Monday, March 03, 2008

victory smells like basement parties and beer pong

One of the highlights of my trip to Los Angeles was a Guitar Hero party—something I hadn't been looking forward to because:

a) I spent eight of my formative years learning to play the cello. I figured that having played an instrument where you have to know where to place your fingers without markers while swinging a bow would make holding down five colored buttons and strumming a flap on a plastic guitar incredibly easy on the very first try. I figured wrong.

b) I had never really played the game save for one time in the electronics store where I was kicked off the virtual stage and smirked at by a some real-life teenagers.

c) The party was being hosted by H's friend that I had beef with last October, though I'm pretty sure he didn't know it. And it's a good thing: I've since chalked the whole thing up to me not understanding boys and I'm long over it. He's still invited.

H seemed to think all I needed was a little practice. So before the party, I spent about 45 minutes going down the list on Guitar Hero III while no one else was in the room. I royally sucked. My timing was off, I got booted off songs, but I was improving. By the time the party was in full swing, I reluctantly decided to participate in the contest, but made sure to tell everyone I met that I had never really played the game before that day.

The party was held in H's friend's basement, with a gigantic floor-to-ceiling screen upon which a ceiling projector showed the picture. The tournament was broken down into three categories: easy, medium and hard and they had prizes, the best of which was a gift card to the electronics store. I put my name down in the Easy column and was convinced that I'd win by default until someone else moved her name down from Medium to Easy so I'd have a little competition. The pressure was on.

A pretty sweet setup if you ask me.

The thing about me is that I work better under pressure. Which is probably the reason I ended up in a career that requires a lot of last-minute finesse and on-the-spot do-overs. And it's also probably why I keep the amount of pressure I put on myself cranked up to high most of the time. I was determined to win. And I did.

I edged out my competitor on "Slow Ride," which wasn't even one of the songs I had tried in my practice session. And the prize was fitting; as the only Out-of-Towner, I was probably the one who'd appreciate it the most. Plus, I was cheered on by a couple of people who made me feel so welcome that I forgave the guy I had beef with purely by association.

Of course, it did help that he awarded me this for winning.

At this point in my life, my repertoire on the cello has likely dwindled down to just one song: "Hot Cross Buns." Sad, I know. I can't say for sure if any of that training set me up for saving face at that admittedly low-stakes Guitar Hero Tournament, but I'm going to go ahead and say it didn't. Because that way I can tell people that if I can do it, anyone can.

Rock on, my friends. 


Anonymous said...

Yes, but when they come out with "Cello Hero" you'll have to compete in the Difficult category...

Noelle said...

I really want a Guitar Hero tournament of my own now. All I need is a TV, a game console, a guitar hero guitar, and enough friends to fill a bracket. Sounds like fun!

Maybe my sister will let me borrow her copy.

Jon said...

I think everyone should have GH tournaments. I think it would bring about world peace. Seriously, let's settle our differences with a head to head pro match up on Through the Fire and Flames.

SupaCoo said...

I must not tell my husband about this or I will be surrounded by Guitar Heroes in my own house.

Bri said...

I still haven't played that game, I'm glad you had fun!

naechstehaltestelle said...

Once they come out with Accordion Hero, all the countries here in the Bratwurst Belt will be brimming with these type of parties.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Talk Hero, that would be the one for me, blah blah blah.