Guitar Hero, Rock Band ... isn't it all a bit Peter Gabriel?

It's great that the mainstream media has switched on to videogames as an inventive and exciting form of media rather than the work of Beelzebub and all his techno-demons. The only problem is, every new trend is being eulogised as some sort of minor cultural revolution. If you believe everything you read, Wii Fit is going to solve childhood obesity, brain-training games have crushed idiocy, and online casual gaming could eradicate boredom and loneliness by 2012. Global warming? Games will probably have that fixed within the decade.

The latest example involves the rock music sims Guitar Hero and Rock Band - both of which allow users to download new music tracks to twang along to. It turns out this is going to save the music industry. Admittedly, there are some compelling stats doing the rounds - Guitar Hero players have now downloaded over 15m tracks, while Rock Band users are at the 12m mark. Furthermore, when the ageing glam rockers Mötley Crüe recently debuted their latest single on both Rock Band and iTunes, sales were five times higher on the former. Music industry execs everywhere are crawling back from 20th-storey window ledges to their desks.

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