Konami Launches DDR Television Show On CBS

[Full press release](, boldface is mine:

> Burbank, California – May 9, 2006 – CBS and DIC Entertainment (DIC), in association with Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., today announced the production of a new dance competition series, Dance Revolution, to debut on September 16, 2006 on “**CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party**” branded programming block.

> Dance Revolution (previously titled Dance, Dance, Dance!), a live-action television series inspired by Konami’s hit video game franchise Dance Dance Revolution┬« (DDR), will join the new schedule of programming on “CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party,” a three-hour, E/I-compliant branded programming block exclusive to broadcast television. The series will encourage physical activity. Dance Revolution (E/I, TVY 7) complements the programming block’s overall theme of promoting healthy, balanced active lifestyles. **The line-up of previously announced programming to debut on “CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party” includes CAKE, Horseland, Kooky Kitchen, Littlest Pet Shop, Sabrina: The Animated Series, Trollz and Madeline.**

> **In Dance Revolution, ‘tweens’ and teens bring their freshest moves to this sensational new dance competition where teams of dancers display their innovative routines. Hosted by the charismatic Dance Revolution house band, kid-friendly judges determine the winners as the dancers perform their routines to the cool sounds of the band. Dance Revolution will also offer onscreen visuals that constantly encourage viewer participation by demonstrating specific dance moves and steps.**

> “We are thrilled to partner with Konami to create a program that will entertain kids of all ages, and get them motivated, active and off the couch,” comments Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of DIC Entertainment. “We are focused on using CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party as a vehicle to address the national concern of obesity and inactivity among children by providing motivating and innovative entertainment.” He adds, “We are excited to add this unique series to our schedule **and to the international markets.”**

> “This collaboration gives Konami an excellent opportunity to bring elements of the DDR franchise to television,” states Kazumi Kitaue, Chairman & CEO of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “We hope to create equal success with the franchise on TV that we have had with the video game and look forward to working with DIC on bringing fun, interactive entertainment to young audiences.”

> DDR is an interactive game that continues to sweep living rooms and arcades across the nation. It is the only game in which players move their body to upbeat tunes while allowing them to exhibit their own innovative flare and original dance moves. DDR combines quick reflex action with pulsating dance music for intense “get-up-and-play” fun. Players are challenged to match their dance steps with the flashing arrows on the screen while keeping up with the high-energy beat of the music.

> The workout component and interactive nature of the game have been highlighted as key elements to DDR’s success. Additionally, the DDR series has benefited from major game/dance tournaments that have been held around the world. The game has successfully crossed over international borders to win a global fan base.

> As part of “CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party’s” balanced active lifestyle theme, the block will feature unique animated and live-action interstitials threaded throughout the morning block to promote healthy eating and balanced, active lifestyles for kids. The messages, which will promote nutritious eating habits, will be created in consultation with Baylor College of Medicine’s Children’s Nutrition Research Center (CNRC), an internationally renowned institute devoted to pediatric nutrition studies.

> DIC will seek initial guidance on all programming to air on “CBS’s Saturday Morning Secret Slumber Party” from children’s experts from the DIC Educational Advisory Board–a group comprised of leading media experts, educators and pediatricians created to provide information, guidance, advice and general expertise to DIC in the development of multimedia programs and projects for children.

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Tear It Up

Back in April of 2003, I wrote a post [discussing my disdain]( for fanfiction – particularly that of the DDR variety. I think most of the links in the post are dead, but the point remains the same: fanfiction for video games, particular video games without a plot, is a crime against humanity.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m passionate about games. Twenty years of gaming gets you a lot of addictions and obsessions. I’ve played some games long enough to temporarily ruin my vision, taken mutli-hour car trips with people I barely know to play games in arcades, and written way more PHP to handle game accounting than anyone should have to in the course of their life.

But there’s a line for me. Somewhere past cosplaying at conventions is a breed of gamer who takes things way, way, way too far.

Today, Aaron Ramsey discovered – quite accidently – the [Beatmania IIDX Platinum Livejournal community]( I should, in all fairness, know by now not to click links titled “SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE HELL THIS IS ABOUT”.

If there’s any game I’m obsessed with, it’s certainly Beatmania IIDX; anyone who’s been reading here for longer than a month has been subjected to the regular tangent about it. I am not going to go into details to describe the percentage of my gaming attention this game occupies. That said, this community scares the living shit out of me.

IIDX_Platinum is a role-playing group. This means each and every person in the community plays the role of one of the IIDX “characters”. Let’s stop right here, for the benefit of those people that don’t play: The characters in IIDX are largely relegated to screens that show your scores. They only occasionally appear in videos. They have very minor back-story associated with them, which is then obsessively filled in by people who think it’s worth filling in.

To base an entire perpetual role playing game off of characters that don’t have any characterization is…to make the obvious joke, *just disturbed, guys*. This is even acknowledged in the [group rules](

> I’ve done all the research I could do and there isn’t a website that describes all the character’s personality.

There are other sections in the rules that are equally troubling, like the full acknowledgement that there may be [yaoi]( and [yuri](

> Keep an open mind. *This community/rp group is run by yaoi fans… and we do allow yaoi, yuri, and het in this RP. Anything lemony, please warn us in advance.*

Some people may find this hard to believe, but Beatmania IIDX is a fun game even if you *don’t* pretend the characters on the results screens are having homosexual relations with each other. I personally don’t think it adds anything to the gaming experience – but maybe that’s just me.

I don’t mean to go on a complete snark binge here, so let me get to the heart of the matter, which is based largely in this line in the group description:

> Forgive us for being uncreative (or maybe being lazy) at the time, but this role-play has no set definite plot or anything like that. I mean, our boys and girls are DJ’s. Still, that’s not to say that it’s all they ever do. They are human after all, and go through the same things that we all do. Happy times, fun times, depression, frustration, anger, emo, angst, etc.

If these characters truly “go through the same things that we all do”, what’s the motivation here to write about someone else’s (fictional) life ? Why would you want to *pretend* to have issues, especially those that aren’t your own? Is there really an emotional rush for *pretending* to be in love with someone else who doesn’t exist? Since all of these love stories seem to end in heartbreak, why would anyone want to pretend to go through that?

Don’t misread that as saying there isn’t something to be said for going through all of these things yourself; there’s a lot to be learned from falling into and out of love, from releasing your frustrations and having your friends be there for you in your darkest days. But you need to go through these life experiences as yourself, not as a fictional DJ (or any other character from one of the thousands of roleplaying groups online).

In total, it strikes me as rather tragic that there are so many people out there who are content to churn out pages upon pages of fictional [phone conversations](, [AIM chats](, and [trips with fictional friends]( rather than try doing any of these things as themselves.

Life is too short to spend it writing a story for someone else’s life.