Performing, showing off ,positive feedback and recycled content

Back in august over on terranova I wrote a post “What a performance Live Vs Recorded in a multi player world” I have been revisiting the concepts around performance and the ability to interact with people and content in a live sense even more.
The driver for this has been two very interesting mainstream games. Guitar Hero (now at version iii) and Singstar (the PS3 version). The premise behind both these games is as players and users we interact with existing content but add a performance element to that interaction. Guitar hero uses a seemingly amusing plastic guitar, using the buttons on the guitar an pushing the strumming button you are able to play along with songs. The peripheral based bemani (short for beat mania) where you provide responses in time to some sort of music and on screen prompts comes in all sorts of shapes, the dance mat games, bongos, maracas, you name it.
Lets rock
guitar hero II
Also Singstar uses the same principle but instead of pressing buttons to a beat and the tune coming out accordingly it has mics and you sing along with songs. You get a visual feedback of how in tune you are. I had been writing about this over on too as its had some surprising results
Singstar Ps3
The point that struck me is that people, normal people not gamers, can see and hear the results of a players performance and really understand if someone is good or bad or just trying very hard. Most things we all do, especially in the tech world are under the covers or obscure enough that people do not understand the artistry. Even regular games, non-gamers will see the top player in the world dispatch several enemies with a single shot before dashing to a new point of cover, and it will look easy. Only other game players see the skill.
These bemani performance games highlight mistakes, highlight perfection but in a field that most people can relate too. In many ways this is reflected in the virtual worlds and metaverses. Here people are starting to see the skill of the build both from trying themselves and also from relating to real life.
If we can make live performance and skills in a business context as identifiable as a good singer on singstar, combined with the ability for people to have a continuous way to practice and refine I think we have some really good results. I am by no means a singer, but I now appreciate the structure of some of the songs I have been singing at a much deeper level than a pure passive listener. It is this ability to delve deeper into existing content, e.g. mr brightside by the killers on Singstar or Anarchy in the UK on guitar hero III, also having repurchased the content for its enhanced involvement. All that music back catalog, fighting to deal with file sharing and without a moments thought I was more than happy to spend another 99p to buy a Singstar version of a Duran Duran song that I am sure we already have on multiple CD’s and MP3 playlists.
So we get to understand content by immersing in it in a very public way and people get to understand our various talents through seeing the performance. It seems an interesting pattern?

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