There is a lot of debate among guitar players regarding whether guitar games can actually help you improve your guitar playing skills. Guitar Hero is a game that came out in 2006 and is a game in which players use a controller that is in the shape of a guitar. The player plays by matching buttons on the guitar to notes that appear on the screen. The game does allow a person to use some of the same techniques that one would use on a real guitar. For example, you can do pull-offs (plucking strings). It is easier to play a video game guitar than to play a real guitar, because for one thing, a real guitar must be tuned.
A guitar game will always produce the same sound which is not very realistic. However, the chords are very similar in the game compared with on a real guitar. The three-button chords and the power chords on Guitar Hero are essentially the same as on a real guitar. Essentially you will develop some skill by playing Guitar Hero that can help you to play a real guitar. It probably won’t hurt your playing to practice with Guitar Hero, even if you are already playing or starting to learn to play on a real guitar since the differences are not big and you can learn muscle memory from playing the game. The notes on the controller are also laid out on the neck in the same way that they are laid out on a real guitar.
There are some problems with playing on Guitar Hero versus playing a real guitar. For one thing, you cannot create songs to play on Guitar Hero and it is at times needlessly complex. However, it is a good way to get people interested in learning to play a real guitar. Playing Guitar Hero could improve muscle memory since you are playing similar chords and chords are in the same place on the controller as on a real guitar.
Guitar Hero and other such games may not teach you everything or improve all your skills but it will teach you to listen for the rhythm which is an important part of playing the guitar.
Rock Band is a similar video game, but it allows you to play a set of instruments including a drum kit, lead guitar and bass guitar. A more modern game is Rocksmith which lets you use a real electric guitar. You simply plug the guitar into a game controller or your computer. This is considered a good way to improve your skills as it is a real guitar that you are using. The game also analyzes you’re playing style and increases in difficulty so that you can make progress and learn more. These guitar video games have their disadvantages but the newer games such as Rocksmith seem to be closer to helping you learn how to really play guitar and improve on your skills.