Rock stars get sniffy about Rock Band — but are they right?

Ever since the news was announced back in March, bedroom fretmeisters d'un certain age have been suffering from high blood pressure as they wait, breath a-bated, zimmer frames cocked at the ready, for the release of Beatles Rock Band. It's out in stores tomorrow, and as the first reviews filter out, there's been a bit of grouching from JohnPaulRingoandGeorge's contemporaries about the phenomenon of music gaming.

Superannuated former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and Pink Floyd's Nick Mason have both weighed in with their thoughts about games such as Rock Band and Music Hero. While Mason, Floyd's drummer, described them as "interesting new developments," he added a caveat. "It irritates me having watched my kids do it - if they spent as much time practising the guitar as learning how to press the buttons they'd be damn good by now."

Wyman, who was the Stones' bass player until he discovered the virtues of metal detecting — possibly in an attempt to discover where the Stones' managers buried their earnings — launched a broadside from the Abbey Road studios, where he's been recording a Beatles song for charity. "It encourages kids not to learn, that's the trouble," he grouched. "It makes less and less people dedicated to really get down and learn an instrument. I think is a pity so I'm not really keen on that kind of stuff."

Do you think that Wyman has got a point, or do games such as Rock Band provide a starting point for kids to take up an interest in musical instruments? Perhaps one should argue that music games which feature hoary veterans of yesteryear are giving the older generation a chance to excel in a discipline normally closed to them: technology. Tell us what you think in the comments, please.

Via BBC News