When I bought Rock Band 2 a few months ago, the purchase was my first foray into the world of music gaming. I borrowed DDR once and dabbled in Guitar Hero at parties here and there. But never experienced the games long enough to ponder the kind of entertainment they provide us. When faced with the Rock Band skeptics who ask "why don't you learn a real instrument," I've always argued that these games offer people the chance to feel like a rock star. Indeed, the game is best when played with the geekiest of friends who have choice songs and abundant enthusiasm performing them.
Yet lately, I've stopped practicing the game on my own. I think Shawn Elliot reflects my thoughts best in a recent blog post:
"As I once said on a podcast, I feel weird when I watch people play Rock Band or Guitar Hero. I'm reminded of how human music is and what it means for us to make it. I think, this is what happens when a culture decides that music-making is strictly the domain of the specialist and that we should stop performing when it becomes clear that we aren't cut from professional cloth."
I've heard this guy mention on a podcast that in the past everyone practiced some form of amateur music. Whether it be singing or some instrument. Interesting how society has changed. I wonder how well I could play now if had taken up an instrument in middle school.
A musician friend in Austin asked me how often I play Rock Band. I answered a few hours a week. He told me if I spent that much time learning a real guitar, I could pick it up.
I'm not saying I won't play Rock Band anymore. Just pondering the possibilities. I'm not quite at the point where I think I'm too good for it. Social get-togethers are the current justification for the time spent on it.
Anyone else having doubts about strumming away at plastic instruments?