This past Friday, Ricky, the patron diety of Dance Dance Revolution arcade cabinets, decided to enlighten me. Upon me he bestowed an unopened DDR bundle lying in the middle of the street in New York City.
Now, had I been in a more suburban area I might have left it there but, out of concern that the gamepad might double as a rat choking hazard, I decided to spare the few rats NYC has left and take the game home with me. Having never played DDR before, I was pretty skeptical about how it was going to stack up to my normal Friday routine of battling the Rocsteady crew on the platform of the N Train in the Canal Street station. But I had heard the stories about the insane all night Redbull infused battles so I rounded up a few of the most talented members of the 8bithomocyde crew and fired up the Xbox 360. What ensued is the stuff of dance legend.
I should mention that there are plenty of problems with this game’s execution. I should also mention that I’ve dealt out my fair share jokes at the expense of the DDR hardcore. However, I found that all of these concerns and preconceptions vanished as I put on my best tracksuit and tore open the packaging. It was a night of lessons as I learned that you could indeed bring the funk to right angled steps. I also learned that that DDR is exponentially more interesting with ridiculous clothing on, a realization that finally addressed my longstanding puzzlement at the obsession with parachute pants. But mostly I learned that serendipity comes in many forms, not the least of which is dancing in a square to the beat of rawkus Japanese club music.