As a child, some of my fondest video game memories were of playing "Dance Dance Revolution" both on my own in my basement and with my friends at the cute little hang-outs my friends and I used to have when I was in middle school. I'm not sure how I got my first DDR game. But, no matter how this happened, little did I realize that this would combine some of my biggest loves--dancing, music, and video games. Rhythm games are one of my favorite genres, and I feel like they deserve more love.
For the uninitiated, a rhythm game is a video game based around music, where you have to do a certain action in time to the beat. Classic examples include "Guitar Hero", "Dance Dance Revolution", and even "Just Dance". The idea is pretty simple--for "Guitar Hero", it's playing guitar. For "DDR", it's... well, kinda-dancing. And with "Just Dance", it's "flail around and hope that the Wii sensor catches your motions after the fifth time you've made that pose".
Since music has always been one of my passions, as has gaming, I realized early on that rhythm games are a perfect match for me. But, they aren't for everyone, especially those who aren't as musically inclined. That doesn't mean they can't have fun, though! I've found that even those who aren't as into music still enjoy a good round of "DDR" or "Guitar Hero".
It's a highly varied and wonderful genre. Outside of the States, there's my personal favorite rhythm game franchise, "Pop'n Music". (Great example of gameplay here, with the "Sailor Moon" Japanese theme.) In the USA, there's "Rock Band" and "AudioSurf" (the latter of which lets you pick your own music!). And, there's the classic (still one of my guilty pleasure faves) "Elite Beat Agents", an underrated gem for the Nintendo DS that features FBI Agents that dance to save the day. (No, I am not joking.)
While I may gush a lot about visual novels, RPGs, and adventure games, I cannot stress how much of an impact rhythm games have had on my life. And still do! This genre of games from my childhood has grown, and it's been wonderful to watch.
There's the newer VR and PC game, the terrifying "Thumper", available on Steam, which defies traditional expectations of the genre. Or, if you're more mobile-ly inclined, there's the free (and surprisingly creative) VOEZ for iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch. Lately, I've been playing VOEZ, and the changing "playing field" (if that's a good way to describe the game space) is super neat!
Still, I could ramble for days about rhythm games. Whether it's the dancing, getting active, or just feeling in sync with a song, rhythm games are a wonderful genre, and you should definitely check them out!