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PaRappa's Matsuura: How Do We Stop Guitar Hero Controller Waste?

As part of a new Gamasutra feature, rhythm game virtuoso Masaya Matsuura mulls instrument peripherals and real ones -- and wonders where guitar controllers will end
PaRappa creator and NaNaOn-Sha head Masaya Matsuura has been thinking about rhythm game peripherals. On one hand, if they were too much like musical instruments, people might never try real ones -- something important to Matsuura. But as a player, he still wants to feel a sense of the instrument. "I really want to feel as if I'm playing the actual guitar," he says in a Gamasutra feature interview. "Of course the game controller and the real guitar, there's a very big difference between them, but if I can overcome these kinds of differences by making good software..." "Maybe that is what's interesting to me," he adds. "I really want to make the experience appeal derive from playing the software. It's a very potent thing." Matsuura believes "the game controller is enough as a musical instrument," but also wonders about what will happen to the controllers in the post-Guitar Hero and Rock Band era. "I'm also curious and wondering about, how about five years from now, when not so many people are playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band anymore," he said. "The many guitar controllers or drum controllers made of plastic, where do they go?" "Have you ever seen that, in Africa, some countries are accepting e-waste from Europe? I saw so many CD and cassette players. I really don't like that kind of situation, [which is increased] by having the certain game software peripherals." Real instruments, of course, never end up as e-waste. "I really respect and appreciate that a real instrument is much more important in one single human's life," said Matsuura, recalling a friend who plays a 500 year-old cello. "Five hundred years ago is a very nice duration to make a musical instrument. Maybe at least five or 10 players are playing that instrument." You can now read the full feature, in which Matsuura, currently developing Major Minor's Majestic March, talks music games and the relationship between musicians and game audiences, the advancement of technology, and more (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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