I’m one of those guys who typically avoids the facebook games. You know Farmburbia or Badazallamamamam, or whatever the devil they’re called. I had little if any interest and eventually started to “unsubscribe” to friends whose updates kept letting me know every time they milked a cow or rescued a kitten.
Then the angels got together and decided to create a dream game come true. SongPop came along and everything changed. They literally had me at “Hello.” But for more reasons than just the interactive joy of trying to school my nephews on 70’s rock. Despite having to put my house up for sale out of shame from the can of whoop ass handed to me by a neighbor, I had found my new guilty pleasure.
Yes I loved the game, but the highlight for me was when my ten-year-old daughter downloaded the app on her i-touch. It quickly evolved into the first legitimate competition between us. It also became a unique way for us to connect on an unprecedented level. It started with her beboppin’ around the house after beating me on her first “Today’s Top Hits” challenge. Then her tween-cussing (crap, shoot, etc) upon losing to me in “60’s Collection.”
Aside from the competition aspect of the game, there were two amazing things happening here. First there was the bonding taking place through the simple interaction. Then there was the invitation into each other’s musical universes through which we both grew to understand a little bit more about each other. Probably small in the large scheme of things, but a cool prospect none the less. Now, even when she’s at her mom’s we’ll have a way of connecting and making each other laugh or hang our head in shame. Either way, we’re staying connected and learning to appreciate each other. I think in any relationship, there’s an amazing thing that happens any time you recognize that someone has taken the time to understand you a little better.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you. It’s been painful listening to some of the music she likes, but she’s opening up to me about what she knows and listens to. In turn, I’m taking the opportunity to delve a little deeper in-between
rounds to listen a little closer to what her little ears are hearing on a regular basis. I don’t like a lot of it, but at least now I’m aware and can discuss it with her in a non confrontational manner.
I’ve written before about, what I consider to be, the importance of teaching our kids an appreciation for music and the hundreds of genres, styles and countless options there are for new discovery. To me this is such a cool opportunity to have fun with it and share something important to both of us. I may not like all of it, but now when she asks me to turn on Radio Disney or I put on the 60’s on 6, we’ll both have a reason to listen rather than go “I hate this music!” And perhaps it’ll open up other doors down the road when she’s a little older. Could this help lay the ground work for a broader more open communication? Who knows and maybe I’m reaching a bit, but it’s worth a shot don’t you think?
The first time she beat me on the Classic Rock category I couldn’t help but smile underneath my “WHAT!!!” Probably a little more than she did when I beat her on “Modern Rap.” But just to hear her yell through the house, “I GOT JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH!” was a proud moment for me. And, maybe I was imagining things, but the hug I got at the end of the day seemed a little tighter than usual as well.
Win or lose though seems more like a win / win.