Blake Peebles is living every teen’s Guitar Hero dream. But it’s not all fun and games for his parents.

IT’S AFTER MIDNIGHT in Raleigh, North Carolina. The street outside the Peebleses’ house is quiet. Few windows are alight. Most school-age kids in this neighborhood -- in this entire college town -- are in their beds. Asleep. Their school backpacks wait at their doors, stuffed with textbooks and homework and gym clothes. The kids lie still, eyes twitching beneath their lids as their dreams spool out the day’s anxieties: lunchroom snubs, pop quizzes, capricious teachers, painful breakups.

But Blake Peebles isn’t dreaming. His room is almost as silent as the street outside. Move close enough, though, and you’ll hear a soft but urgent clicking, backed up by faint music. Blake’s eyes don’t twitch, either; they’re zeroed in on the colored bars scrolling up his television screen. He sits and watches, inert except for his fingers, which are flitting over the black-and-white toy guitar he holds.