Hero II, I have bought 4 of their albums. When they then announced a European tour, I made sure to get tickets to see them live in Manchester a week from today.
After checking out the support acts, I also then bought the début album by local metal band Evile, further contributing my hard earned money to the music industry, and all on the back of playing a few songs on a video game.
Consequentially, as a direct result of Guitar Hero III, I have spent more money on albums, and gig tickets over the last six months than I would have had the game not existed. It has also increased my music taste to a much wider range of genres, which previously I hadn’t been exposed too.
We’ve already seen evidence of how Guitar Hero has contributed to a massive digital sales increase, and similar rival game Rock Band has increased music sales, and my personal experience has further cemented that as fact.
The truth is that while the RIAA brashly try to save the music industry, consumers are taking their influences from other mediums, and forcing the industry to evolve organically instead.