“Music” and Listening

Boggost’s novel greatly interested me because I felt that there were several specific chapters that I could personally relate to, especially since I am not a huge gamer. For example, growing up and even at the camp that I currently spend my summers working at, I have the guilty pleasure of absolutely loving the games Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, and Rock Band. So, when I read Boggost’s chapter entitled, “Music,” I was drawn in immediately and was thrilled by my connection to what he was saying.

Admittedly, I am no great musician, singer, or dancer. In fact, I would classify myself as being musically challenged, to say the least. What Boggost targeted, which I completely agreed with, was that playing games, like Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band, are not necessarily about knowing how to sing or how to dance. As Boggost stated, “Instead of recasting these songs as psychedelic light shows, these music performance games abstract away the dance or lyrical quality of the songs, forcing the player to focus on their rhythmic and musical construction” ( p.33). What I found intriguing about this is that as a gamer, you do not have to be a well rounded, perfected, or elite athlete or musician to be able to execute a video game. It is more about choosing the level in the game that you feel comfortable playing at and simply just letting loose, feeling the rhythm, and listening. Boggost continued on to say is that “The experience of playing a song again and again in Guitar Hero or Rock Band, at higher and higher levels and toward greater and greater mastery, does not lead the player to a greater state of mastery as a musician but to a greater depth of understanding as a listener” (p.34). I found this to be important, especially when it comes to children, because adapting good listening skills and being able to follow instructions is a fundamental key to being able to listen when given instructions elsewhere, such as in school or other controlled environments. It helps to enhance auditory and responsive skills, while doing it in a fun and productive manner. Videogames provide an outlet for children to learn to be good listeners and follow instructions without even them thinking that they are learning.

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One thought on ““Music” and Listening”

  1. I completely agree with your comment, “Videogames provide an outlet for children to learn to be good listeners and follow instructions without even them thinking that they are learning.” If you think about the children today, they are so equipped and are very fast learners. I believe that the educational games such as leap frog have provided them with an outlet to grow without reading a hard cover book. Children learning their ABCs and 123s by playing video games seems to be the norm.

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