They're 'irritated' by the games...
Scott Colothan

10:42 8th September 2009

Ex-Rolling Stones bassist  Bill Wyman and Pink Floyd star Nick Mason have attacked computer games like Rock Band for deterring youngsters from picking up real instruments.

Speaking on the eve of the release of 'The Beatles: Rock Band', both the music icons believe such music games have a negative effect on children.

72-year-old Wyman, with The Rolling Stones' from 1962 to 1992, said of the games to the BBC: "It encourages kids not to learn, that's the trouble.

"It makes less and less people dedicated to really get down and learn an instrument. I think is a pity so I'm not really keen on that kind of stuff."

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason echoed the sentiment saying of Guitar Hero and Rock Band:  "It irritates me having watched my kids do it - if they spent as much time practising the guitar as learning how to press the buttons they'd be damn good by now."

However, Alex Rigopulas from Harmonix Systems, the company behind Rock Band, believes the games have the opposite effect and actually encourage people to become good at playing their instruments.

He told the Beeb: "Most people try to learn an instrument at some point in their lives, and almost all of them quit after a few months or a year or two. This, I think, is because the earliest years of learning an instrument are the least gratifying.

When people play Rock Band, however, they very quickly get a glimpse of the rewards that lie on the other side of the wall.

We're constantly hearing from fans who were inspired by Rock Band to start studying a real instrument."