Stores throughout the country over the past three years have been teeming with teens intent on buying Rock Band, the video game that changes lives. Why is this game so popular, you might ask? Maybe kids genuinely enjoy playing the game in their free time and look forward to laughing hysterically at their friend’s inability to sing. Or maybe these kids are secret wannabe rock stars and dream of taking the stage one day in the future.
My question is: does Rock Band legitimately improve your skills as a musician? Many would argue that Rock Band is an easy way out, a shortcut to learning how to play instruments (I think Elvis just rolled over in his grave). Others believe that Rock Band is a harmless and innocent video game that gives non-musicians the opportunity to enjoy a vicarious thrill with the help of a plastic controller.
The more proven thesis is that Rock Band does not currently transform people who’ve never touched an instrument into talented musicians. However, there is hope that in the future Rock Band will acquire the capabilities to create true rock stars. So for all those future rockers out there, you have two options. You could start learning how to play a real instrument, or you could wait around until they figure out how to make Rock Band transform you into a musician.
In any event, you can thank Rock Band for its great mesmerizing skills because what starts out as five minutes will soon evolve into two hours. Even if Rock Band doesn’t teach you how to be a musician, at least it does do a good job at distracting you from the hours of homework you have to do.