Friday, June 05, 2009

The Beatles: Rock Band

I'm not sure what this thing even is. Some kind of game, I guess. The animation looks awful, and I don't get why someone would want to play this or Guitar Hero when they can learn an instrument and actually play music.

And after all, aren't musical instruments already toys in a way? Doesn't one take up guitar, bass or drums because it's fun? These 'games' are making a toy out of a toy. I can understand video games of football or baseball because the logistics of playing a real game are complicated. But isn't sitting on your couch with a guitar pretty much as easy (if not easier) than playing a video game with a fake guitar? I have the same issues with wireless reading devices like the Kindle. Isn't a paperback book a better medium? You can shove it in your pocket, read it anywhere, and throw it out when you're done. It doesn't malfunction, you can't break it and if you lose it, big deal. For another five bucks you get another one.

Regarding guitars and such, you do actually have to go through the process of learning how to play one, which is rough going at first. I assume a gamer can 'play' Rock Band or Guitar Hero right away. But anyone truly interested in a real guitar (or bass or drums) can pick up the basics in a week or so. They might not be very good, but they could fumble through a few songs.

And what about just listening to the damn records? Is everyone so addicted to visuals and gimmicks that we can't just put on the CD and take in the sounds anymore? The same way that audiences nowadays feel that they have to participate in a live show (hands in air, whooping it up no matter how mundane the performance is, singing along, etc.), they can't simply listen to a record. They have to part or it. Be in the band in a cyber environment.

I don't begrudge the Beatles themselves for licensing it. It can't be any worse than that awful ABC Television cartoon show they did the 60s. And the more money they make, the more popular they are, the better. They (and their heirs) should be the richest people on earth, in my opinion.

And if Guitar Hero and this thing make real musicians more scarce, all the better for people who can really play.

Oh, I did enjoyed the unveiling of it by Paul and Ringo. Especially when Ringo said 'We're great' and Paul (jokingly?) indicated that he was great and Ringo was so-so.


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