Gaming Sets Hopes on Teenage 'Guitar Hero' Whiz

Guinness record holder is unsure about celebrity; 'I just play video games'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2008 2:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – The video game industry is ready for its closeup, and a shy Minnesota teenager just might provide the face. Chris Chike, 17, is a wizard on "Guitar Hero" who has millions of online fans, a world title, a growing list of endorsements, and even a few marriage proposals, the New York Times notes. Industry leaders hope he can be gaming's version of skateboarder Tony Hawke, who took a fringe sport mainstream.

“We need that lightning-in-a bottle moment,” said one gaming executive. "We're not there yet, but it's starting to happen." The trick is to shake the perception that gaming is the domain of nerdy 13-year-olds. Having the handsome Chike out front could help, not that he's thrilled with the spotlight. He cringes when friends introduce as the world's top "Guitar Hero" player. "That’s not what I want to first tell people when I meet them."