I’ve been lax in my Topsy-Techie blog of late, and I deeply apologize, but I warned you I was in a summer funk, didn’t I? Actually though, I haven’t had time for a funk, even if I had wanted one. Summer is supposed to a time for rest for homeschooling moms, and it is – – if by rest you mean working two jobs, helping in Vacation Bible School, writing four blogs, sanding the paint off your front porch, and repainting, helping taking care of elderly family members, and keeping the weeds at bay in your flower garden. Summer is actually quite refreshing, by those standards.
Anyway, I couldn’t ignore my precious Topsy-Techie blog even one more day, because far too much topsy-techiness has been going on around here that needs to be reported.
Exhibit A….the StepMania invasion.
Uber has truly enjoyed his summer break thus far, not because of the balmy days, or the trips to the pool, or those lemonade slushes his dear mom happens to be famous for. No – – Uber has discovered StepMania. Now for those of you who live under the non-techie rock of cluelessness, StepMania is an open source rhythm video game. It is the method behind the madness of games like Dance, Dance Revolution, In The Groove, and Pump it Up Pro.
Now a couple years ago, during the height of the DDR craze, I bought a couple of those crazy dancing mats, and after about two hours of finding that Anglo-Saxon females of a certain age are more likely to be kidnapped by terrorists than learn to dance on cue with flashing lights and arrows, I stuck those things in the back of the closet and never thought of them again. Until….Uber’s latest new obsession.
Now if any of you have ever been DDR fans, you know the basic gist of the game – – you step on the squares of the dance mat that correspond with the arrows as they come down the screen. The arrows are timed with the beat of the music, so that if you can keep basic rhythm with the song, you are more likely to hit the arrows in the correct sequence. For those of you who are not DDR fans, and are looking at the screen with that familiar blank stare, just try to picture a game of Twister, but a lot louder, faster, and with a lot of funky electronica music thrown in for fun.
Stepmania, though, is for the rhythm video game purist … there is none of that canned club music, there are no hypnotic graphics, it is just you and the music – – your music. That is the key element of StepMania. Instead of having to play whatever god-forsaken tune Konami decides to give you, you are in control of your own tunes. You upload your favorite music to the program, and are off and running, literally. So guess what Uber’s StepMania music queue consists of? Video game theme songs. No, I’m not kidding. There is actually a genre of music out there called “Classic Video Game Music”, and apparently, Uber is a huge fan.
So there he is, in his room, dancing his techie heart out to….”Plantman Stage from Megaman VI.” Now you tell me if that isn’t the pinnacle of geek status, then really – – what is???
So Uber spends much of his days now stomping and stepping to the music of his generation. He works his way through the different difficulty levels, unlocks hidden songs, and creates custom rhythm patterns. And when he wins? Well he puts in his initials on the virtual scoreboard, of course…by stepping out the letters with his feet!
Uber invited me into his room one afternoon to try out his favorite new hobby. He turned it on for me, set it to the easiest level, and started up the music, and off I went. And guess what? After a couple more years of maturity under my belt, not much had changed. I’m expecting the terrorists to drop by for tea just any time now.
Just in case you were under that non-techie rock and missed this
Youtube DDR video, here is your chance :
Filed under: blogging, computers, geeks, homeschool, humor, motherhood, summer break, technology, video games | Tagged: blogging, Dance Dance Revolution, homeschool, Stepmania, Twister, video game music |