Picture this. I was flying high after setting a new Guitar Hero 3 shop record for Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll on expert in HMV. The moment of instant glory was unparalleled, especially when the five or six younger lads behind me were gasping at the intensity of my hammer-ons. Truth be told, I wasn’t perfecting it by a long shot. I was simply making my way through the song, in a way that would impress those who aren’t too knowledgeable on Guitar Hero. I guess you could say that my No-Shame November confession is that I used to make people think I would have a nice game of Guitar Hero with them, then utterly destroy them in front of a packed video game store, as well as taking the guitar off younger players, and then slamming my skills in their under performing faces. It was four years ago by the way, I was only fourteen.
Don’t get me wrong – I was nowhere near as good as those finger tapping machines you see on Youtube. I was just good enough to play the majority of songs on expert, due to dedicating many hours to the two Guitar Hero’s before the third. This gave me easily enough skill at the game to humiliate the ‘casual gamers’ that haven’t played the game before.
Because none of my friends really played Guitar Hero, there was no sense of competition when playing them. I may as well have played against someone missing nine of their ten fingers. Now when you’re much better at a game than most other people, it’s only natural to want to rub their faces in it. Especially if they regularly beat you at various other games, and you’re fourteen years old. Smugness got the better of me on many occasions. I used to be a pretty small guy, so maybe I was owning and embarrassing players in various stores to simply feel like the man mountain I aspired to be.
In my defence, I actually played (play) the real guitar, the one with actual strings. I heard someone on TV say that Guitar Hero was ‘harder than playing a real guitar’. Never had I heard such bollocks. Guitar Hero is pretty difficult yes, but it isn’t a patch on a real guitar. I’ve never gotten close to being able to play ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’, but I could nail it on the novelty plastic guitar.
This was years ago, when being good at a game involving a plastic guitar was pretty ‘uncool’. Nowadays, if you’re amazing at COD and have a social life, you have to be prepared to physically step over all the adoring fans. Any socially awkward pubescent can relate to being great at a game, and wishing they could trade their show stopping gaming skills for the type of skills that get all the ladies. Angered that the only thing I was mildly good at was gaming, specifically Guitar Hero, I took it upon myself to make it seem as amazing as possible. I played it behind my head, I played in front of people who haven’t ever heard of the game, so that they thought it was extra cool.
As you’d expect, the interest in Guitar Hero was greatly increased after the third game. This resulted in thousands of people being great at the game, to a level where they never miss a note. My high scores were lost among the almost inhuman efforts of many other Guitar Hero champions, and I became someone with no especially good skills at the game. For ages I was ridiculed for being good at the game, and all of a sudden people were asking me if I’d ever played Guitar Hero. Heartbroken isn’t even close.
So I packed my guitars away and stopped playing so much.
I still occasionally play, but to be honest, getting the guitars out and plugging them in seems like too much effort nowadays. I went from smugly defeating various people, and getting high scores in many places, to becoming as good at the game as most other people.
Years after my Guitar Hero escapades, if I’m half decent at a game, I no longer rub everyone’s faces in my ability. I am a humble opponent and victor in the gaming world.
No Shame November Summary – I used to humiliate people (especially children) by destroying them at Guitar Hero in front of lots of people, probably because I was small and had no real talents. Not long after, everyone else became equally as good as me. Now I’m a bitter eighteen year old who looks back on the ‘glory days’ with anguish. Not really, I was just a dick who liked beating people. I’m much more mature and humble now, I promise.