Something has been happening to me of late. I have been seduced to the dark side of gaming and it’s all Sony’s fault.
Let me explain.
A few years ago I had the fortune to be able to arrange to have a playstation in work for a client. He was into music and singing songs so I bought him Singstar Queen and Singstar Abba as well as some classic songs on the store. These went down great and he had a lot of fun singing the same songs over and over again, a favorite of his was the ever classic tune from Chaz & Dave: Rabbit Rabbit! I was never really into it at all, I was not a fan of singing at all so these weren’t games for me. unfortunately this client passed away and so with this any intention continue playing Singstar.
However, recently Sony decided that they would alter one of their apps, the Singstar Viewer on the Playstation 3 and change it into the actual game, all be it with no songs included. They made the controversial decision to have it permanently locked into the games portion of the XMB. I have heard many people complain about this, not least of which our very own Darth Nutclench. Having the ‘game’ on my XMB though did keep it in my mind. One day as I was passing by a cash converters I saw in the window two sets of Singstar microphones. One set was £25 and one set was the ridiculous price of £6! I had to go in and enquire as to what the difference was. The obviously so-called knowledgable sales staff had no idea so checked them both out and the only thing we could find that was different was that the lower priced set did not include the USB cable for the receiver. Now as any one of us probably has, I knew I had a stash of USB cables laying about at home and even for anyone that didn’t, a USB cable does not cost £19 so I grabbed the bargain £6 set of mics and though that they may come in handy for a bit of fun and games over Christmas and the new year. I had the intention of maybe buying one or two songs just for a laugh.
There was one problem with my perfect plan. My family has a lot of birthdays around the Christmas period which gave chance for drunken fun singing along to terrible songs. This combined with my inability to stop once I get in the mood to buy a song or two caused me to end up spending around £50 on different songs off the Singstar store. This was all done in the space of a few weeks. On top of this as I went around I also picked up Singstar Guitar from Ebay and Singstar Dance from Game. that was another £14 spent on Singstar. I even ended up buying songs that I knew I would never be able to sing with any degree of competence but i guess that’s what happens. In total for a game I had no interest in picking up initially and by Sony’s evil tactics, I have now spent a total of £70 just to embarrass myself at how bad my voice is!
Its becoming quite an addiction now. My Ebay watch list is full of listings of Singstar disks that I don’t have yet hoping to grab a bargain. I’m also looking through the preowned titles looking for a hidden gem of a Singstar disk. I have the unhealthy urge to collect as many of them as possible to have a big library of songs so that when the next party comes around, I have a song for everyone to sing as well as ones that I can practice on. On top of this, with the acquisition of Singstar Guitar has got me looking into getting a compatible guitar to play along with. Knowing how Singstar got its claws into me, this would be dangerous as I can just see myself sliding into the world of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. All these games catch you with their lower preowned prices and DLC tracks but when you add it all up then watch out, the price creeps up on you!
For those enquiring as to how bad my voice is, there is a reason why this piece is called ‘Tone Deaf Gaming’, I cannot sing a note. I’m bad, very bad and this should put me off and make me give up but somehow it doesn’t. I have found myself bored at home and rather than digging through my ever-growing backlog of games, I have found myself turning the microphone on and belting out a song or ten, sometimes the same song two or three times in a row just to beat my score. Two personal embarrassing favorites have been REM’s Loosing My Religion and Billy Ray Cyrus’s Achy Breaky Heart. Friends and family find this increasingly funny and I have had some amusing comments made towards me and my inability to sing but I have found myself not caring. Its fun to sing along to a song or two and to just let go and enjoy yourself. Why not, we spend too long keeping ourselves quiet and not letting go so I say go for it. Party time is obviously the best time for this. A drink or two to loosen the vocal cords and then pass the microphone around for some fun and entertainment. I will however say that if you are at all shy when you sober up then make sure no one is using their camera to video you as nowadays those videos are posted to youtube and facebook faster than you can finish the song! My brother-in-law has already caught me out with that one but to hell with it, its only a game and its all just a bit of fun which in the end, that’s what gaming is meant to be.
So in conclusion I would just like to stand up and say……..
My name is Graham, I’m tone deaf yet I like to play Singstar.
Give it a go yourself. You may just like it more than you think.