Piano Hero & the Realistic Frets

So when I first heard about Guitar Hero years ago I thought the concept was SO COOL… not because this nerdy girl has really ever wanted to be a rock star, but because I thought it was pure genius to use a video game to really teach people how to play guitar.

But I was a bit disappointed to find out the guitar controller little more than a glorified toy. A very fun toy, mind you — remember those little plastic guitars where you turn a crank and out pops Mary Had a Little Lamb? It’s more FUN that that. And I’d imagine the same for RockBand. Wii Music also looks fun but it doesn’t even have instruments. But why not go the extra mile and make a controller that works like a real guitar, with buttons that match the chord positions, so people could really learn to play? And while you’re at it, why not make a Piano Hero with a keyboard controller that teaches how to play piano for real? How hard would it be, and why hasn’t anyone done that?

I’ve wondered for years, just not intensely enough to google it I guess, because this morning, I found out someone has.

Here’s a video game that helps people learn to play the piano for real. And they’re coming out with a Guitar Wizard soon, too. Apparently I need to become more hip to the educational toy scene than I am to video games.

Do any of you out there own Piano Wizard? If so what do you think of it? I’m going to learn more about both items and update this page when I have more info.