11 November 2009

Dance Dance Revolution: The Beginning

When I first saw DDR in an arcade, I thought it was a ridiculous idea for a video game. I was 28. A few months later, I became friends with Bradley, a senior in college. One of her roommates owned a home version of DDR for his Playstation, and they played all the time.

I was game to try it, so they set it up one summer afternoon. At the time, he only had one dance pad so we took turns playing songs. They directed me to the slowest songs at the easiest level, and I failed over and over and over while they passed more difficult songs and levels with grades of double or triple As. It was frustrating.

They could have made fun of my dismal performance, but instead Bradley offered helpful suggestions and tips:
"Start with your feet on the arrows, you don't have to step back to the center."

"Don't wait to see the arrows line up at the top, step to the beat."

"Get into the beat of the music before the arrows start."

"As long as you step on the correct arrow on the screen, it doesn't matter if you're also stepping on other arrows."

The game on the other hand had an announcer who would praise you if you were doing well and taunt you if you weren't from: "Did you have breakfast this morning?"

"Are you feeling all right?"

"You're not looking so good."

up to "Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh!" as you fail.

The maddening thing was that I didn't feel like I was that far off with my steps. Sometimes my timing was fine, but I wasn't quite lined up with the arrows on the pad. Often the sensors in the pad itself shifted, so even if you were perfectly centered on the arrow, it wouldn't register.

I had just failed another song, so I stepped off for Bradley's turn, giving the pad a shake to realign its sensors.

"Go again," she said.

"Really?" I was ready to give up the whole thing, but she insisted. Well, if I'm going to fail I may as well pick a song I like. I scrolled through listening to snippets of songs until I came to Think Ya Better D. I selected it and then made a mistake, or rather the pad did as it registered two taps instead of one subjecting me to Trick mode, two levels above the Beginner mode I'd been playing. The song was rated with 4 feet whereas I had yet to pass a song rated with only 1 or 2.

"Oh no, what do I do? How do I get back?"

Bradley and her roommate both said, "You can't. Play!"

To my surprise, the faster step pattern was actually easier. I flailed about to keep up and thought I was doomed when I got to the section with the quick taps, but I made it through. I passed a song on Trick! With a D or E, but I passed! I was thrilled and from that moment hooked on DDR.


A year ago on TTaT: Remainders, 1 and 2


  1. I like the way you set this up with a post of yours from 7 years ago. On my end, I've just started to try out a new CMS, and just got the first few pages working. So much for content -:(
    Yes, I will talk to Lee and I'm still wondering what it means to dream of your own hanging, btw.

  2. Thanks! I've still got a few more pieces to write for this series.

    What does CMS stand for?

    As for content, it just takes time to accumulate. Good luck!

  3. CMS is "Content Management System" a blog is one kind of thing it could contain - here's the new one I'm testing -
    I'll have to give it a better address soon.

    so far, only a contact form. most of my stuff is in old blogs - a few are mentioned in my blogger profile. cheers -:)

  4. Ah, thanks for the acronym info. Nice clean look you've got to start.

    I have stopped by your other blogs but figured you weren't keeping up with those as their most recent posts were a couple years old.