Friday, January 20, 2012

Jewish Music Fridays: Jewish Dance Dance Revolution

Ever played "Step It Up," otherwise known as the Jewish Dance Dance Revolution, or officially "The Original Jewish Dance Game" at your local Jewish supermarket/Judaica store?

Well now you can play at home too, turning your personal PC or Laptop into a "Dance Machine!

You can buy the basic bundle, which includes the original version along with the dance pad and features "60 hit songs from top Jewish artists like Lipa, The Chevra, Dovid Gabay, YBC, and more!"

Then, when you want even more songs to dance to, you can buy the upgraded software version 2.0 that features "hits like Yalili (8th Day), Ah Ah Ah (YBC), Just Do It! (Yonatan Shainfeld), and the Maccabeats sensation "Candlelight!"

I have to admit that I do not own this product.

However, I think this whole concept is downright hilarious. For the longest time, video games have been a bit taboo in the more right wing Orthodox world. Now, not only is one available to play in public, but in the privacy of the home as well. The release of this product also assumes that the potential consumers out there own computers.

Granted, this video game is unlike others that contain violence, objectionable content, secular stories or values, which makes it less problematic than Mortal Kombat or Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Once it's been established as having kosher content, the makers/advertisers also dodge the potential accusation that this game is a waste of time, like one could say about something family friendly like Pac-Man by informing us that it is actually a fun way to exercise:

"Step It Up will change your perception of fitness. A fitness regimen can not only be fun, but include your entire family!"

Honestly, the same family fun and fitness could be achieved by playing the Jewish music you already own and create a fitness regimen consisting of jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups and other non-machine exercises. You'd also save $100+ and be able to have the entire family join in at the same time instead of taking turns on a single pad. You'd also probably get a better work out.

I certainly welcome the idea of maintaining one's health through exercise, but I don't think that people will typically get that much exercise from a dance pad. Yes, you can work up a sweat, as I described in my Dave and Buster's dating case study, but I don't think "Step It Up" can serve as a real substitute for an actual exercise regimen for people "ages 8-88."

I also wonder what this product says about popular Jewish Music as a whole. Most songs features on a secular Dance Dance Revolution game are really high energy, pumping dance/club songs, techno beats, or J-pop. Does this mean that these Jewish Music songs are somewhat equivalent?

Anyway, I don't intend to insult or denigrate the value "Step It Up," and I'm sure it is probably fun. Maybe even fun enough to try on a date - it could be a new activity along with the usual board game dates! I recall that there were a few guys who had DDR nights at YU... but that was entirely unrelated to their dating lives.

Does anybody own "Step It Up," or know someone who owns it? If someone would like to do a review and have it posted here, please send me an email.

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