Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Virtually Rocking

Back in that hazy period between college and law school, there was a really odd game called Parappa the Rapper, where this funny little paper-thin Japanese dog rapped and danced, and you pushed the buttons in time with the raps.  It was very bizarre.  Go ahead, look at it here.

More than 10 years later, folks are still playing games with the same premise-- pushing buttons in time with the music.  Now, you push buttons to songs you know, and the buttons are on things which closely resemble real musical instruments.

As a (now former) professional musician, I've always taken a dim view of these games.  It seemed to me like an excuse for kids to get fat sitting on their butts in front of the TV rather than going out and playing real instruments, interacting with other musicians, starting their own bands, writing their own music.  Playing and writing music with other people was a big part of my growing up.

Well, turns out I was wrong.  Santa brought Rock Band 2 to the Chockleys this year, and it kicks ass.

I've come to realize that the game (and presumably the others like it-- I've only played Rock Band) is actually more of a gateway than a substitute.  It's much more like the "real thing" than I ever thought.  It teaches kids the dexterity, rhythm and musicality involved in actually being in a band.

And how else would I have known that Connor is a five-year-old powerhouse on the drums?


Even Chloe loves to wail into the microphone.
 
Another cool thing is the communal nature of the game-- it's an activity that we all love to do, and it works best when we all do it together.  It's a true "family activity."
 
I've left pics of Steph out, but trust me-- she loves it too.  Last week, after I went out with the guys, I got home late, long after the kids had gone to bed.  She greeted me at the door with bloodshot eyes.  I said, "You've been playing Rock Band by yourself, haven't you?"  She laughed and said "I shole have."

7 comments:

Stephanie said...

Chloe looks pissed, but that is totally her rock star face. She is growling into the microphone right there.

Chris and Kate Lareau said...

We played this too over the holidays and I'm just debating whether or not to post the pics...and whether or not to exclude myself from said posting. I have the power...

I suck at Rock Band though.

Cullen said...

I am glad that no pictures were taken of my suckitude on the drums, and certainly no video.

CarrieJ said...

No pictures exist of me,Santa too brought Rock Band to our abode. I will be blogging it soon. Now if I can just convince Katie that her character has to wear more than a BRA!!
Also, thought I was totally rockin' the microphone thing, until my child that doesn't know the words was getting scores every bit as good as mine ... grrrrr!

Roy Chockley said...

These are probably my favorite photos of all times from your blog. Santa says he is glad this is working out, and hopes the kids apply the musical skills toward future ensemble work, followed by a productive life forever influenced by music. He don't want no tatooed, body pierced, drugged out head bangers to be the result...

Stan said...

That is the cutest family rock band ever! Connor is pure concentration, and Chloe IS the hot chick leading the band!

Stan said...

That is the cutest family rock band ever! Connor is pure concentration, and Chloe IS the hot chick leading the band!
(p.s. I'm really Kerry, not Stan)