Sunday, December 09, 2007

Playing Games: Dance Dance Revolution

Thank you to my Facebook network and the blogger community for your feedback on my search for ways to best import a Captivate SCORM project into SkillSoft LMS. I am currently working on a post to, hopefully, clarify what I am looking for.

I'm not as good as this kid.....

My clothes are still a little tight after that 3 week vacation. And I REFUSE to buy more clothes because I don’t want things to settle in. So, as part of my strategy to readjust my distribution of fat and muscle, I got Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) Ultramix 2 for the Xbox.

I have no rhythm (see Guitar Hero). The only time you find me in clubs is when my not-so-well-meaning male friends decide they need a female in the hunting party to make them seem “desirable and harmless.” Those evenings usually end up in wounded male egos or “romantic misadventures” for them and high entertainment for me.

As a result of my prior experiences, my hatred of aerobics (I go to an aerobics class at least once a year to see if my mind has changed. Not yet.) and my inability to dance, I'm shocked I find this game so engaging.

Here's my thoughts after 1 week of play:

- The music makes interesting background noise. I wouldn't listen to 95% of it voluntarily, but then - I wouldn't inflict my taste in music on anyone. At times, I feel like I'm in an aerobics class led by hopped-upHello Kitty fans.

- There is a practice mode that is quite useful. It allows you to practice the same song and steps ad nauseum to develop the motor memory to impress friends (not that I'd let any of them see me play this thing) and casual observers.

- It's actually EASIER to play DDR with the music at speed than it is when it is slower. This klutz was surprised by this finding. When the music is slow, it is all about making sure you hit the pad at the exact moment. When the music and steps are faster, it's easier to develop a rhythm and hit the steps at the right time.

- That said, once you lose your balance or get off rhythm, it's harder to get back on.

- The game only sees whether you miss steps. It does not check to see if you've hit the wrong thing. As a result, on really fast songs, I find myself "jump-roping." Great exercise, but I'm not entirely sure that's the point of the game.

- Good luck with this game if you are color-blind. The psychedelic backgrounds and the flashing arrows are occasionally hard to see when the arrows and the backgrounds match.

- Much of the game is about finding and executing patterns. I find myself scanning for the next move maybe one or 2 steps before I have to execute. If a pattern develops, I scan further down to see when it will change. After a few exposures, I discover that I'm trying to predict the next move or pattern and will my legs to execute. Because of my iffy kinesthetic intelligence, execution does not always match intent.

So what did I learn from all of this?

Well, I think DDR will help me with my balance and coordination, as well as my cardio fitness. I don't think it's going to help me bust moves on the dance floor or encourage me to go clubbing anytime soon.

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