It seems that each time I come back to the States I discover something that’s become big and important since I’ve been gone. Some of these things — like Oreo Cakesters — are muy fabuloso. Other things — like Pomegranate flavored 7Up — freak me out. Then there’s the items that have crept into our culture and are wreaking havoc on children and adults alike. Yes, I am talking about Guitar Hero.

This innocuous-sounding video game has several dangers, as I can see it. First of all, playing this game is quite addictive. When a person begins playing, that person isn’t able to stop until he/she has reached the end of the game. Let’s take a figurative example: Say a girl is staying in a house where this game and all of its paraphernalia is located. Say she starts to play a few nights ago. Then, let’s say that last night her husband beat her at this game. This isn’t right. This shouldn’t be. After all, she’s the one who has been in music classes since she was 4 years old and he’s the one whose only music training came from a few weeks of lessons with an amateur saxophone player (emphasis on the amateur). So, tonight when that girl’s husband goes to see a late movie with a friend, she might be tempted to play some. And she might not be able to put it down until she wins. And she might want the world to know that she didn’t have to repeat a single song because she’s a rockin’ guitar hoss.

In this hypothetical situation, we see more than simple addiction. We also see excessive pride and even a spirit of competition creeping into her marriage. Sounds like trouble to me.

My second reason for warning all of you about Guitar Hero is this: the high potential for cramped fingers. Sure, the game seems deceptively easy at the beginning. You might even be tempted to change the level to “medium” or “difficult.” But, by the time you’re playing Psychobilly Freakout by the Reverend Horton Heat, your fingers will be cramping and aching like an 80 year old who’s forgotten her arthritis medications. What’s the only sure way to avoid cramped fingers? Avoid Guitar Hero. As we covered in point #1, this game is addictive. Therefore, anyone who plays it will end up with cramped fingers. Lay not thine hand upon the plastic guitar lest you be struck with pains in thine knuckles!

This Christmas season no doubt many children, college students, and husbands are clamoring for Guitar Hero. Before you purchase this product, let me state my final reason that you should take heed: the music is quite secular. Since my radio is firmly anchored at 94.9 FM (Safe for the Whole Family!), I usually avoid bands such as Anthrax, Alice in Chains, Primus, Pat Benatar, and the aforementioned Reverend Horton Heat. Until there is a Gaither Guitar Hero (complete with the entire Homecoming Gang), we should excommunicate this game from our presence. Sure, that edition won’t be so challenging, but that should take care of problems #1 and #2 as well.
Now that I’ve gotten all of this off my chest, I feel so much better. And, surprisingly, the typing has cleared up that knuckle cramp I somehow have acquired. In fact, I think I’ve limbered up enough to turn off the computer and return to more, um, musical entertainment. Maybe I can beat the next level before my hub gets home…