Below you will find a few reasons why rhythm games are absolutely great. However, these points are only based on my unqualified opinion. If you are interested in getting documented more seriously about this topic, I encourage you to read related scientific articles like this one.
Sense of music
Playing rhythm games will foster your sense of music. You are being familiarised with, enabled to recognise and reproduce musical patterns. Furthermore it allows the player to discover and potentially enjoy new genres of music.
Interest in musical instruments
I will again talk about my own example. After having played Guitar Hero for a few years, I suddenly got interested in actual guitars. First, a friend lent me his and later I bought my own. I have been practicing on a regular basis since. This is far from being the only story like this. And it also applies to vocals.
Sense of rhythm
Well, it’s already in the name. Playing rhythm games will train you to move different body parts in sync with the musics / the individual played notes, hence developping your sense of rhythm.
Coordination and dexterity
Rhythm games are not only limited to pressing a simple button but require fine and gross motor skills. Basically you are learning to perform technical movements related to the game and increasing your coordination of the involved body parts. Training one’s motricity is benefitial for the brain, the involved muscles and joints.
Rhythm games typically require the player to train his ability to move different body parts independently. This is called isolation and is a skill rather difficult to learn. Isolation is needed for playing most musical instruments and in many dances.
Let’s talk about another cognitive benefit: concentration. A rhythm game player needs to focus on patterns throughout the song, hence training his concentration. Most songs are between 3 and 5 minutes in length, allowing frequent periods of rest for the brain.
The patterns on which the player is focusing will also be remembered after a few times. Thus, and especially for advanced players, the memory is trained. One more cognitive workout!
Why did I start playing rhythm games you ask? Actually for none of the numerous reasons above. But just because of fun. When playing Guitar Hero for the first time I discovered my love for arcade-style games.
The later editions of Guitar Hero, and many other rhythm games, were developped to be played in groups. It’s a fun activity to share at a party. And for the more competitive amongst us, rhythm games are also great in tournaments.
Not all rhythm games, but those involving dancing (and maybe drums) are great for working out without noticing. Either if you want to burn calories or just improve your fitness, I think it’s a really great way!
Training your voice
In the particular case of singing games, you also train your voice and musical ear. Both pitch and sound will definetly improve.