DDR Freak's Official Response to the Solo 2000 ControversyDDR Freak Staff
The recent reports about the questionable background images in DDR Solo 2000 have caused enormous outrage by DDR players all over the nation. The San Diego Union-Tribune, followed by Fox 6 News and NBC 7/39 News have aired or published stories about the controversy surrounding this game. However, we believe these reports do not give a balanced viewpoint. This statement is provided as a means to assure parents and fellow DDRers that the images have been taken out of context, and that the game is suitable for young kids to play.
According to Jennifer Stoefen and the Youth Advocacy Coalition (YAC), DDR Solo 2000 promotes drugs, alcohol abuse, and sex by displaying images of pills, cocktails, syringes, and images of a nurse riding up and down on a syringe. Huge oversight on their part caused them to jump to the erroneous conclusion that these images can be nothing else but illegal drugs, such as Ecstasy and heroin.
When the YAC saw pills in the song "I'm Alive," they immediately thought the pills represented some kind of illegal drug, like Ecstasy. They did not consider the more obvious answer, which is medicine. Although some might say it is a matter of opinion whether it represents Ecstasy or aspirin, there is far more evidence that it represents some kind of medicine. First of all, throughout the video, it displays nurses and doctors in the background. [screen cap here] Furthermore, along with the rows of pills, it displays the text "MEDICINE".
Clearly, the YAC did not think of the possibilities and immediately concluded that pills are inherently bad. With this kind of logic, a game like Dr. Mario would also be declared unsuitable for children. We must not forget that pills are administered by nurses and doctors.
In a similar situation, the syringes were mistaken to be an illegal drug instead of something medical, like vaccinations. If you notice in the following screen shot, syringes are flying around on the screen, and behind them are doctors wearing red crosses. We believe they are doctors and not drug dealers because they are wearing all white, with a red cross. It would also make more sense for them to be doctors because the rest of the backgrounds also have a medical theme.
The nurse in the background is scantily clad, but that is nothing out of the ordinary. Sexy nurses have been shown in cartoons like Animaniacs ("hellooooooooooo nurse!") [screen shots], which most people consider to be suitable for all ages. The amount of clothing on the Solo 2000 nurse is also much more than in games such as Dead or Alive. Furthermore, the nurse is not riding up and down a syringe; the nurse is holding onto a syringe, and the camera is panning up and down. There are no sexual connotations in this, despite the claims of the YAC.
As for the cocktail images in the song Club Tropicana, the images shown do not use cocktail glasses. Instead, they use glasses more commonly used for smoothies and milk shakes. In either case it is hard to determine the contents of the drinks, and it is certainly foolish to declare them as promoting alcohol abuse. [screenshot] If you look at the images, they look like some kind of fruit drink, not hard liquor.
The majority of DDR players around the nation do not smoke, do not drink, and do not partake in illegal substances. Many, on the DDR Freak forums, have even stated that playing DDR has DECREASED their likelihood of experimenting with drugs. This game has brought youth away from the violence of House of the Dead, or Street Fighter. It has brought youth away from the nearly nude characters in Soul Caliber, or Dead or Alive. This game is giving the youth of our generation a chance to enjoy a video game while at the same time getting valuable exercise - a claim few other games can make.
DDR Freak encourages parents and kids to check out this game for themselves before drawing any conclusions. We are confident that you will find a game that is good for your health and fun to play, not something promoting illegal drugs, sex, and alcohol.
Special Thanks to Dwinsucks for encoding and distributing the news clips, and thanks to Snorkel109 for noticing the "MEDICINE" in the clips.
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Konami images used with express permission of Konami Corporation.