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Teacher sets world record by playing more than 15 hours of DDR

Carrie Swidecki, a 35-year-old grade school teacher from California, set a world record last week with a DDR marathon – 15 hours, 12 minutes and 44 seconds.  Wow!  And like me, she’s a DDR weight loss success story; she lost 75 pounds over the past decade smashing those arrows.

Wonder what the over-50 record is?  I got two years to train for it!  (Via Charleston Daily Mail – there’s also a video at the link.)


Party in the USA: In The Groove for PS2

In The Groove was a dance-pad arcade game that was inspired by DDR, so much so that it sparked a lawsuit by Konami that pretty much shut it down.  But before it disappeared, a PS2 version was made, and you can pick it up very cheap, new or used, at Amazon or Gamestop.

ITG was developed in the US to be sort of the American answer to DDR. Gameplay is essentially the same: step on a four-arrow mat in time with a row of scrolling arrows.  (Maybe if they’d rearranged the arrows like Dance Factory, they could’ve escaped Konami’s wrath.)  But instead of chirpy j-pop singers and anime-looking dancers, ITG has more instrumentals, more club-ish music and more streamlined graphics and sound effects for an overall more “Westernized” feel.  New features are also added: you can alter the arrows to make them wavy, dancy or twisty, add “mines” (round symbols that deduct points if you step on them) and “hands” (extra arrows forcing you to bend and hit the mat with your hand).

ITG with one of the many arrow variations

ITG also has a workout mode, and they were a couple years ahead of DDR in adding a doubles option to workout mode.  Like on DDR’s PS2 workout modes, you enter your weight and a goal (either time played or calories burned) and select individual songs, preprogrammed courses or Random Endless – play songs continuously for the time you selected.  I like to do Random Endless, because it shuffles all the songs on one difficulty you select.  20-30 minutes of songs on a difficulty level of 5 or 6, on a scale of 1-12, makes for a great steady-state cardio workout.

In The Groove fitness mode screen, courtesy of Gamefaqs

(It should also be noted that unlike DDR, ITG’s calorie counter is really screwed up, almost as badly as We Cheer’s.  I just ignore the calorie counter and select a time goal only.)

If you enjoy playing DDR on Endless mode for cardio, In The Groove is worth searching the bargain bins for.

Adding Wii games to your strength program

Three of my favorite metal objects!

Lisa of Wii Fitness and Gaming asked me to write a guest post for her blog, so I wrote a post about how I add Wii games to my strength training routine of kettlebells and heavy weights.  Check out my post here, and see the rest of her blog (and her Wii Fitness Examiner page) for more great Wii workout ideas.

Gold’s Gym Dance Workout is coming

Here’s a one-two punch from the makers of Just Dance – hot on the heels of Dance On Broadway, comes Gold’s Gym Dance Workout!  This sequel to the boxercise game Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout says it is “the first dance game specifically dedicated to fitness and weight loss.”  The game will be balance-board compatible, will include minigames that look similar to Active Life or EAS Active, and will allow you to track your play time, calories burned and BMI.  (No word on online play, though.)  The songlist includes:

  • Just Dance
  • Forever
  • I Will Survive
  • Good Vibrations
  • Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)
  • I’m Too Sexy
  • Material Girl
  • Stronger
  • Jai Ho
  • Smooth
  • Salome
  • Oye Como Va
  • Cosmic Girl
  • Heart of Glass

Wow, by the time Zumba for Wii comes out, if it ever does, there may be a whole shelf of Wii dance workouts down at Gamestop.

Dance Dance Striptease

Hottest Party 3 got a little hotter!  There’s been a lot written about the slimming properties of DDR, but the DDR cover girl is taking off more than just weight.  I noticed in recent weeks that last year’s DDR game for Wii, Hottest Party 3, has gotten a new cover photo:



Konami must be going after the late-night infomercial market, or maybe they just want to swivel a few gamers’ heads at Walmart.  Either way, keep on rockin’ those awesome abs, DDR girl!

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