I love video games. I always have, and I always will. My wife, while not a big player of games, still (thankfully) enjoys watching me play. Not all games, mind you. She doesn’t care for games that are nothing but running and gunning, games that are all violence and no story. When I want to play those, I do so on my own time. But, if the game has a good story, good characters, interesting gameplay, and something for her to help with (helping me keep track of items, level up characters, relaying how many laps there are on the track, etc), then there’s almost nothing she likes better than to snuggle in and watch. Her favorite games have been Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, Psychonauts, Project Gotham Racing, Fable, Grand Theft Auto 3, and surprisingly Bioshock – I didn’t think she’d dig the scary premise).
But, one genre of game she has given me no end of grief about until recently was music games. The first time she saw me try and play Dance Dance Revolution, she nearly hurt herself laughing at me, and when she saw my play Guitar Hero for the first time she raced for a camera to show my humiliation to her friends at work. She pretty much dislikes any game that uses something other than a standard controller to play it, and the more hand movements are involved, the more she dislikes it (one of the reasons I got rid of my Wii). So, when I picked up Rock Band, I didn’t anticipate anything different from her.
Anyway, one day while she was taking a nap, I decided to play a little. About an hour in, she wakes up and comes out to see me playing through the solo on “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” She chuckled, but she sat down and watched me play a bit. Then I played “Cherub Rock,” and it was all over.
You see, my wife is a big Smashing Pumpkins fan. They are her favorite band. Not the Amore stuff, though. Strictly Gish, Siamese Dream, and Mellon Collie. I knew that Rock Band had “Cherub Rock” on it, and I’d hoped that if I could get her to see me play it, that her love for the Pumpkins would be enough to make her want to play.
Boy, did that work! I’d bought the instrumentless version of Rock Band since I already had a guitar controller, so she asked me, “Can you get the drums for this?”
“Yeah, they sell them separately.”
“Then get them.”
I did. At first she was really hesitant to sit down and play it. Once she got over her initial fear, she tried a few of the easiest songs, and really had a hard time with them. She didn’t seem to be having fun, and I thought that she would probably give up.
Cut to today. While I was at work she called me twice to tell me how high her note streaks were while playing “Say It Ain’t So” by Wheezer and “I’m So Sick” by Flyleaf. She was having a blast, and “Cherub Rock” was only a small part of it. I was so pleased, and when I got home we played a bit together.
And sop there you have it. Rock Band, making marriages stronger.