What CUs can learn from Rock Band

Yesterday, Lisa Hochgraf wrote an interesting post about Fun First on the CUES Nexus blog. It made me think of the post I wrote a little while back about Rock Band and its implications for CUs. So I thought I’d expound a little further.

Instead of thinking about fun first, spinach second, let’s think about it in terms of education that simultaneously entertains (or entertainment that simultaneously educates). It is possible to do both at the same time, and Rock Band is proof.

The concepts that led to Guitar Hero/Rock Band originally started in MIT Learning Labs as a project to figure out how to make learning to play music easier, more fun, and accessible to more people. The rest is history, and the revenue now being generated by both the franchises is incredible, with nearly no end in sight. I know that the CU movement can figure out and create its own version of Guitar Hero.

Keys to Rock Band’s high popularity:
• It makes you feel like a rock star
• You get to hear fans screaming for you
• For minimal effort, you are actively a participant in the music and never out of tune
• It’s hilarious even if you fail
• It’s SOCIAL – you can play with your friends at your house, on the other side of the country, or even around the world
• New songs are continually being programmed to work with the games, generating additional revenue, and making fans happy, and continually making the game newly interesting to play again
• It comes with a bunch of great songs right out of the box, the best songs from a range of decades (even going back to the sixties) making it appealing for young and old, across generations even

What can CUs learn from all of this? Let’s see if we can invent/create something which:
• Entertains and educates at the same time
• Ties into something we are already familiar with and enjoy
• Is fun to play with friends both online and in-person
• Has expansion possibilities (razor and blade model) that both generate revenue and continue to make playing the game interesting
• If its a game, you progress through levels
• You can compare your score to others for people who like the competitive aspect.
• It’s fun whether you win or lose, but more fun to win

I may be dreaming, but I hope someone is working on this now. Go for it! As they say on wikipedia, be bold!


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2 Responses to “What CUs can learn from Rock Band”

  1. Credit Union Warrior Says:

    One of my favorite games on the original NES was a game called Wall Street Kid. The story was a little outlandish, but it was really fun. I wouldn’t say you come away from it being a Wall Street genius, but frankly those guys aren’t looking so bright these days anyway.

    Point is: at least in academia there should be some way to pair fun and financial literacy education. Now, more than ever, we need to realize its priority.

  2. Morriss Partee Says:

    Here’s a fun idea for EverythingCU, from Adam Lueb our site’s programmer:

    “Lets create a CU MMO! Where people could adventure and recruit people and build the loan size of their CUs, aquire new pencils, computers, and pads. And go on high dungeon raids to conferences to fight away the bank lobbyists with debate and win over senators, unlocking new bills and upgrading their services!!!”

    I love it, and if we had the time or resources, we’d do it!

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