Classic Dishes...

DD-R U Kidding Me?

In a bout of semi-random Web surfing, I came across this thread about DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), which if you’ve been under a rock for the last seven years or so is a video game where you are challenged to step on pads in time to music. It requires fast feet and a damned lot of memory and dexterity, and good DDR players are truly a sight to see.

Anyhow, this is one of your standard bitch threads about what annoys you when playing the game. And a lot of it is typical elitism (“OMG! I can’t stand it when someone plays Song X on EASY! Like, they’re wasting time I could be using to get an AAA rating on Song X+42!!!!111!!! LOL!!”), but some of them were generic arcade complaints that surprised the hell out of me, because it was stuff that simply WOULD NOT HAPPEN when I was an arcade rat in my teens. To wit:

  • Stealing tokens: A common bit of video game etiquette is to (ideally unobtrusively) place a quarter/token/whatever up on the lip of the marquee of the machine to indicate that you would like to play the next game. If several people are waiting their turn, you place your token in the line, and when your token is at the front of the line, you get to go. Apparently there are idiots now who think they can get away with attempting to pocket someone else’s token. Unbelievable.
  • Messing with the controls: There were more than a few complaints of people standing around and then stepping on the pads while you are playing to intentionally screw up your game. I would never DREAM of pushing a button on a machine someone else was playing. Ever.
  • Generally getting underfoot: There is a practice known as “shadowing”, which is when someone jumps up on the other unused pad (a DDR machine has two pads side by side, one for each player) while someone who is playing solo, and doing the steps for the song alongside. I would find this TERRIBLY distracting. There were also several complaints about parents with their rugrats letting said rugrats stumble around the feet of the active player instead of keeping them the hell out of the way, and then yelling at the player when the kid inevitably gets themselves hurt.

There were quite a few other complaints, some reasonable, some asinine, but these were the ones that jumped out at me. And all I can say is: What. The. HELL. When I play arcade games, anyone who gets so close to the screen that I can see their nostrils better than what I’m playing quickly receives repeated elbows to the ribs until they get the picture. Working the controls causes arms to flail, you know. Terribly sorry there. And, yeah, we had quarter-moochers, but anyone who tried to outright STEAL quarters in the coin line would be dealt with quickly, harshly, and often physically. And DO NOT TOUCH my control panel. You shouldn’t even be that close to me anyhow, but I’m paying for this game, and if I come up a smart bomb short because you thought you were being cute, I know who I’m taking out my frustration on.

Bottom line, if anyone pulled crap like this back in the day, they would be on the receiving end of a Grade-A asskicking. It didn’t happen. These were the biggest faux pas you could make in the scene. In 25 years of gaming, someone has touched my controls uninvited ONCE (costing me a man in a game of Tapper, by the way), and the only reason that guy didn’t get thrashed is because he was known for being mentally unstable anyhow, and I frankly didn’t wanna be entwined with him anymore than I already was by virtue of being regulars at the same arcade.

So the following question occurred to me: Have people just gotten ruder over the last ten-fifteen years or so? It’s not like the stuff above is some super-secret behavior that only arcaders know, it’s COMMON SENSE. Don’t steal. Don’t get in someone’s way if you can help it. Don’t screw someone else up if they’re doing something. Do you reach over and punch buttons on the checker’s cash register at the grocery store?

I’ve said many times: People Are (Freakin’) Stupid. Are they really THIS stupid? Even OUTSIDE of the red states?

1 comment to DD-R U Kidding Me?

  • Nathan Beeler

    Nothing terribly shocking, really, but none of that ever happened (to my knowledge) at any arcade I ever went to while growing up.

    And yes, people are getting ruder. I blame cell phones.

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