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He, like, hits the notes with his mind
July 23, 2003 7:25 PM   Subscribe

"Un-******-believable" is how this link was related to me, and I think you will agree. The link is a video showing a player of a DDR-type synchrony game involving buttons musical notes. I found his display a simply stunning display of human adaptability. Wow!
posted by rudyfink (50 comments total)

 
I am almost completely unimpressed.
posted by delmoi at 7:42 PM on July 23, 2003


How exactly is this more impressive than a decent pianist (or other musician) sight-reading?
posted by kickingtheground at 7:46 PM on July 23, 2003


Good lord, talk about reflexes and muscle-memory! It can't really be compared to actually playing the same piece on the piano - the guy playing was actually flailing his arms through the air to hit the different buttons, and not missing a one. Not the same talent as being a fantastic pianist - actually a completely different talent/skill and still very cool.

And - what was that link someone posted a while ago to a similar game done in Flash or Shockwave? Can't find it for the life of me.
posted by GriffX at 7:46 PM on July 23, 2003


Yeah, he's pretty damn good. The scary thing is that he only came in 3rd Place in the game's high scores.
posted by waxpancake at 7:46 PM on July 23, 2003


It doesn't appear that he's hitting the buttons as fast as the notes and blocks are falling. Having not played the game, I can't say how much skill it takes. However, I do know one thing: I'd waste him at Super Mario Bros.
posted by fatbobsmith at 7:47 PM on July 23, 2003


I like to think that this generation's Mozart or Michael Jordan has used up all of his masterful genius ability practicing Dance Dance Revolution, and will summarily be a complete loser for the rest of his unremarkable life. Unless of course, DDR just happens to become the breakthrough Olympic Sport, where Artistic and Technical Points matter, and this man shall be hailed as our new godlike icon like Tony Hawk or some other person whose hobby suddenly got noticed.

But I'll still get more booty than him.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:49 PM on July 23, 2003


"Sure he's amazingly good at Quake, but how good is he at actually racing around a space-installation killing mutants with a rail-gun? I am almost completely unimpressed."

Muh-hey.
posted by GriffX at 7:50 PM on July 23, 2003


Stan Chin - no, it's this generation's Salieri that kicks ass at video games. This generation's Mozart is coding the games.
posted by GriffX at 7:52 PM on July 23, 2003


humph. windows media, and not even a warning.
posted by quonsar at 7:54 PM on July 23, 2003


after banging my head against the normal mode of amplitude, I have great admiration for the guy.
posted by crunchland at 8:06 PM on July 23, 2003


Yeah, he's pretty damn good. The scary thing is that he only came in 3rd Place in the game's high scores.

Yeah, but that's because he didn't beat own his 1st and 2nd place scores.

And normal mode was for wusses, crunchland. MUHAHA!
posted by cortex at 8:11 PM on July 23, 2003


"A simply stunning display of human adaptability"?

Good god, man, get out more. According to this reaction, your local arcade would apparently be the Eighth Wonder of the World.

People memorizing patterns and hitting buttons quickly != talent. It's whack-a-mole to music, kids.

(And I beat all levels of Amplitude. P H E A R.)
posted by qDot at 8:13 PM on July 23, 2003


Pounding 10 [maybe less?] buttons in sync with a piece of music hardly demonstrates genius. It does show that this guy is great at following directions, has great hand/eye coordination, etc. He'd make a great assembly line worker...or maybe a drummer for a salsa band. Either way these skills aren't going to get you more than $20,000 a year.
posted by phylum sinter at 8:47 PM on July 23, 2003


That must have taken a whole lot of quarters (Yen?) before he got the pattern down. But daaamn.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:08 PM on July 23, 2003


Holy fucking shit you guys have high standards. You must be totally awesome!
posted by Hildago at 9:15 PM on July 23, 2003


I think the guy is awesome.

Despite the fact that he's displaying some amazing talent in a most trivial manner does not negate his fantastic abilities. You're unimpressed? Your loss, I guess.
posted by ashbury at 9:22 PM on July 23, 2003


I thought it was cool, but I never even mastered Pac-Man.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:28 PM on July 23, 2003


I looked at that and was stunned anyone could do it. I thought "wow, this is impressive and different" so I linked it.

For the ad hominems, I realize cynicism springs eternal, so dismiss all you want, but I fail to see how the clip isn't impressive. Whether you think the time is wasted or not, I can see.

I am fairly certain he is hitting each exact note or at least trying to. If you blow it up you'll notice his fingers are moving constantly on the repeated patterns. He has all of the high scores which isn't terribly surprising. It was hard to tell if the score ranking was a networked one though.
posted by rudyfink at 9:28 PM on July 23, 2003


you are simply not seeing what you think you are seeing. there are not enough big round buttons to produce all those chromatic scales and arpeggios. the guy knows how the melody goes. he can drum that melody out with his palms. he watches the markers and hits the correct buttons. that is quite impressive, but i've seen 14 year old trumpet players sight reading "flight of the bumblebee" and doing an amazing job. shrug.
posted by quonsar at 9:52 PM on July 23, 2003


>there are not enough big round buttons to produce all those chromatic scales and arpeggios.

Yeah, I've never played this game but I don't think he's making music as much as following a predefined pattern the coders put in so playing the game makes a familiar and rewarding sound.

At 1:26 you can cleary hear the machine playing the melody well after the guy released his hands from the machine. I don't think he's "hacked" a videogame into playing music as much as he's playing a videogame that makes music.

Am I missing something?

Neat clip, but I see a cool feature on a videogame not some DIY musician.
posted by skallas at 10:09 PM on July 23, 2003


Everyone hear assumes this kid is just some arcade addict who learned the pattern. Maybe he's really some Japanese musical prodigy and he's got this game down in an afternoon?

You people are too "the glass is half empty"
posted by PenDevil at 12:53 AM on July 24, 2003


Metafilter: The glass is always half-empty.
posted by bwg at 1:00 AM on July 24, 2003


Bet he's good at table-tennis.
posted by Resonance at 1:38 AM on July 24, 2003


perhaps you need to be experienced in the world of bemani to truly appreciate this guy's skill. being well versed in the art of ddr myself, i can tell you that playing these types of games takes a bit of skill. of course, i'm not as impressed watching this guy as i would be watching, oh, something that involves a bit more body movement.
posted by joedan at 2:45 AM on July 24, 2003


perhaps you need to be experienced in the world of bemani to truly appreciate this guy's skill. being well versed in the art of ddr myself, i can tell you that playing these types of games takes a bit of skill.

It does take quite a bit of skill, but not nearly as much skill as playing a musical instrument. I should know, 'cause I'm both a DDR addict and a fairly accomplished amateur violist.

What this guy did is impressive, but is nothing compared to watching a virtuoso pianist banging away on a real piano.

And musically, his playing is nothing to write home about either. I recognized the piece as Mozart's "Turkish March," but this guy was rhythmically off by just enough to make it pretty painful to listen to.
posted by spacewaitress at 3:52 AM on July 24, 2003


Makes me wonder why they don't sell these things equipped with piano keyboards. Beats the hell out of music lessons with old Mrs Finch, her two coins, and the wooden ruler.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:53 AM on July 24, 2003


next time can you please warn us it's a link to a file and mention it's size? It locked up my computer for a while (I'm on an old one) and didn't even get to see the video. thanks.
posted by evening at 5:20 AM on July 24, 2003


i enjoy metafilter
for those days
when there is
nothing
to
complain
about
posted by mhjb at 5:39 AM on July 24, 2003


You people are too "the glass is half empty"

For me, the spatial completeness of the glass is indeterminate but I can always influence it by drinking a little more.
posted by walrus at 6:17 AM on July 24, 2003


Link craps out in NS, IE, QT, MS Media player and RealOne. Someone, please host this and post URL on a reliable link. Gracias.
posted by basilwhite at 6:25 AM on July 24, 2003


You people complaining about file types and what-not need to learn how to mouse-over the link and read what the link is in the status bar.

If it says blahablahblahb.wmv, that's a windows media file, always has been, and that's not very hard to learn or remember.

You would think this would be a standard skill for anyone who spends more than an hour a week on the net. I can't believe there would be mefite's who haven't learned what .wmv .mpg .mpeg .mp3 .avi .mov .swf mean. I would be too embarrassed to admit I didn't know what was a media file.

Basilwhite: I just viewed the link 5 minutes ago and had no problems on IE 6. If it has crapped out it's recent.

The poster shouldn't be yelled at for your inability or refusal to use a basic remedial internet skill.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:39 AM on July 24, 2003


Correction: My last line should be above my reply to Basilwhite, up with the rest of the ranting about file types.

That was not directed at you Basilwhite. My bad formatting.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:41 AM on July 24, 2003


alternate link - If it doesn't stream, right click and save as. Watch out, it's about 4 megs. The original server seems to be doing fine, by the way; I just downloaded it to that server at 231kB/sec.

BTW, the way this game works is you see the notes fall, and you 'catch' them by pressing one of the colored buttons depending on the placement and color of the falling note. It's basically insanely good hand/eye coordination and muscle memory. It'd be cool to have one of these games with a real piano keyboard, so you can at least transfer your skillz directly to a real instrument.
posted by zsazsa at 6:49 AM on July 24, 2003


optimist: half full.
pessimist: half empty.
engineer: too much glass.

It's a cool video (IE 6, btw), but the phrase "stunning display" lacks a relative context.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 6:54 AM on July 24, 2003


I think this lad could easily cross over into a similar "sport". Warning: contains HTML and JPG files.

mbd1mbd1: My glass is completely empty.
posted by sharksandwich at 7:08 AM on July 24, 2003


mbd1mbd1 - exactly. The relative context being thousands of video-game players who get adept enough at whatever game to "perform" it like this. I've certainly seen some of them standing next to me in the arcade, over a decade ago. I don't see how the addition of music as part of the game suddenly makes it amazing.
posted by soyjoy at 7:10 AM on July 24, 2003


Everyone seems to be arguing over the musical merit of this video and this post. The post mentions that it's a music-based videogame and a "stunning display of human adaptability."

Yes, he's no Yo MaMa (sic) but his hand eye coordination is pretty fucking impressive for anyone who's tried this type of game.

It's a neat video.
posted by untuckedshirts at 7:48 AM on July 24, 2003


The post is misleading. I was hoping to see a young Katarina Witt, or Erich Honneker doing something cool.

Does "DDR" really primarily refer to "Dance Dance Revolution" now? I really thought "East German synchro-what?"

I'm not trying to be some "so-out-of-it-I'm-cool" type. I own a television and I watch it. I just think that if you use "DDR" in a post or conversation, the Stazi should be involved somehow.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:53 AM on July 24, 2003


So I'm the only one that thought that was a girl?

Also, mpeg versions exist, but the link to place I saw the mpeg a week or so ago (via lotsofmonkeys) is dead.
posted by NortonDC at 9:10 AM on July 24, 2003


However, I do know one thing: I'd waste him at Super Mario Bros.

And I would waste you. *throws glove*
posted by j.edwards at 10:27 AM on July 24, 2003


The post mentions that it's a music-based videogame and a "stunning display of human adaptability."

Confused... the music is just a tape or CD playing, and he's whacking along in time. So what? I can do the same thing on my keyboard.
posted by jokeefe at 11:17 AM on July 24, 2003


.... and often do. At this very moment, I am typing along to Beethoven's 5th.
posted by jokeefe at 11:18 AM on July 24, 2003


And - what was that link someone posted a while ago to a similar game done in Flash or Shockwave? Can't find it for the life of me.

Flash Flash Revolution
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:31 AM on July 24, 2003


It'd be cool to have one of these games with a real piano keyboard, so you can at least transfer your skillz directly to a real instrument.

It exists; it's called Keyboard Mania, and it was developed by Konami as part of the same series (Bemani) that includes DDR and a slew of other rhythm games.
posted by wanderingmind at 1:20 PM on July 24, 2003


Thanks, inpHilltr8r!
posted by GriffX at 1:33 PM on July 24, 2003


It exists; it's called Keyboard Mania, and it was developed by Konami as part of the same series (Bemani) that includes DDR and a slew of other rhythm games.

For instance, you can hook the Yamaha DTX Digital Drum Kit up to your home version of Drum Mania. The DTX is a full-scale set of digital drums, and you can use it to create actual music, too.

Personally, I think these games are wonderful. DDR has been the best thing ever for my health, and I think rhythm games also have a great deal of potential in building musical confidence. DDR allows people to interact with music on their own terms, breaking down the "I don't really get music/music seems very hard" barrier. It'll be interesting to see how rhythm games progress... as the games become more and more free-form, perhaps some "real music" may someday be born from them.
posted by vorfeed at 3:31 PM on July 24, 2003


it shows fast reactions and good information assimilation

I find that most people are quite inferior in these respects and so I will give him the thumbs up


It is not really different from being a fantastic pianist, as a pianist playing a familiar song will also be accessing his muscle memory or what not

HOWEVER, it is easier, as pointed out that there are fewer buttons and that it is made for easy access and touch variation doesn't matter much as it would on a piano

I'm happy to know that plenty of you put on a pretense of talent, if you all tell the truth, then we are in good company

It is really unfortunate how easy it is to be mediocre
posted by firestorm at 7:11 PM on July 24, 2003


edit: altho he only needs fast reactions when sight reading, if there is such a thing as becoming skilled at the machine

if he merely learns the patterns, he still needs better memory and information assimilators than I've found in regular people
posted by firestorm at 7:12 PM on July 24, 2003


Let me just say, vorfeed, that I also think rhythm games hold great potential in freeing people from intimidating concepts of learning music. BUT "Un-******-believable" is way over the top. This is eminently believable - again, to anyone who's spent a few hours in an arcade.

It is not really different from being a fantastic pianist, as a pianist playing a familiar song will also be accessing his muscle memory or what not

Sorry, but it is really different from being a fantastic pianist, as a pianist is creating music, interpreting what's on the page with musical expression. The true analogy would be playing along with a player piano - which, again, would be impressive, but not the same as making music.
posted by soyjoy at 8:34 AM on July 25, 2003


edit: altho he only needs fast reactions when sight reading, if there is such a thing as becoming skilled at the machine

If it's anything like DDR, then yes, you do become skilled at the machine. Most DDR players can pass completely unfamiliar songs the first time through, so long as the song is one or two difficulty steps below the best they can do with practice.
posted by vorfeed at 11:29 AM on July 25, 2003


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