Yesterday was a big day for the world of music and video games. The entire remastered Beatles collection and The Beatles: Rock Band were released, Apple announced the next generation of iPod models, and Kathy Lee Gifford retorted to critics of her Rock Band skills by asking, “You have a problem with a couple of middle-aged women having a little fun?”
No, Kathy Lee, I don’t think that anyone’s opposed to you having a little fun. In fact, it’s probably a good thing that you (or your producers) decided to play the game on the air. Ten to fifteen years ago video games were generally considered to be a child’s past-time – they weren’t an activity that many adults willingly engaged in unless they had children of their own. Since then, the world has become a more accepting place for those who enjoy this particular hobby.
Music games in particular seem to have capitalized on this wide-spread acceptance the most, partially due to their cross-platform, multiple-medium approach. Players don’t necessarily need to own a computer to play them, they don’t need to own an MP3 player to appreciate the music itself, and the short nature of most songs (3-5 minutes) allows even the most casual of gamers to enjoy them. Combine these things with the fact that companies like Apple aren’t just in the hardware market – they’re selling music and software too – and you’ve got the potential for greater media exposure than any other video game genre.
Now, while I’m in no rush to pick up a copy of The Beatles: Rock Band myself, I do know at least one person that was in line yesterday morning to buy one. Whether this was due to the media coverage on the game for the past few months or Best Buy’s Abbey Road vacation give-away I’m not too sure, but one thing’s certain: he wouldn’t have taken a day off to buy the game if it were tied to any other band. He’s a Beatles fan, not a gamer.