There’s just no denying the success of video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band (even to the point of successful ports to the iPhone), but when it comes right down to it, they’re nothing like playing actual instruments. Instead, the plastic ‘guitar’ one holds is nothing more than a glorified typical video game controller with a bunch of colored buttons. Hardly beneficial to anyone who wishes to learn the real thing.
It is far less fun to actually learn to play an instrument because the lessons haven’t changed all that much through the years. Boring repetition is the key. Although there have been some attempts to try to make the process more fun, they’re just unable to compete with the constantly evolving video console form of entertainment.
So what if one were to take the best of each of these worlds and combine them, creating an edutainment environment in which one playing an actual musical instrument was learning to play while capitalizing on the success and genuine fun of the rhythm games? That’s what inventors Jieun Kim, Jon Guerr, Jr Desouza and Chris Heatherly believe they have in a new patent application titled ‘System and Method for Providing an Edutainment Interface for Musical Instruments.’
Primarily using the guitar (but leaving the option option for alternative fretted instruments), the patent allows the device to connect to the gaming console (in whatever form it takes) and use the traditional MIDI interface to relay the player’s movements back to the game. The game is in the form of the traditional rhythm type game in which elements appear to move down the screen in a virtual 3D environment. Using the visual indicators on the screen, the player would position his/her fingers along the fretboard and strum the particular string. In response, the gaming console would respond with feedback in regards to whether the proper note was played and the timing of the note, possibly complete with its own scoring system.
For those interested, we present the patent application.