Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Game Play to Music Play - Video Games in the Music Room

Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Game Play to Music Play - Video Games in the Music Room

Article excerpt

Video games have come a long way since the introduction of Atari's Pong in 1972 (Winter, 2008). Fueled by addictive game play and sophisticated hardware and software, modern game developers have an unprecedented level of creative freedom. Video games provide game play that is both complex and intuitive - an ideal medium for learning. This has led to the blurring of the line between entertainment and educational video games. Titles such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, Cooking with Mama and Sid Meier's Civilization have delivered obvious educational content while providing users with highly entertaining game play.

In recent years, music has become the theme of choice for many game developers. Titles such as Rock Band, Wii Music, Sing It and Dance Dance Revolution are providing millions of gamers with addictive, music oriented game play, as well as compelling educational engagement. While none of these titles provides a comprehensive educational offering, they do provide specific learning opportunities and can be a valuable supplement to a music program. The following section provides a brief introduction to some of these games.

Rock Band has proven to be a wildly popular video game for 2008. Players perform on drums, bass guitar, guitar and vocals as either a soloist or as an ensemble. Drummers play a full-sized proprietary drum set consisting of four electronic drum pads and a bass drum pedal. Guitar and bass players use controllers that resemble their respective instruments. Instead of having strings and a pick, the controllers have five coloured buttons on the neck and a toggle switch that can be moved up and down to simulate picking. A microphone allows the game to analyze the pitch and rhythm of vocalists, awarding points for accuracy.

All players are provided with a scrolling graphical representation of the music being performed. These graphics are synchronized with an audio recording. Scores are awarded based on the accuracy of the players' musical performances.

Dance Dance Revolution has players dancing up a storm. This game is currently being used in many schools as part of physical education programs (Schofeild, 2006). Dancers perform specific dance moves on an interactive mat (approximately 90cm X 90cm) in coordination with on-screen graphics and music. Scores are awarded as evaluation for the accuracy of the dance performances. As with most traditional dancing activities, there are numerous musical learning opportunities present in this application. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.