video games

I used to play a lot of video games; through college and for quite a few years after. Bomberman and Bomberman '93 were my favorites for a long time (it went rather downhill from there, though; the punch took a lot of the skill out of multiplayer). I was the first player I know of (and I was on a turbo duo mailing list at the time) to find the 10M point "power-up" in the original bomberman (it took getting through the first 63 levels of the game without dying).

But anyway... since a job I had a decade ago, where we had daily quake2 deathmatches in our group, I haven't hardly played them. Lately, the only game I bought expecting to play quite a bit was Civ IV. That was quite good, but I largely lost interest after several very long games. I guess part of it was that it was very, very tough to take over anything via cultural superiority; much tougher than it should have been. Putting an enormous percentage of my resources into that, I was only able to take over one city over the entire course of a very long game (and that one was very small). Overall, I think I liked Alpha Centauri (man, it's sad to notice that it'd been ten years since I updated that page) a lot better. The only game I still play regularly on my computer is a computer bridge game.

I do still play console games on occasion, though. DDR is my main form of exercise (I also play ultimate frisbee, but usually only once a week). And Karaoke Revolution is a lot of fun, also. My pitch is still far from perfect, but at least I can sometimes hear when it's off, now.

Be that as it may, the main reason I was writing this was to talk about DDR. I've been playing it for a long time; I only play it on Hard difficulty, unless I'm playing a new version. And when that happens, I get back to Hard as quickly as I can; not much exercise in the easier levels. I've been asked if I memorize the levels, but, as far as I can tell, I don't. It's hard to be sure, really. If I have memorized it, it's only at the subconscious level, except for a couple of particular sequences in a couple of songs, where my instinctive action would leave me wrong-footed. The only thing I really consciously remember is the beat sequence (when is there an extra syncopation, when does the tempo change, that sort of thing).

I've tried telling people that DDR is a good training for ultimate, but no one seems to believe me; what it does particularly well is train you for defense. Getting wrong-footed on D in ultimate (as in most sports) means you lose the match-up immediately; by the time you can play DDR on Hard level, you're almost never wrong-footed. And you're rarely off-balance, as well. Plus, it's very good aerobic exercise, so it helps with your wind. Win-win-win. :)

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