When I Close My Eyes

When I close my eyes I see arrows. Left, Down, Up, Right. They vary in color, speed and the order in which they appear. But I see them when I close my eyes.

Why is that you ask? (if you didn't ask, then stop reading, the rest of this is just to answer that question. And if you don't care then why are you reading this blog in the first place? Huh?) Because of DDR, or to be more specific DDR extreme.

For those unfamiliar with the term, DDR stands for Dance Dance Revolution. This is a game that has been around for quite a few years in Japan and the US. You may have seen the games in the arcade. You can't miss them. Just look for young girls and/or guys dancing in front of a video screen with loud music. The purpose of this game is to use your feet to hit the directional arrows on the controller below you to precisely match the arrows on the screen. If you do it right, you look like you are dancing. If you do it wrong, you look like me.

But how does someone like me, a 30-something, follicly-challenged, average build male get into a game like this? (again, if you don't care, you know the drill.) It wasn't easy. I'd seen the games in the arcade, but since they are always surrounded by young teenagers, I normally stay away from it (and it's not just because of a court order). But one day I found myself in an almost empty arcade. I saw the DDR machine, looked around and thought, WTF? So there I was, inserting handfuls of tokens, selecting the beginners mode and jumping around like a man on fire. It was exhilarating. Gave me a sense of freedom. I also worked up quite a sweat.

On the way home from the arcade I stopped at the somewhat local Game Stop. Found the DDR extreme game for the PS2, which included a basic dance pad controller. I took it home and played it for about 4 hours. After about a week, I danced my way up from beginner to light. At this point I still may not be able to keep up with the kids, but given enough time, I will be able to give them a run for their money.

So if you have ever wanted to play DDR, but were afraid to approach it in the arcade, give me a shout, come on over and I'll be happy to show all the loose and easy women how it works.

But a word of warning, after a while, when you close your eyes, you will see arrows.