Cheaper than a gym membership
2003 was the year I first tried Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and loved every second of it. I liked it so much that I didn't even care that I looked ridiculous in front of my friends. I've wanted one ever since. Last week I tried it again. Once again I looked ridiculous and loved every moment. I must have been very convincing in my description of my adoration of the game because Kevin started looking around for deals on it.
The main problem was that you need to purchase a gaming system as well as the game, and the dance pad. Gaming systems are expensive, especially if you only want to play 1 game. Nevertheless Kevin looked around for used systems and used games. I told him it was too expensive. Then Kevin made a great discovery: there are DDR games made for your PC. Without the purchase of a game system it would still cost at least $50. Once again I told Kevin it was too expensive. He kept looking, and found an open source version of the PC DDR called Step Mania. "Open source" to me is synonymous with "free!" That made the only necessary purchase the dance pad. We found them for $20 and up. Once again, I told Kevin that was too expensive, and reminded him that it was his idea to be extra careful with money until the new car was paid off.
Suddenly I realized something. I don't ever look at the score anyway. I am concentrating too hard during the game to see if I'm getting any points, and I'm so excited to try again at the end that I just skip over looking at my final score. Finally, my lack of competitiveness is a benefit to my exercise program! (Being competitive in Skip-Bo and Dominoes doesn't exactly help me with my fitness goals.) That took the grand total of my brand new Dance Dance Revolution home gym to ZERO DOLLARS! I've been practicing 30 minutes per day ever since. I may never know if I'm getting any better, but I sure have fun doing it. I'm considering making my own dance pad. Some ideas are to make it out of paper plates, or to paint arrows on the floor in the office, or to make a quilt with appliquéd arrows. It'll be completely wireless!
Part of the open source status of the game means that people can create new songs. You can download MP3's into the game and create dance moves. For that I would need a real dance pad, and a bit more coordination than I have at present, but if any of you out there have better taste in music than the current step-mania crowd you should create some dances for me. I'm looking for some Michael Buble, or Simon and Garfunkel, or James Taylor. Let me know when you've created them, and I'll let you come use my high tech wireless DDR system.
Update: When looking for images to go with this post, I found instructions for making your own DDR pad with aluminum foil, toilet paper, and some other junk. Hmm...