Warning: What follows is aimed solely at the DDR community. If you have no idea what DDR is, reading this will get you nowhere.
There’s been a trend for the past few months that’s gotten gradually louder and louder on the DDR boards – the deification of two Japanese DDR players, Take and Yasu. Two brothers who are among the few remaining DDR players in Japan, Take and Yasu have had a sudden rise in popularity because they’re friends with an American who moved to Japan by the name of Aaron.
THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED SINCE IT WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED. PLEASE SEE APRIL THE 14TH FOR AN APPENDED ENTRY.
Now, Aaron provides a number of little sub sites, include his AAA page. AAAing, for those who don’t play, means you get a Perfect rating on each step. Getting a AAA is a reasonably high accomplishment, so you get a bunch of pictures of people posing in front of DDR machines, like this one of Take and Yasu.
If you look down the page, you’ll notice that nearly every song has an entry for Take, Yasu, or Aaron. So, essentially, they’re very good players. Highly ranked in the Internet Ranking competitions. A lot of people consider them the best in the world.
Watch this video of Yasu getting a AAA on Max300. This is, for what it’s worth, the most famous video on Aaron’s site. People mark out immensely for a AAA on what’s considered one of the hardest songs.
Sure, it’s impressive, but…isn’t there more to the game than this? Aren’t we supposed to be “dancing” or whatever?
But herein lies the problem; the DDR community has raised these guys to such a level that “everyone” (obviously not everyone, since I’m writing this) wants to be like them. So “fun songs” lose out to “hard songs”, and any attempt to have flow while you play is overruled by people trying to get a few more perfects in a song while looking like a gimp. Perfect Attack tournaments run far longer than Freestyle tournaments. No one plays doubles. A game which can easily have a large creative aspect and on occasion be really fun to watch has been replaced by a clinical desire to know who is better than who.
Aaron’s defense of the bar rape (which is the official term within the community) is:
People have seen Yasu do that all over Japan and they don’t laugh or mock him at all; they bow to his ability to do that. In the worst case, people say “Oh look, he’s using the bar…heh [a minute and a half later]…Oh my God! He AAAd it!”
And this has become the rallying cry for bar rape in the US – “it impresses people”. Yeah, people within the community. Not the people who pass by in the arcade and form those crowds that everyone loves to have while they play. Those people aren’t watching the screen, they’re watching you.
There used to be an anecdote here about me at Hershey Park. It was pointless. It’s gone now.
So my only advice to you, dear reader, is to stop trying to impress other people in the community. Sure, we’ve all done it – I’ve taken hard sets just because I wanted to challenge myself. But try impressing someone who doesn’t play. Try to leave the arcade at night without smelling like ass and breathing like you’re about to die. Throw in a spin or two – they’ve almost become NOT played out because I don’t see anyone do them anymore. Move your arms. Slide. Try smiling. Be intentionally goofy – para while you play Hold On Me, especially if you don’t know how to para. Play on something other than Heavy.
Stop trying to be like Take or Yasu. Start trying to be yourself.
Make the kids who are only in it for the PA realize that games are supposed to be fun.