Dance Dance Renaissance
When I was in high school, I was enrolled in nearly every music-related extracurricular my school offered; choir, band, jazz band, marching band, and pep band, in addition to taking private flute, sax, and piano lessons. So since I was so musically inclined, I was naturally drawn to Dance Dance Revolution the first time I encountered it at a bowling alley as a young teen. The colorful lights and peppy announcer voice enticed me to try my hand, and once I did, I found that the game served as a great way to burn off my excess energy, as well another way to earn bragging rights against my friends – we were all very competitive.
But upon arriving at college, I found that there was not enough room in a dorm for a DDR mat, and dorm walls are notoriously thin. I would have been a constant annoyance to my neighbors by stomping on colored arrows all the time. So I shelved the game, both physically and metaphorically, for a few years and focused on other games instead.
Fast forward to 2010. I had the great pleasure of being able to attend both PAX East and E3, and I found that dance games, which flew under the mainstream radar for a few years and were played only by committed rhythm gamers, are making a resurgence. Ubisoft introduced Just Dance for the Wii at PAX East back in March and its sequel Just Dance 2 at E3, and Harmonix unveiled Dance Central for the Microsoft Kinect at E3. This revival is a great way to incorporate video games and working out – they’re much more entertaining than fitness games like Wii Fit, but they still give players a great way to exercise.