EDITORIAL | An ode to Singstar, the very best lockdown activity

EDITORIAL | An ode to Singstar, the very best lockdown activity

Lockdown boredom takes you to some weird places. You cry at TV shows, get emotional about your no-stakes game of poker, learn how to play field hockey and hurt your back.

I know of just one game that involves no pain, only fun and bad singing: Singstar. Singstar is the perfect lockdown activity because it takes up a fuckload of time, is really fun for you, and sucks for your neighbours.

Once you’ve got it up and running, a logic puzzle which can take hours, Singstar brings you together. It’s not like karaoke, where the challenge is to sing well. No, Singstar wants you to sing in exactly the same way as Lyrnyrd Skynyrd did in Sweet Home Alabama. There are no points for originality. It’s an equaliser that means you don’t have to be good at singing to be good at Singstar. 

Singing badly doesn’t just provide entertainment for your flat. Recorded videos of your flat will entertain their friends and even people who don’t know them, because people trying to rap along to Ice Ice Baby and the Rap Meter telling them they’re “awful!” is funny. The light entertainment of being able to laugh at other people is something you don’t often get during lockdown, so it’s a relief to see someone fail. 

Singstar is the perfect revenge tool for the neighbours whose ten year old son constantly practises the keyboard loudly and badly. Bad singing is so much worse than bad keyboard playing, and it’s louder too.

There is nothing wireless about a PS2. The Singstar mics only have cords a couple of metres long. Singstar literally tethers you to the TV. In that way, it’s perfect for a lockdown because you have to stay inside. But instead of thinking “oh drat, I have to stay inside because I’m in lockdown,” you feel like you’re staying inside because it’s 2008 and you have just got a PS2 with Singstar. The childhood excitement floods back along with the lyrics to Belinda Carlisle’s Heaven is a Place on Earth. 

Playing Singstar takes forever, because the PS2 games you owned in 2007 are inevitably scratched up. Some songs just won’t play and will make the entire game crash. RIP Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girls, arguably the best song on Singstar Hottest Hits. Restarting the game every so often kills a lot of time, and stretches your entertainment out for the whole evening, as well as giving everyone some much needed vocal rest.

When you wake up the next morning, you’ll have a vague sense of embarrassment (did I really attempt to sing Aretha Franklin’s RESPECT?) and no voice. It’s like you’ve been out partying, even though you’ve just stayed in your lounge. And that, my friends, is the beauty of Singstar in lockdown.

This article first appeared in Issue 21, 2021.
Posted 1:20pm Sunday 5th September 2021 by Erin Gourley.