I just did a quick search in this forum and found quite a few threads asking how to build a scene around them, how to make it grow. Unfortunately I can’t give you an all working solution but something good happened today and I felt like sharing, maybe it will inspire one or two of you. Who knows?
I live in Quebec city. It’s not a particularly great city but it’s what I got for now. I started playing fighting games in 05. At the time I was deep into World of Warcraft. I mean DEEP into it. To the point where my boss at the time told me to quit or I shouldn’t bother coming into work the next morning. He handed me a copy of Anniversary Collection for PS2 along with a fight pad and told me I could come back when I could take a match off of him.
It’s amazing how quickly you learn (the very basics at least) when you’re faced with no choice.
My interest took off from there. At the time though there was 4 of us (myself included) in town that played any fighting games and after a few months one of them had a wrist accident “playing guilty gear” and couldn’t keep playing. We were down to three. Soon enough a second one, my ex boss now, stopped coming down to our little fight nights. There I was with Dez26 and once in a blue moon his brother would come down.
Not the best scene you can imagine.
Flash forward to last february when SFIV comes out. Launch day we have a party. Myself, Dez26, his brother, my ex boss and one or two more randoms we could get from around. It looked a little promising. Nothing spectacular for you NYC or Cali folks but for us, it was the most we had in one place for a gathering in a while. Sadly the hype died down pretty quickly and soon enough it was me and Dez again.
Luckily for us, srk member Giiyom decided Quebec needed a french portal to discuss fighting games. SRK is great, don’t get me wrong but technical jargon is quite an issue when adding language barrier on top. He therefore created http://www.quebecstreetfighter.com The website allowed us to gather a happy little bunch of ragtag fighting game enthusiasts. We started having little gatherings, mini tournaments but we were always faced with the same problem: location. We found a kick ass little mom and pop store that had a couple of tv’s and systems set up so we hosted a little tournament there. Unfortunately the tournament couldn’t be finished due to the owner wanting to close down and get out. Can’t blame him. He was already nice enough to let us use his store for free.
Here’s when we get to the good stuff. One of our members talked with Microplay (a local video game store chain) and has gotten us a sponsorship for our events. To be honest I’m quite surprised, pleasantly so of course. Now we have a store that provides prize money and is willing to lend us consoles, games and sticks for events. At the very same time, we have been trying to get this local lan center to buy some systems and tv’s and charge per hour. That way we could have a place to game at and best of all, they have a slushie machine.Well looks like the sponsorship deal is making this idea work as well.
So in one day we’ve acquired sponsors as well as a great location to play at. Overall a pretty good deal I’d say.
That’s my story. Sorry if it’s long. My point was pretty much that if it’s possible for a tiny place like Quebec city to build a scene, and hopefully one day we’ll re-establish the old Qc vs Mtl rivalry (for you Americans, think of it as Cubs vs Sox), it’s worth checking out every possibility. Lord knows we did. We tried every lan center in town before, every game store, at one point we were so desperate for a gathering location we almost tried a goddamn trucker bar just because they had a big tv with easy access to plug a console into it. Seriously, try every option you have before calling it quits, you’d be surprised how accommodating some places can be to your plight if they can see a potential profit or advertising opportunity. You may never build something as big as SoCal inside the city of St Nowhere, but having a little group of a dozen people to play to in a pretty kickass location sure as shit beats playing online.