According to the great reporting from the folks of Engadget the Rock Band people have made $1 billion off 40 million tracks. I guess I am guilty of contributing to their profit by just today buying Pearl Jam’s Ten for twice as much as I paid for it ’93 (totally worth it). What I take issue with is Paul Miller’s assertion that people who rock out in front of their tv with pint size plastic instruments are deluded.
When I’m wailing away on the drums I know I’m only performing for my friends and not thousands of screaming fans. I play because it’s fun, and yes, it’s easy. Far easier than playing a real instrument. I took guitar lessons for years and never got good at it because it requires constant practice. While it takes a lot of practice to get good at Rock Band, it’s not the same level of endeavor.
They say it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to be really good at something. You know what? I have a job and I can’t put in 10,000 hours in front of my computer AND 10,000 hours in front of an instrument. There’s only so many hours in a day. A professional musician can put in the time to be good because that’s their job. The same goes for an athelete, actor, etc. I’m a programmer. I bet Eddier Vedder wishes he could lay down lines of MATLAB like I can, but he doesn’t have the time to be an expert; he’s too busy making music. You see, to him, I’m his rock star. I’m okay with that. When I finish Programmer Hero, I’ll be sure to send him a copy.
I’ll take my precious free time and “cheat” to simulate the rock star experience because that’s what I enjoy, not because I’ve deluded myself into thinking I am a musician. But, like everybody else, for the things I put in the hours to be good at, I am in fact, a rock star.