19 November 2009

Dance Dance Revolution: The Philosophy

(The DDR story so far: First Encounter, The Beginning, The Journey)

By the time I got my own home version of Dance Dance Revolution four and a half years after I first started playing, I realized the game was a lot more to me than a form of exercise and entertainment.

When I play DDR, it reminds me:
Be in the moment.

Don't be afraid to fail.

Misstep? Keep going.

Don't take it too seriously.

Enjoy the silliness of it. Laugh, particularly at myself when I get too serious anyway.

If I really want to improve my score for a particular song, practice. Better yet, practice at a difficulty level beyond my ability; I'll improve faster and will likely do better than I expected.

When my brain says a step pattern is too hard for me, find a new yet familiar way to think of it. (I had a very hard time with corners--jumps which require hitting an up or down arrow at the same time as a left or right arrow--until I stopped calling them impossible and redefined them as rotated up-down or left-right jumps which were easy for me.)

Amidst the chaos of seizure-inducing graphics, scrolling arrows, music, and a dude's audio commentary, hitting
perfects is very satisfying.

Playing the game is an energizing break.

Adding flair and playing songs in new ways is fun.

Check out the backgrounds and dance moves of the digital characters from time to time even though tunnel vision makes following the arrows easier.

Don't think too much, stay in the body. (For a long time, hearing the announcer say I'd achieved a 100 step streak would precipitate a misstep within the next five arrows.)

When I'm able to dance a song well while distracted, it's time for a new challenge.
I try to maintain much of my DDR outlook in the rest of my life, but some lessons are easy to forget when the stakes are significant. Fortunately, it only takes a quick game to reset my brain.


A year ago on TTaT: #11-15 (omg, so good)

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