Maker Faire 2011 Roundup: Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution is the original dance rhythm series. The first version was released in 1998 and new editions have been released every year since. The game is responsible for kicking off the worldwide rhythm game genre, including the more recent developments of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. It may also be the first example of a full-body game: the player dances on a dance pad, striking a set of large pressure-sensitive pads with their feet. (Or, if they want to show off, their hands.) This playstyle was later expanded by the Nintendo Wii’s Wiimote and later by the Wii Balance Board. Today, the Microsoft Kinect is the closest equivalent, and full-body motion games are here to stay.
We received only one vote for Dance Dance Revolution, and none for Guitar Hero, Rock Band, or any other major rhythm game. However, as a game that spawned an entire genre, we felt it worthwhile to give special mention.
It wasn’t too long ago that “digital games” meant sitting on a chair or a couch, nearly motionless. Or, at best, standing in an arcade. The contributor who voted for DDR didn’t hesitate to place her vote – she said that she had lost fifty pounds by playing DDR and couldn’t possibly vote for another game. Today, digital games have become a physically active form of play, not a passive one, and DDR led the way.