Modern gaming is often seen as for a select hardcore bunch of people who spend many hours bashing away at buttons trying to beat high scores and get to the next level.
However a new style of gamer has emerged, one that does not fit this stereotype. We are talking of course of the rise of the casual gamer.
Casual games like those popularized on Nintendo’s Wii system are becoming much more mainstream. You may remember seeing people dancing to dance games in arcades, these games bring a whole new audience to the mix. People who are not obsessed with games and game systems but are interested in a different skill which the casual games now make possible.
The latest in the mix is Guitar Hero, which was first seen in 2005. In this game players must don the role of the rock star and keep a song playing by hitting the correct notes.
The player does not play guitar hero with a normal PlayStation or Xbox controller, instead a guitar shaped peripheral is the tool of choice.
The player must watch the screen which contains colored notes and match them on the guitar. At the same time they must “strum” the guitar too. Other guitar features like hammer on’s and pull off’s are also used.
There is a great deal to be said for these type of musical games. They promote coordination and agility. They also promote the learning of an instrument. They have been linked to a rise in young people listening to guitar music and taking up the guitar.
Musical toys can also be used to encourage children to pick up an instrument or inspire them to enjoy a lifetime of listening and playing music.
Casual games are on the rise and they are having significant benefits, this trend can only continue and the benefits only rise.
Sarah Cohen is music and tech journalist and promoter of the benefits of a toy guitar [http://www.toy-guitar.com]