Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rhythm and Our Fragile Minds

We're all aware of the jokes involving the one-track nature of the human mind (someone who's unable to walk and chew gum at the same time, or withstand the horrors of the "rub your stomach and pat your head" challenge, among other ordeals). I had my first go at Rock Band earlier today at a graduation party and noticed a strange glitch in my mental machinery.

I've had trouble having a normal conversation while playing some of the more intensive songs of Guitar Hero, but Rock Band's neat drum kit brought my brain to an functional standstill. It had to shut down everything but life-support systems, my arms and right leg (for the bass pedal). Speaking as someone who is often known to freeze in midsentence, stroke victim style, this was not a good thing.

I think that it has to do with the rhythm. Give me a rambling solo and I can debate philosophy, albeit not very well, but a simple rhythm section turns me into a drooling mess. After the section ends I'll continue, but not a second before, and Heaven help my roommates if they remember what I was talking about.

Needless to say, the Rock Band drums require a fair bit of rhythm. To simulate the experience at home, try tapping a desk twice a second with your left hand while attempting three taps a second with your right. While doing this, tap your foot every two seconds and hum the Ducktales theme. Have we all learned our psychology lesson? Good.

Image from a T-shirt design available at Amorphia Apparel. Looks pretty neat.

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