quasi in rem

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Dance Dance Revolution.....Day 3

I have begun a quest. It is a modest quest, not like trying to destroy a piece of jewelry or find some cup, mind you, but a quest none the same.

I have decided to become a Japanese teenager.

It is for a variety of reasons. I do like sushi. And giant plastic heels.
Anime, while somehow very boring and busy at the same time, does not completely turn my stomach.

Mostly though, it seems to me that the group in this world who seems most appreciative of some of the pop-culture dreck that is littering our streets, homes and minds are Japanese Teenagers. I used to enjoy the MTV movie awards, the Music Awards, Saved by the Bell, etc. No more. I just don't get it.

So instead of trying my best to avoid pop culture and expending effort to use my time productively and creatively I have decided to succumb to the sickly sweet methadone that is fed to the MTV generation. The easiest way to do that, without learning how to suppress my gag reflex and get a lobotomy is to become a 14 year old Japanese kid.

Step One: Buy Dance Dance Revolution for my X-box. Now I know the PS2 version would be more authentic, but cutting corners is my Americanization of a foreign concept with a touch of added laziness. Now that is true American Pop Culture!

Dance Dance Revolution is really a phenomenol device. You get this 3 foot by 3 foot square pad with presseure senitve arrows in it and you dance around on it guided by a screen of rapidly cascading arrows while the most annoying tecno synth music plays in the background. Watching kids do it in the arcade it looks quite easy. Up arow step forward, right to the right. i did the hokey pokey, I know the score. This is sort of like twister with a beat. I can do that. No problem. Sure I'm 40 pounds overweight. 20 years to old to do it, but if some 12 year old Japanese kid can hip hop his way to the Revolution then dammit so can I.

Well, not so much actually. I failed. And failed miserably and repeatedly. Words cannot accurately describe to you just how difficult that thing is. Arrows are flying up the screen like anit aircraft flak over Dresden. The damn music is so disjointed and crazy it is impossible to focus on the stupid arrows. And what if you just leave your foot on the pad does that count twice? I don't know.

My failure to master Dance Dance Revolution at first is not entirely my fault. The instructions are hilarious and non-sensical. The book looks like it was written in Korean, translated to Mandarin, translated to Japanese and then translated to english. On page 32 it reads: "All your dance are belong to us." We finally figured out how to set on the easiest of easy setting, which I believe is called the Reeves, and yet those little arrows fly up the screen like crazy. And at the end of every round there is this big "FAILED" sign that jumps up on the screen and twirls around. Thanks. Embarassing.

At one point we left the machine on in a fit of exhaustion and the cat walked randomly around the pad in circles while the game ran.

The cat now has the high score.

And that was just Day 1.

Day 2 was a day of rest. I think I pulled something in between up up up down right and left right left up left.

I am back in business now baby. Day 3 is going to be the beginning of the Revolution. Damn the pulled hammy. Damn the incessant techno drone that stays in your head for hours after the game is turned off. Forget my downstairs neighbor who must think we are trying dig through the floor.

I am going to do it. USA A-ok!


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