Former Rolling Stones star Bill Wyman has expressed concern that music games like Rock Band stop young people from practising real musical instruments.In much the same way, I presume, that ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Need For Speed’ has stopped young people from learning to drive…?
His words were echoed by Pink Floyd star Nick Mason who described music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero as "interesting new developments".Yes, but then, that’s kids today.
But he added: "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."
It’s a novelty, rather than hard work, and they are much more au fait with technology and interactive gaming than with musical instruments.
So, why were these dinosaurs of rock weighing in on the decline of the younger generation, anyway?
Simple – they were flogging it to them:
The rock legends were speaking just ahead of the launch of The Beatles: Rock Band game which features 45 re-mastered songs from the Beatles' back catalogue.And a little bit of ‘Kids today…’ controversy helps the publicity along…
Alex Rigopulos, co-founder of Harmonix Music Systems, which created the Rock Band series, refuted the musicians' claims.Probably the same percentage of people who would have done it anyway, mind you, regardless of the quick fix of a computer game.
"Most people try to learn an instrument at some point in their lives, and almost all of them quit after a few months or a year or two," he told the BBC.
"This, I think, is because the earliest years of learning an instrument are the least gratifying.
"When people play Rock Band, however, they very quickly get a glimpse of the rewards that lie on the other side of the wall.
"We're constantly hearing from fans who were inspired by Rock Band to start studying a real instrument."
I’m currently hooked on online game ‘The Hunter’, for example, but I can’t say I’d want to spend an actual day stuck up a tree stand, smelling of cordite and artificial deer wee, and blowing a lure to alleviate the tedious boredom of watching a field. I can buy venison in Tesco, after all…
So, will the rockers be resisting the lure of that damned newfangled technology in the future?
Err, no. Not if there’s moolah to be had:
Mason said that Pink Floyd has not ruled out working on a Rock Band or Guitar Hero-style game in the future.But the fans prefer not to buy a whole album of crap for the one or two good tracks, granddad.
"I think we'd consider it," he told the BBC. "I think everyone's looking at new ways of selling the music because the business of selling records has almost disappeared.
"I'm of the old guard who are really sad about that, because I always liked the concept of the album - rather than just cherry-picking tracks - and also the business of the art work that went with it."
And their iPods have picture capability now, too, the better to display that album artwork.
Your time is up…