There are some things in the world that are always true: The sun rises in the east. Water is wet. Kate Cox does not dance, and you cannot make her. Not even with alcohol involved.
My E3 schedule for Wednesday had "Microsoft / Kinect" on it. I arrived for my appointment and confirmed I'd be seeing Dance Central 3.
I have a couple of lovely friends who work for Harmonix, back in Boston. I do not dance. Not even for them.
I went into a closed-door demo room with two other writers and a video guy. Waiting for us were one PR rep, one of the game's producers, and one of the game's choreographers. I had a brief glimmer of hope that the choreographer would be demonstrating the game for us, and I would be off the hook.
The demo required two teams of two. Four players. And on discovering that the other woman writer in the room and I had nearly the same name, it was universally agreed that she and I must therefore throw down, in Throwdown mode.
Well. Almost universally agreed. I have never been so badly outvoted in my life.
We stood before the solemn, judging eye of the Kinect as it sized us up and required us to strike poses for posterity. The machine duly assigned randomly selected names and avatars to us (as choosing and customizing would take too much time out of a 30-minute demo window) and the game, alas, was on.
You have to high-five your opponent to start each round. Like bowing to your sensei, or saluting your fencing opponent, or a gladiator saluting his emperor as he heads into certain death in the arena. Particularly like that last one, in fact.
The first round was the kind of "standard" routine players will recognize from other Dance Central games. Avatars on-screen demonstrated choreography, and we tried as best we could to keep up. The game has not only an easy mode, but a Dancing for Dummies mode (not the official name) that engages when you are too terrible to keep up with Easy. I am fairly certain that I demonstrated the existence of that mode to my fellow writers.
The team proudly touted choreography brought to the game by Usher. Somehow, I had forgotten that detail from Monday's Microsoft press conference, but on being reminded I felt my doom surround me. I mean. Usher can dance, guys. I cannot. It was perhaps the saddest, most forlorn attempt at breaking it down that has ever been seen by human eyes.