On March 22, the Wilson Commons Arcade Committee held a tournament for the new “Dance Dance Revolution” arcade game featured prominently in the arcade on Wilson Commons’ third floor. “Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect, it was our first one,” Jeremy Mravlja, the SA Special Projects Coordinator said of the tournament. Around 35 people entered to compete and all involved agree that it was a success.

Though signs said it would start at 3:30 p.m., the tournament did not actually start until well after 4 p.m. However, this did not seem to hurt turnout, as spectators were numerous as were competitors.

For both fairness and variety, songs were picked randomly. The one exception to this was the Can-Can, a traditional French dance. It was unanimously booed when the machine selected it, so Mravlja allowed the dancers to pick again.

The “Dance Dance Revolution” game has been a hit since it was first installed last month. People walking past the third floor of Wilson Commons at all hours now encounter loud dance music and the floor thumping in time as players dance, singly or in pairs. There are often several people watching the dancers and sometimes, a line to dance. But the popularity of the game has been mystifying to some people. “I think a lot of these people are insane, but it’s fun to watch,” sophomore Ian Slattery said. Others have expressed doubt about whether the game is worth the investment that people put into it. “I wonder how much money they spend here,” senior Aileen Kim said.

The Dance Dance Revolution machine provides an exercise alternative that is indoors, conveniently located and, to many, fun.

Junior Brett Abercrombie is a frequent dancer. “It’s fun and good exercise,” he said. But he was in the minority, as most dances do it only for the fun. “I think it’s pretty revolutionary,” senior James Kwon said. Sophomore Aaron Gallant agreed with him. “I play on this machine pretty regularly,” he said.

When asked what attracted her to the game, junior and Wilson Commons manager Patty Heckman, said, “I like to dance, and it’s a good game to play against friends.” Commenting on the game’s popularity, Heckman said, “It’s been great. I’m here at one in the morning, so I often have to kick them out at closing time. It’s been great for business [at the Hive] just because it’s so popular that there’s a line sometimes, so people come here and play pool while they wait.”

Some just play to pass their free time. “It’s a good way to burn an hour between classes,” Abercrombie added. Indeed, doing so provides moderate exercise. Results vary, but for an average male, one hour of dancing is enough exercise to fully burn over 800 calories – equivalent to a cheeseburger and fries from the Pit.

Unfortunately, people rarely do dance for an entire hour at a time. Abercrombie said that he normally dances for twenty minute increments.

“The more advanced players can only do it for about four songs at a time, because they get so fast,” he explained.

Additional reporting by Colin Brown.Levesque can be reached at clevesque@campustimes.org

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