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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Favorite Song

    - staff

  • Emily Greenquist, Student at Tribeca Flashpoint, De La Soul: "A Roller Skating Jam Named 'Saturdays'"

    Inspired by De La Soul's 1991 anthem "A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays'," the game of equally long title (replace the "jam" with "game") centers on the enthusiasm, freedom, camaraderie, and child-like giddiness that is the event of Saturdays.

    The game itself is an event, occurring online only on Saturdays. It is a weekly, 24 hour MMORPG in an expansive and glitzed out roller skating rink that honors the time-honored tradition of letting loose on a Saturday. Like the song says:

    Now is the time to act a fool tonight.

    Forget about your worries, and you will be alright.

    It's Saturday.

    - De La Soul

    Using the XBox 360 Kinect, players of all ages dance, roller skate, compete in the rink, play in the arcade, make friends, and dress to impress. Teams and individuals can make up dance/skate routines and customize threads for judgment every hour. Free skate is available the whole 24 hours, and players can toggle the option of chatting with new and old friends.

    Game play is full body motion. Dancing is entirely free form, which allows for completely personalized moves. Once in the rink, the player's avatar is automatically propelled forward, and while maintaining the freedom of stylized movement, speed is determined by how quickly the player shifts their weight from side to side. Rink competitions are also available - i.e. racing, the limbo, red light / green light. If the player wants to take a break (or they don't have a partner for "couples skate"), they can sit and chat in the snack bar or hang out in the arcade. Single and multiply player classics (like air hockey, skee ball, whack-a-mole, pool, table tennis, and hundreds of arcade gameswith high scores to beat), all come to life in the extensive game room.

    "A Roller Skating Game Named ‘Saturdays'" is open and safe for everyone - there are family rooms, under 18 only areas, and strict monitoring of player actions and language usage.

    The music is streamed through Pandora, and players have the option of using the "A Roller Skating Game Named ‘Saturdays'" playlist or one of their own. In the game's playlist, De La Soul's "Saturdays" plays in random intervals (about once every two hours), and players are encouraged to dance along together with a routine of simple steps. This act is similar to everyone at the club getting up to Do The Hustleor Jump Around at a game.

    Like the song that inspired it, "A Roller Skating Game Named ‘Saturdays,'" honors the special excitement of this single day of the week. Regardless of one's social or economic status, players from all over the country have plans on Saturday; they are joining together for a full day of roller skating, camaraderie, active play, personal expression, and great music.


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