I bought Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock two weeks ago and I have been showcasing my fret techniques since. I am by no means a fretxpert, but I do think occasionally that the amount of time that I have invested in Guitar Hero over the years; I could have learnt how to play a real instrument.
During school I learnt to play the clarinet. At first glance, it was an obscure choice for a 10 year old boy to pick, particularly since he never heard of one before. It did pay off in the long run; I was the only male woodwind student in my home town. It was me and the chicks for six years.
In fact I landed my first high school girlfriend after a music camp. Somehow I managed to convince a gorgeous year 10 flute player (I was in year 9 at the time... giggady) to put up with my awkwardness for a month. For the time I was batting well above my average, which was the general consensus at school, so it was never going to work out; a good result for Team Nerd.
Music and chicks do go hand in hand; ask anybody who is in a band. However nobody is going to date the dude that can play expert level in Guitar Hero. I know that Dragon Force song from Guitar Hero 2 was hard, but nobody cares.
The two gaming “instruments” that are even remotely close to real instruments are drums and vocals. For example, when playing the drums the neighbours will still tell you to shut up when you get into the grove and the vocalist will think that they are the most import person on Earth; just like real life! For there to be any real life benefit however, all difficulty must be set to “hard” or above.
The guitars, although not being anything close to the real thing, do have real life similarities. The bass, for example, is still so boring it is amazing that anyone picks it and people who choose the guitar think they are awesome no matter how shit they play. No restriction on difficulty level for either.
Even though I have practised more songs with fake instruments than I ever did playing clarinet, Guitar Hero will still be a staple part of my gaming life. Sometimes it is more important to have fun than to focus on what is more beneficial for real life. Real life will be there when you get back.