Rhythm Games – Dance Dance Revolution (1998)

Rhythm Games: Dance Dance Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) was developed by Konami’s Bemani division as one of their many rhythm game experiments. Konami was no stranger to custom arcade cabinets, but the enormous DDR cabinet with an array of brightly-colored speakers and room for two standing dancers was exceptional even for them.

DDR followed the lead of Beatmania with a vertical track showing the players commands synchronized to a selection of licensed popular music. Unlike Beatmania’s complicated five buttons and turntable, DDR used a simple four-button input system but placed it on the floor, using the player’s feet to work the controller.

Within a year of DDR’s release, Konami’s annual income had risen by 260%. Konami brought the game to the United States hoping to repeat their Japanese success, but American game critics were skeptical. American arcades relied on a small number of genres that the gigantic DDR cabinet didn’t fit. It was a fast success in California, and the game spread quickly throughout western game culture. There have been more than a hundred releases of DDR in different versions, platforms, and track lists over the last fifteen years.

In 2003, Norwegian fans decided to get DDR registered as an officially recognized sport. With help from the Norwegian Dance Association, the Norwegian government recognized “Machine Dance” as a sport in 2004 – the first official computer sport in the world.

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Game on loan from Jason Ko. Pad gift of Hacker Dojo, 2013.008.001.