Hi. I was inspired to make this topic by: [media=youtube]hE_u7TbUxM8 found in this thread: http://forums.shoryuken.com/showthread.php?t=153606[/media]
I know it sounds stupid but I’ve been thinking of doing this for a while and that video helped a lot. So:
Contrary to the reputation that precedes me from the posts I make and avatar I wear, I actually care about the scene. I’m not saying I’m willing to sacrifice my time by running tournaments/events, flying cross country to tournaments/events. Those things are way beyond me, but I do care enough to stay active in the community. I don’t mean to tute my own horn but I think I’ve done a significant amount of trolling that will make people think I don’t do anything positive for the community and thus ignore me. I help out zachd (matches, website organization), I’m doing some work for the PalMod (MvC2), I used to help out FFA arcade release ranbats and I might do some work for them for the 3S SBO Qualifiers, and lots of various combo video help. I realize trolling and helping the community doesn’t sound right but if you think about the things I’ve said, they’re really insignificant in the big picture of things. In fact, I feel I can go as far as to say that trolling might motivate people to work harder and get things done. (the GGAC not being at Evo situation is not a great loss for its community, I know how strong that is and it will be fine for a year w/o Evo.) Also, I know that I come off as condescending towards a lot of newbies but I think I can cover a lot of subjects and explain a lot in this article. Finally, I decided I should write something like this since Thongboy Bebop seems to be MIA again and he is well known for being able to articulate what everyone knows already in a really effective way.
For starters, I wanted to mention the video that was posted on http://youtube.com, the video is a great example of the narrow-minded outlook people have on games that don’t work around the idea of instant gratification. Fighting games promote and especially reward time and effort put into learning the game in its competitive or technical form. I can’t think of any other genre save for First Person Shooters that reward the player that learned the game and understands mind games between him and his foe. The competitive side of fighting games might be well known for most of us, however, I feel it’s still necessary to discuss since the SRK community has changed greatly over the years and it will help setup the stuff I want to talk about later on.
Understanding what makes a fighting game beautiful in the competitive form is probably easily evident to most of us, however, I still feel we don’t realize how lucky we are to have the ability to love something so much that you spend countless hours trying to get better and constantly motivating yourself back into playing when you feel all is lost. A testament to the amount of love people can have for fighting games is ST – the game is tremendously old (for a fighting game) and the fact people are still competing and voicing their opinions about the game’s remix is showing the devotion people can have towards something they play. I don’t have to go into a Why I love Street Fighter speech, but I think the main idea is something worth thinking about. Imagine if we never were exposed to fighting games at any point in our lives? I know there are a lot of us that have made great friends because of this. Now wouldn’t you want to bring more people into such a great community?
This is what I've been thinking about lately, the amount of people that play fighting games is pretty big already but in the grand scale of video game community sizes, it's freakin' small. However, our shared interest is in a product that can hold itself to years of exhaustive training; most games released nowadays can't say the same thing. So even though our community is small, it's the quality that will give it, and has been giving it great lasting power. As of a year and a half ago, there weren't that many video games being released, yet tournaments with the same old games kept bringing in big numbers. We all know the reason, but to the average person, explaining why there are growing numbers in a video game where nothing ever gets changed is pretty hard. Lately, it's been a great time to be a fighting game fan due to the new releases and announcements. The new games motivate people to start forming new communities and 'veteran communities' are finding themselves feeling young again due to the unknowns coming up. I guess you can say it's a sign of an evolution to come in more ways than one. In addition to that, I believe there is optimism in unpopular communities because of the new fighting games announced. Those communities are energized and are working hard to get the game exposed to the inevitable fresh group of people that are going to play the big new games that are on their way. It's a very special time right now and I feel it's going to be a make or break situation for the community. I wanted to share my thoughts on how we can make the best of it. First off: YouTube, its creation has provided a stage for all sorts of things to get exposure on (for free/easy).Getting the most out of youtube in its technical forms isn't hard, playlists, groups and whatnot are pretty straightforward. Getting the most out of youtube as a community-growing tool is what makes it difficult and I feel it's impossible to achieve that unless there is a big push for fighting games by the companies themselves. So, in the meantime, understanding the way the average person on youtube looks at things is crucial if we hope to expand. We must be able to show that the average person has the potential to get good at fighting games, they just don't know it. We all know how diverse our community is already, there is no way someone could say, I bet a marine or construction worker will never be able to play a fighting game properly! We need to illustrate how fighting games have lasting power through a community that understands and appreciates them. How fighting games aren't as one dimensional as people think. The craziest thing about this is, as of a few years ago when the fighting game community formed, there was no youtube! I think the accessibility of youtube is causing a greater negative effect than positive in our community in terms of growth. The accessibility it offers is unprecedented to anything old school people had at to get videos. There also wasn't a well known site like SRK for the community to plan events and tournaments or discuss topics. Nowadays you don't have need any MIRC knowledge to get almost any fighting game match video and you can go on SRK to talk about, learn or plan tournaments. This is the reason I'm so hateful towards people that ask very poorly thought-out questions. I don't really have to paint a picture of how bad it was back in the old days if you wanted to learn what FSD was, or if you wanted to know how to do unblockable setups with Urien. When people ask the most basic and careless questions about something they seem to care about, it's painful. You might say, they're trying to learn, I think the word trying is an overstatement, there are too many resources present that have almost all the answers, and trying in the old days meant literally trying it for yourself in training mode. The fact there are so many questions that could be answered in less than 3 minutes on gamefaqs/youtube/srk shows how lazy people can be and how much we need to fix in terms of organization and exposure. Raising awareness to get youtube pages/videos and gamefaqs (a sticky thread somewhere that says, Trying to learn fighting games? Look here first!?) is crucial. There definitely needs to be some kind of bridge in order for people to get the most out of their experience. Usually people just see a combo video or match video on youtube and stop there since it doesn't link anywhere to SRK or any other site. Again, try to picture yourself learning about fighting games all over again in this day and age. Which brings me to my next topic.
New people. Those who do not know they have the capability to learn a fighting game are extremely crucial. There is evidence all around us that shows what one devoted person can do for a whole community. Attracting new people is very important and since new games are coming up, I think it’s the best time for a push in awareness. People that can play and get good at fighting games are two different classes, however they are just as important. People that can play fighting games are very different, they just play to have fun and thats okay. They are still participating and raising awareness by playing a game and showing that they’re enjoying themselves. It’ll still spark interest in someone that observes it. Now, those who want to get good competitively and beat the best understand that they must lose 10 times before they can win once. They’re aware that the one loss counts and more than makes up for the 10 losses since it’s a great learning experience. They learn you they’re capable of something they didn’t know and realize how great the achievement was. That group of people can bring in newcomers that are interested in getting good at the game, they just have to understand it takes dedication, which is the problem it seems. Since most games are based upon instant gratification, most don’t even know that when you get a perfect on someone good at the game, it is much more satisfying than beating it on hard or getting a perfect against the computer. The fanatical attitude it takes to get good at a game competitively is what drives people away. However, if we get even a few people to join the community competitively, it’ll be a good achievement since they usually create more exposure and help everyone as a whole.
In closing, I hope the fighting games suck video gets a lot more exposure since it’s so bad, people will start noticing it. Hopefully it’ll bring others here where they can see the beauty of what we all know and tell their friends. With that said, good night and good luck.