Compared to most games I play which provide at best transient entertainment, relaxation and happiness (or at worst, make me stay up way too late and distracts me from doing housework) I can honestly say that having purchased and played Rock Band 2 has had a positive influence on my life. A minor influence, to be sure, but one that I notice from time to time. I have been listening to music with a different perspective. I have been picking out the lead guitar, the drums or the bass guitar and if it has some particularly interesting portion to it I can envision what it would look like as that instrument in Rock Band 2. Some times it is on songs which are already present in the game. Many times, however, it is not.
The interesting and mildly beneficial part is that I am listening and appreciating music which would normally prompt me to change stations or skip tracks. Music from Nirvana onwards (I couldn’t stand the whole Seattle Grunge thing) as well as ’60s and ’70s music I’ve never felt inclined to give a chance, like Lynyrd Skynyrd. Its always good to expand one’s horizons and if a rhythm game is the catalyst, well, then it can’t be all bad, right?