My love affair with rhythm video games has cooled a bit. I don't lust after the experience like I once did. I'll never turn down an opportunity to play, but it's not something I'm generally seeking out anymore.
But every once in awhile an event comes along that reminds me just how awesome this whole music gaming thing can be. This time that was Beatles Rock Band with the family on Christmas Eve. Take a selection of music that pretty much everyone knows, have a large enough group of people such that you can cycle players in and out, and then add in some snacks and booze. It's a Good Time.
Harmonix did a good job with the Beatles, giving a charming presentation of the timeline and a fitting visual style. But honestly it doesn't matter that much. It's about having the right songs with the right people. And that combination is all it really takes to make the band gaming experience awesome.
I think what's really changed is that I used to be willing to play these games alone. The drive to master the instruments and nail the songs was incentive enough. But that passed, and I really only became interested in the cooperative experience. I'd still like to get better at the drums (as that it gives me the illusion that I could play drums for realz), but I recognize that that would require some solo practicing that I just wasn't willing to be bothered with. Anyway, I had only been seeking the game out in group scenarios, and those opportunities had become less frequent, so I had started to forget that I cared. But it was nice to remember this holiday that it can be just as fun even after all this time.