A Master's Thesis Project About Street Fighter and Fighting Games


#1

Hi, everyone! I’m new the forum, and am here for very selfish reasons (which will shortly be revealed). I ran the following past MrWizard, and he gave me permission to put this survey for my master’s thesis project on the forum, but let me just preface it with a couple things.

The language used below is required by my university, so please read carefully before replying to the survey (and I do hope you’ll reply). The questions were created for both a casual and competitive audience, so some of the answers might seem kinda “duh” for you guys, but for more casual fighting game fans maybe less so. So I apologize for that in advance.

If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to ask in the thread, though I’d prefer if you keep survey answers out of the thread and just send them via e-mail or PM. To also keep the thread interesting (and give the community something to talk about), I would actually like your opinions about fighting games as a subject for academia. What sort of things in games do you think need to be looked at? Do you feel like it benefits games if they’re studied with the same rigor literature and film are? I am interested in your thoughts.

Without further ado, here’s my survey, with information about my thesis. Please do reply, it would really benefit the project.

Hello, gamers!

My name is Nicholas Ware. I am a Master?s student in the Popular Culture department of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. As my thesis project I am doing an analysis of the Street Fighter game series in terms of its depictions of race and power, the interplay between the two, and their relationship with gameplay.

Part of my project is to gather opinions and information from the game-playing community in an effort to include some perspective from gamers themselves in addition to my own cultural theory and opinions (both as a gamer and an academic). In order to accomplish that, I have decided to post the following survey about Street Fighter IV in several web forums of video game sites around the Internet. I am looking for volunteers to fill out this survey to inform my research. If you could, I would really appreciate you answering the questions. They are very open-ended, and as much information as you could give would be appreciated, as your opinions can help shape my project (and, indeed, that is the intention). This is your chance, as a gamer, to have your opinion involved in an academic project, which benefits the legitimacy of video games as an area of study. Your risk of participating in this study is minimal, as your identity will be kept mostly confidential (see below for more information on confidentiality). If you?re participating in this project on a public computer, please remember to clear browsing history and cache.

NOTICE: Please either use a private message in this forum or an e-mail to WareSFThesis(at sign)gmail.com to respond to the survey. By responding to this survey, you are consenting to allow use of the information in this research project, including quoting your answers. If quoted in the project, you will be identified by demographic information (age, region, race, gender) and the site from which you participated in the survey. This is the only risk to your confidentiality. All original responses will be kept private, and there is a chance your answers will not appear in the final project. All answers may contribute to tables of raw data collection, though these will have no individual identifiers. You are in no way required to give me your name or e-mail address (if you respond via private forum message) in order to participate in the survey, and that is to protect your privacy. Respondents must be 18 years of age or older. If for any reason, you wish to withdraw your answers after completing the survey, simply contact me and let me know. You will be removed immediately from the project.

I really appreciate any and all responses to this survey. It will help me a lot with my thesis. Thanks so much for your time! If you have any questions about participation rights, you may contact the BGSU Human Subjects Research Board Chair at (419) 372-7716 or hsrb(at)bgsu.edu. Other questions about the project can be directed to the project adviser, Dr. Jeremy Wallach, (419) 372-8204 or jeremyw(at)bgsu.edu.

Section I: Demographic Information

  1. What?s your age?
  2. What?s your gender?
  3. What?s your race?
  4. What?s your nationality?
  5. On which website did you find this survey?
  6. How many years have you played video games?
  7. What are some of your favorite games and game genres?
  8. What is your skill level at Street Fighter IV (1 to 5, 1 being the least skilled, 5 being the most skilled)?
  9. How many hours of Street Fighter IV do you play, on average, per week?
  10. Do you play Street Fighter IV online?
  11. How much of your play is casual, and how much is competitive? Please use percentages. (For example, 65% casual, 35% competitive.)
  12. Other than Street Fighter IV, what Street Fighter games have you played?
  13. Have you ever played in an off-line Street Fighter tournament (not just Street Fighter IV)?

Section II: Impressions of Street Fighter IV

  1. Does Street Fighter IV have a single hero? Why or why not?
  2. If you answered yes to the question above, who is the single hero? Why?
  3. Do you feel that all Street Fighter IV characters are equally powerful (not in gameplay terms, but within the storyline)? Why? If not, who do you feel is more powerful and less powerful?
  4. What characters do you hate to fight against? Why?
  5. Do you feel any countries in the Street Fighter IV world are over-represented? Under-represented? Why?
  6. Do you feel that any of the ways race is depicted in Street Fighter IV are unfair? Why?
  7. Do you understand the Street Fighter IV storyline? Is it important to you to understand the story? Why?
  8. Are there any characters you don?t like because you find them offensive or off-putting? Why?
  9. Do you think of Street Fighter IV as a Japanese product? Why or why not?

Section III: Play Choices

  1. What is your main goal when you play Street Fighter IV?
  2. What character(s) do you most like to play with when you play Street Fighter IV? Why?
  3. When you choose a different character other than your favorites, what is your usual reason for doing so?
  4. Do you think it is more impressive to be able to win with any Street Fighter character most of the time, or a single Street Fighter character every time?
  5. What kinds of players do you usually play against when you play multiplayer Street Fighter? (e.g. friends or random people online, etc.; casual or competitive, etc.)
  6. Do you feel any characters in Street Fighter IV are difficult to use? If so, does this make you want to play with those characters more, or less?
  7. If you existed as a character in Street Fighter, would you be more likely to play as yourself, or more likely to play as one of the fictional characters? Why?
  8. If you play other genres of video games, what does Street Fighter (and fighting games) give you that those other genres don?t, and vice versa?
  9. If you could change anything about Street Fighter IV, what would it be?
  10. Describe to me the perfect Street Fighter IV character, as you imagine it.

Section IV: Additional Comments
Please add any additional comments you may have about Street Fighter IV and
the Street Fighter series in general.

Thank you so much for your participation!


#2

Wow this is the second one in just as many months. College is getting way to lax when it comes to this stuff.


#3

yeah you must really be reaching to do race studies in a video game


#4

Popular Culture department? You mean all that time I’ve spent sitting on my ass watching TV I could have been getting college credits?! shit, why don’t they ever mention that in those Phoenix University commercials. :annoy:


#5

Yeah, Popular Culture is where you study exactly when entertainment jumped the shark.

John Hein is actually planning on becoming a teacher of it when Howard Stern retires. Would be a pretty dope class to take.


#6

I could post my comps list, if you want to see what popular culture scholars REALLY study. :smiley:

To the person who thought race studies was “reaching” in video games, it really isn’t, but my project is more about the way race/ethnicity/nationality relates to the way the characters are portrayed as powerful (i.e. what does the game indicate are the markers of power via the different races/ethnicities/nationalities), as opposed to strictly about racial depictions. For example, Ryu’s stoicism in contrast Ken’s fiery passion, which is present both in gameplay terms, especially in the differences in their dragon punches and Ultras, and in the narrative, and which I feel is very representative of how the Japanese view themselves in relation to Americans.

Anyway, I do hope you all take the time to fill out the survey. Ethnographic research always tends to unearth interesting ideas.


#7

I sent you my answers to the questions to your email.

I hope they are of use.


#8

Why so much emphasis on SFIV? If you took a lot of those questions and applied them the fighting genre as a whole you might get some better replies.


#9

I was gonna ask the same thing.
Is this for SF4 specifically…or SF games in general?


#10

Yeah, I was very interested in responding, yet don’t play SFIV, so no longer plan to.


#11

same here


#12

Ditto. Also, any chance of the OP making this into an online accessible survey? They have sites like surveymonkey.com that can do surveys for you. It would be easier to fill out a form…just a suggestion. :wgrin:


#13

This is my response that I PMd, editted out the stuff that wasnt very entertaining.


Section I: Demographic Information
3. What?s your race?
None of your fucking business.

Section II: Impressions of Street Fighter IV

  1. Does Street Fighter IV have a single hero? Why or why not?
    Yes and no. The obvious protagonist of the series is Ryu, so you can say he is the hero of the series. But players can strongly identify with a different character, and regardless of if that character is the hero of the series, it is the hero to them.

  2. If you answered yes to the question above, who is the single hero? Why?
    Already fucking said that shit, wtf redundant.

  3. Are there any characters you don?t like because you find them offensive or off-
    putting? Why?
    Yeah, theres a bunch of characters I dont like, but thats mostly for playstyle reasons. Like T.Hawk, fuck that guy.
    His moves are all stupid, and his normals suck.

  4. Do you think of Street Fighter IV as a Japanese product? Why or why not?
    Made by japanese people right?
    Protagonist is a japanese dude?
    Sure, why the fuck not?

Section III: Play Choices
5. What kinds of players do you usually play against when you play multiplayer Street Fighter? (e.g. friends or random people online, etc.; casual or competitive, etc.)
MULTIPLAYER?
Theres a fucking single player mode?
You mean that shitty time sink between playing real competition?

  1. Do you feel any characters in Street Fighter IV are difficult to use? If so, does this make you want to play with those characters more, or less?
    Less. Because Fei Long sucks ass.

  2. If you existed as a character in Street Fighter, would you be more likely to play as yourself, or more likely to play as one of the fictional characters? Why?
    Cause I can shoot fucking fireballs out of my hands?
    I mean sure I got instant win moves because I know how to choke people n shit, and can KO people of similar size in 1 hit, but id rather be E.Honda. Because id be a big fat motherfucker with moveries and fatness that will beat your motherfucking ass bitch. Plus I stole Sakura’s underwear after I sleep raped that bitch and donkey chopped that slut in the back of the head, and I wear that shit as a trophy.

Section IV: Additional Comments
Please add any additional comments you may have about Street Fighter IV and
the Street Fighter series in general.

Street Fighter 4 sucks.
SF3 and CVS2 are better games.


#14

While it could have focused more on the SF series than just 4, it would work against his goal to have it be about all fighters:

“I am doing an analysis of the Street Fighter game series in terms of its depictions of race and power, the interplay between the two, and their relationship with gameplay.”

@Philth

Your responses are oh so professional.


#15

Are you saying SF4 represents all fighters? Hell, are you even saying SF4 represents the SF series?

God, if there’s one thing Ono has done right, its that he has succeeded in mindfucking millions. That or everyone is so pathetic that they think quality is associated with having the word “Street Fighter” plastered on its grill.


#16
  1. Do you feel that any of the ways race is depicted in Street Fighter IV are unfair? Why?
    Not in 4, not really. But the SF series in general has been built on racial stereotypes, I mean fucking Zangeif drinks vodka with Gorbochaff (or however you spell that motherfucker with a red wine stain on his foreheads name) and does that russian arms crossed knees all the way bent and kicky dance for his ending in SF2.
    Shits all fuckin racist. But no one cares, cause its not offensive racist.

Im sorry, I didnt realize this was some professional shit.
Id better wear a motherfucking tie when I type this.
When I can expect some compensation for my professional survey filling workload?


#17

Yeah dude, all the black characters are stronger than the white ones except Zangief. Racism


#18

To answer your question if games are to be studied and analysed with the same rigour as literature and movies:

Yes and no. Yes, in that it is possible and it could possibly do the same for video games as it did for literature and film. Understanding what makes a game good and why, and then teaching it which will greatly benefit the development of future games.
No, because people keep trying to analyse games in the same way they do literature and movies, completely omitting the interactive part and looking only at story and visuals. Since most games don’t have a (good) story this is pretty pointless, since most of the enjoyment in these games comes from playing them. Story based games are an exception of course, but even then the gameplay is still more important than story when it comes to games.
Having a great story in a game that sucks to be played will not make it a good game, no matter how good the story is. Streetfighter is a pretty good example. The story plain SUCKS. Yet we keep playing it. I don’t care about Hawk’s motivation to fight, I just wanna smash someone’s face into the ground.

What we end up with is questionaires like these, trying to find relevance in throw away facts such as the country and race of characters in a game like Street Fighter IV. I didn’t create the SF series, but I can assure you that there is absolutely no thought process behind these characters other than "What country haven’t we done yet? France? Ok, behold: Remy!"
Then there’s the assumption that everyone here plays SFIV and the question: “What other SF games have you played?” Like those aren’t being played anymore and everyone just hops onto the latest bandwagon. It would have been interesting to ask people why they don’t play SFIV, why they think that a game that was made 20 years ago is better than a game that was made with the latest technology.

So yeah, I’m not gonna answer this survey, 'cause I don’t play IV. Sorry.


#19

Balrog did have some straight up unbridled negro rage in turbo.

But Deejay? Pfft.
Maybe in SF5 he will learn how to fight…

Sure the motherfucker had a phyisique and could dance, and a colgate smile so bright it can blind the panties right off of your GF… But he was caught with jailbait playing the steel drums on Girls Gone Wild Island and is currently serving 15 years.

After dodging the broomhandles in D block he might be ready for the next tournament.


#20

Please put your thesis defense on Youtube.