Axes of Fire

Guitar Hero fans attempt to look sexy while playing video games. Results are inconclusive.

Meanwhile, the two replacement ladies stand up. It turns out they are both sisters and very, very good at this game. They bash through a raucous version of the Foo Fighters' "Monkey Wrench," the best head-to-head battle of the night, one beating the other with 93 percent accuracy to the loser's 92 percent, thanks to precise use of the "star power" feature. (Let's not get into it.) The substantially more crowded room fills with whoops of approval.

Things are heating up. I approach Lord Easy and formally challenge the best player in the place. He recommends Shandi.

Shandi is six feet tall or so and even more lithe than Adam. She is dressed in a red sleeveless Mötley Crüe tour T-shirt ( Theatre of Pain era), a black miniskirt, and knee-high boots in some sort of argyle skull pattern. As I lean in so I can hear her spell her name, she bonks me in the head with her Slash-esque top hat.

I prefer to hear the lamentations of my enemies' women, not the lamentations of my female enemies. This, too, will be a friendly match. As for the song, I consider suggesting Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend," an excellent tune written and performed by a man with the approximate body type and sex appeal of a guy who has bothered to play Guitar Hero for weeks on end.

Better not. "Cherry Pie" it is. I prevail, sheepishly. Shandi is gracious in defeat.

Lord Easy's party, which has raged for a month or so, is a rousing success; Guitar Hero's status as an aphrodisiac is inconclusive. I suppose we'll give the last word in this regard to Marcus Henderson, the real-life guitarist who has recorded 50-plus tracks for the Guitar Hero games—quite literally, it is Henderson players wish to emulate. Reached via e-mail, Marcus is dismissive of other video games. "Search the lost lands of who-gives-a-fuck for a mystical scroll with your guild? At least you don't have STDs to worry about," he muses. "But Guitar Hero? Nothing's sexier than undulating and thrusting about with a plastic guitar while standing on the bar destroying drinks and eardrums. You're not gonna get that action with a keyboard and mouse. Guitar Hero is the swarthy, bare-chested, ass-kicking rocker of video games, and that ain't no controller in its pocket—it's a stuffed cucumber! Will GH help you attract the opposite sex? Absofuckinglutely."

He is compensated well for his enthusiasm, but it's enthusiasm nonetheless. Mate away, dear pandas.

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