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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dance Epidemic or Revenging The Nerds

This week in People (shut up, my girlfriend subscribes to it and shows me articles, as well as drafts my help in finishing the crossword puzzle.) there's an article about how games like WiiFit and Dance Dance Revolution are helping people get into shape. I think it's cool that for once there's an article in People I can read that doesn't involve some widow overcoming adversity or Brad and Angelina whoring out their spawn for the rest of the world, while looking down upon them as the second coming of fucking Christ. (As for the widow stories, I'm not knocking the widows, it's just I can only take so many weepy special interest puff pieces before I actually want to see something cheery and of worth.)

The article detailed the stories of several people who were overweight and out of shape, but thanks to the gameplay of DDR and other similar motion games, as well as actual exercise and diet, these people turned themselves around and lost a decent amount of weight. Now these are the types of inspirational stories I can get behind, especially since I myself picked up a copy of DDR Universe for Xbox 360 this weekend, and bought a dance pad on Tuesday. Let me tell you, it does wonders for my step count and it makes me sweat like being interrogated in a rotisserie.

There is a dark side to this trend however. Seeing as not everyone has DDR at home, some are forced to take to the arcades. Even some who have it at home feel the need to go to the Boardwalk, and camp out at the machine. You know them, you hate them, "those people"...nerds. Now I myself am a geek, which is close to a Nerd but the difference was never spelt out. However, I can in some instances loathe nerds, particularly when they hog or line up or inconvenience me for something I'm looking forward to as much as they are. Dark Knight showings, Comic Con lines (which now apparently includes a bunch of squeeing teenage girls, thanks to the Twilight panel that got several reviewers kicked out because they were holding seats and some bitch whined to security about it.), video game launches. Nerds ruin Christmases for little children, spoil perfectly good nights out at the Boardwalk arcades, and make people see Mamma Mia and Space Chimps because they couldn't beat the hard scrabble for tickets to a film. For the sake of focus though, let's limit this discussion to DDR Hogging.

Picture this: Your in the local arcade, and there it is...DDR Supernova 2. You haven't played it ever. You start towards the machine, a slight hesitation. "Will I look like a fool?" "Will I get laughed at?" "Will I finish my set?" All of these questions flood through your head. Then you realize...everything is going to be ok. It's just a game, it won't kill you. On top of that, it's good exercise. Hey, it burns several calories per song. You turn your back to smile at your compatriots, when suddenly...they arrive. Backpacks at the ready, the Battalion of Nerds show up. Clad in their witty/pop culture referencing t-shirts, armed with those hours of socially prohibitive practice in their mother's basements, they unzip the backpack and produce several bottles of Gatorade and towels. This is the DDR equivalent of the sock on the dorm room door...you are NOT getting ANYWHERE near that machine for the next couple of hours. The kiss of death...a roll, nay SEVERAL rolls of quarters. These guys mean business, and you my friend are Chapter 11.

Don't even try to take them on, they'll just embarrass you because they've memorized the steps. They get the 120 step combos on Difficult. They play all of the annoyingly difficult J-Pop songs with the cutesy characters in the background. They even have the ability to enter their initials into the machine in a minute flat. So gaze longingly on the machine all you want...sooner or later, you won't be able to see it because a crowd will form around the Nerds, giving them the societal recognition they crave and dance whore themselves for, night after night. The afterglow of finishing that song, the applause (real and electronic), the flash of the lights. They guzzle it all down like their fucking electrolyte enriched water based beverages. THEY DRINK IT UP! However, they do not truly feel the rhythm of the music.

Sure, you can memorize it all, and just reproduce the experience again and again, but do they truly ever have fun with it? I don't think so. We all know nerds don't have rhythm. (Apparently, geeks do, or at least I do.) Rhythm is a key component to DDR, because you have to feel the music, and you have to do it with a smile on your face. If you're not feeling a song, you'll know because you'll lose within a matter of three seconds. Even if you succeed in pulling off the dance moves, if you're not grinning like an idiot and out of breath with sweat on your face, you're not doing your job.

So next time you're at your local arcade, and you see the DDR machine open, rush over to it, claim it triumphantly, and never let it go. Get a chain of friends to line up behind you and use the machine. Claim victory, and drink forth the juices it flows.

(For the record, I don't hate all nerds/geeks, just the ones who think they're extremely superior to everyone else.)
(Also, celebrities need to stop selling their fucking baby pictures to magazines. That shit is annoying and it's demeaning to your kids.)


Dave B. said...

Geeks have rhythm, nerds don't. But then again, most geeks wouldn't subject themselves to DDR. They'd grab their Call of Duty and mow some mofos down.


Course, I'm just not a big fan of "dancing".

Seresecros said...

"I don't hate all nerds/geeks, just the ones who think they're extremely superior to everyone else."

Apart from me, I hope? (geek, incidentally. Not a nerd - I like me my comics and N64. Technically, this retroactively makes me an "awesome", although this term has yet to be accepted by general society in terms of me)

Mr. Controversy said...

Dave B - I've yet to buy COD4 yet...but it will happen.

Serececros - I do not hate you, for you are "teh awesome".

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