Looks like music video games might actually encourage people to check out real-world instruments. At least, so says the results of a survey by instrument retailer Guitar Center linking Guitar Hero and Rock Band to gamer interest in playing real music.
Guitar Center says the survey also found that those who gain an interest in real instruments through band video games also play instruments more often as a result.
67 percent of Guitar Hero and Rock Band players that don't currently own a musical instrument said they aim to begin playing one in the next two years, according to the survey, and eight of ten of these would like to get a real instrument as a holiday gift this year. Nearly three out of four musicians have been influenced to play more often thanks to the video games, too.
Naturally, the retailer's study correlates to an increase in sales at Guitar Center stores, concurrent with peak sales for the band video games. In last year's holiday shopping season, for example, Guitar Center saw sales of beginner-level electric guitars and amplifiers rise 20.7 percent, a surge that strengthened into 2008 with a 26.9 percent increase in the year's first nine months.
"This spike of interest in playing actual instruments stemming from a video game is an unprecedented phenomenon," says Guitar Center executive VP and chief marketing officer Norman Hajjar. "Most video games sell fantasy, but Guitar Hero and Rock Band are selling a dream that can be realized. These games plant an achievable goal in the heart of the player and that, in turn, drives our business."