Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rock Band: The Collaboration Effect

My kids bought me Rock Band for Christmas. Ostensibly, this would be construed as them recognizing my interest in the guitar and music. In reality, it is more along the lines of me buying my wife a Telescope for Mother’s Day. I haven’t been able to get near the game since hooking it up.

The version I bought, I mean they bought for me, included a drum kit and microphone in addition to the guitar controller. The first reviews I got based on solo play with the guitar controller, was that it was not as good as Guitar Hero III but had a couple of interesting features. Then, they got together with friends and played all three instruments (you can add another guitar controller to play bass but the package only includes one guitar controller out of the box). That is when the transformation occurred.

They are already avid Guitar Hero players. Don’t get me wrong, that is a great game. The primary difference is they play Guitar Hero as a video game. They stand there with the controller in a trance and hit the notes when they fly by on the fretboard. Although they play it a lot their interaction is no different than with "Call of Duty 4" or "Gears of War". With Rock Band, they are actually rocking out. They actually move to the music, which I've never seen happen with Guitar Hero.

The only explanation I have is there is some kind of social networking thing going on. Rock Band creates interaction with the music that comes from the players collaborating as an actual band. I would say the game designers met their goal in my household anyway.

At any rate, it will be awhile before I can get close to it to try the game out. That is ok given it takes a lot of my time just keeping up with playing the real guitar!