It costs only 50 cents to play. Junior Mike Sofia swipes his student ID card in the change machine and excitedly places two tokens in the game. It is rare that there is no line to play at this time of the day. The tokens activate four flashing, multi-colored lights, a catchy techno theme and a crowd. The audience watches him choose his difficulty level and song, checking first with his opponent and friend, junior Brian Stevens, before making a final decision. The difficulty is hard and the song is “Candy/Luv Unlimited.” Dance Dance Revolution is about to begin.

Arrows soar upwards across the screen indicating on which arrowed pad the men should nimbly stomp their Nikes. As the Japanese techno music gets faster and more upbeat, their feet, which are always in sync, speed up and the nearby air hockey table shakes. Perfect, great, good and fail appear on the screen, adding to their overall score. The game ends and Mike is the winner.”He had more perfects,” Brian said, who has been playing DDR for over a year. “I had a higher score, though.” They play two more rounds before wiping the sweat from their forehead and retiring to let junior Nick Stull, who has been eying the game since he walked up the stairs, play.

Brian and Mike were both contestants in the annual DDR tournament last year and came in eighth and ninth place respectively. They are planning to enter the contest once again.

Nov. 5 marks the first DDR tournament of this year, which some avid DDR players are tentative about. In recent years, Rochester Institue of Technology students have paid to play and dominated the game.

The bracket tournament is free for all UR students and $5 for anyone else who wishes to participate.”I am not good enough to play against the RIT guys,” Stull said, who has been DDRing for two semesters. He admits that although his DDR game has come a long way, he has not become a better dancer or more coordinated.

Jeremy Mravlja, who is hoping for another good turnout, is coordinating this year’s tournament. “Last year we had about 32 people,” Mravlja said. The grand prize is a top of the line RedOctane Dance Pad and a copy of the DDR game. Second prize is a copy of the game. On the night of the tournament all of the arcade games are free.

Regardless of how long you have been playing DDR for, or even if you just like to watch in awe, stop by Wilson Commons on Friday night. Hopefully, no one will be scared away by the RIT players who spend their days practicing at the local bowling alley – we need a UR winner!

Paret can be reached at

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