Dance Dance Immolation Pics

I’ve been a little frightened at the rate at which DDR has gained mainstream acceptance over the last few years. What used to be this weird quasi-underground game is now readily available in practically every video game store in the country, never mind the knock offs and the clones and everything else.

Despite the increase in popularity, Konami has been keeping the rate of development relatively slow. There hasn’t been a new arcade version since the end of 2002; home version keep coming out but only at a rate of about one per year. (In its heyday, there were two arcade and two home releases per year in Japan.)

Luckily, there are some people that are still finding ways to keep the game interesting.

Most everyone with a passing interest has heard about Dance Dance Immolation, the upcoming flamethrower-based version that’ll be at Burning Man. To steal the summary from the DDI page:

> Dance Dance Immolation is an adaptation of the popular arcade video game Dance Dance Revolution, but with fire! Basically, you play DDR; when you do well, the computer shoots big propane blasts up into the air. When you do poorly, it shoots you in the face with flamethrowers. Yes, you, as in your actual corporeal body. And yes, flamethrowers, like the kind that are on fire.
> Before you play, you’ll put on a full aluminized proximity suit, with a forced-air respirator, gloves, fireproof hood, the whole bit. These are the suits that are used for fighting fires at airports. So, as you can see, it’s completely safe!

My very good friend [Nicole Aptekar]( is in fact on the DDI team, working on a number of parts of the project. She’s put up a [fantastic bunch of pictures]( (including the above one) from their first test at The Crucible’s Fine Arts Festival this weekend, as well as lots from the construction efforts. Be sure to check them out.


Congrats To Neil & Rachel

Major congratulations to close friends Neil & Rachel on their just-announced engagement. I know the two of you have been pondering this for a while, and it’s great to see you two making the leap.

Now comes the real fun: wedding planning! For those of you who have never been through it and want to experience similar fun, merely acquire a pair of tweezers. Then, simply attempt to pull each and every hair out of your head one at a time.

At this rate, we will have had three Cornell weddings in three years – this is a scary trend.


Two Five

In the wide range of anecdotal weapons that Katie has against me, one of her favorites to trot out around her birthday is the fact that on her 23rd birthday, I ended up singing Older by They Might Be Giants instead of a traditional birthday song.

Now, this is largely because I’d rather sing TMBG instead of any Time-Warner owned birthday song, but also to alleviate her fears that she had hit some new landmark day in her life. The point of the song, at least as I’ve always taken it, is that every second of every day, you’re a little bit older – time is marching along and there’s nothing you can do to stem the flow of time. I don’t think it’s a malicious song, it’s just a statement of fact more than anything else.

So yes, I’m older than I’ve ever been, and now I’m even older. And sure, now I can rent a car in all 50 states without a problem, but that’s not something I was particularly looking to do. It’s really just another day in my life (especially given the circumstances of where I am and what I’m doing today), so I’m not going to spend time getting bent out of shape over things.

I do have a little time to reflect on the last year, so I’d like to just say thanks to everyone who’s become a part of my life in the last year – Jen, Jay, Tien, Youngna, Jake, Laren, Adam K, Suw, Amber, and all the new friends I’ve made at work over the last year. I also need to give much love to the people who have been there who continue to be there to help keep me steady – Jenn V, Nastassya, Gil, Peter, Thom, Neil, Paul, and practically everyone I talk to on a regular basis. I love you all.

And of course, no giving of props would be complete without a huge cross-country hug to the love of my life, Katie, who loves me like no one else ever could. I love you, baby.

And now, for the benefit of you waiting for keynote coverage, I’ll cut the shmaltz and head over to Moscone. See you all in a few hours.