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Saturday, September 14, 2002

An Exercise Regime for Couch Potatoes

So there I was, years ago, using a stepping machine in a gym. It was boring. "What these things really need", I remarked, is to also be a really convincing, addictive video game, where you step your way out of alien trouble or some such. And I thought no more of it.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Konami worked out that an existing video game genre where people tapped out dance moves on their consoles could be made a lot more fun by attaching it to a touch-sensitive dancefloor. The resulting game, Dance Dance Revolution, (or its Euro version, Dancing Stage Euromix) is in arcades all over the world. You tap out the pattern of arrows on the screen along to cheesy techno tunes. It's great fun; I'd watched some people play but not had the nerve to try it myself. It does make you look a complete idiot. But weirdly, if you have the mentality that causes you to just have one more game on Tetris, it seems to work for this too. The only difference is that after a couple of games, you're wringing sweat out of your t-shirt. This video game is undeniably healthy. What's more, it appears that many of the people who are keenest on DDR are lifelong couch potatoes.

We played a couple of times, badly, on holiday, and I thought it would be fun to do it at home. So I'm now the proud owner of a Playstation, a dancing game, and a dance mat. I am, of course, complete pants at this. But at least I'm looking stupid in my own home. It's a very configurable game, with songs rated from one to eight feet, extra points for being right on the beat, and a variety of trick modes for people who find it all too easy. Even Steven "nothing is going to get me to dance" thinks it's fun. Next step; try it out with a few mates and a few drinks.

But if you'll excuse me now, I just have to try to make it all the way through "Video Killed the Radio Star".

4:20:59 PM  comment []    

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