This year at E3, while people check out the big name games and releases on the showroom floor, Indiecade allows independently developed games to share the spotlight, and for me, Magic Dance Mirror was one of the show-stopping games to check out.
How many times have you wanted to throw a dance party for you and your friends? Or promised yourself that you would keep up and get moving instead of playing video games? Or even make a music video or put on a show for yourself and others to enjoy? Magic Dance Mirror, created by Kyle Ruddick, is a dance and movement video game unlike any I have experienced before. Unlike popular titles like Dance Dance Revolution or Dance Central that have you copying moves or landing perfectly on your feet, Magic Dance Mirror is not about being perfect, or getting a high score, or focusing on what a game tells you is an impressive dance move (let’s be honest, how many people have we picked up with anything we learned from DDR?) Magic Dance Mirror is about letting it’s users experiment and create art with their movements and music as they feel fit too.
“The Magic Dance Mirror was inspired by EDM festival culture and the immersive art there,” Ruddick explains, “While it is a place with a very active and open audience it is also an environment with incredible distraction. To make something truly immersive there you have to compete with loud firey explosions, giant unicorns, naked dancing girls, and famous DJ’s.”
And as soon as I walked up to Ruddick’s exhibit at E3, I could see what he was talking about. Despite being surrounded by other games and creators, the large projection screen caught your eye and you could see the reflections of people walking by, looking as if they were made out of stars. Visitors took off their shoes and danced in front of the screen, moved along with complete strangers, even video taped themselves and others as they watched an incredible light show unfold that was completely created based off their own imagination and what they were capable of doing. I could see myself at home alone, blasting music and dancing like an idiot, one of the only ways I truly like to exercise (because running is hard and not fun at all). And one of the best things of all: there is no winning and losing. So if you have friends who get competitive while they drink, or feel awkward with video games that test your ability to follow along or learn as you go, all of that pressure is taken away and replaced by you setting up your own limits for yourself.
Magic Dance Mirror is currently in it’s Alpha, but you can explore more about this project by checking out their website here and following their social links. Seriously, go check it out!