Image Credit: www.xkcd.com
In California, our barracks continually echoed with the clicking and repetitive music of soldiers addicted to Guitar Hero II. In response, I boycotted the game, and still haven't touched it, despite the assurances of pretty much everyone I know that it's amazing. I had for a time also extended my boycott to all similar games, just on principle. At home over Christmas, however, I played SingStar, a karaoke-type game, with my brother (the man-of-infinite-resource-and-sagacity) and sister-in-law. Turns out it's a lot of fun. Well, last night I relented on Rock Band, the grandaddy of them all. It's got a guitar and bass controller similar to Guitar Hero's, with a microphone for vocals a la SingStar, with the addition of a drum set. It's a whole lot of fun. I'd hazard to opine that it's probably one of the best family-fun video games out there. And while it's certainly not a traditional musical education, the evaluation of the karaoke is a pretty harsh lesson in ear-training, and the guitar and drum lines certainly provide excellent rhythm and coordination training. Of course, I'm just trying to justify having this much fun playing fake instruments in front of a TV, but still.