The Pep Talk and the Reality Check


I have seen the “i’m stuck” “i feel like giving up” “why am I not improving, i quit” threads continue to sprinkle heavily into the forum, and with just recently going to ufgt, i heard jay did some panel dealing with this issue as well, i didn’t go, because i’ve lived and died playing street fighter and all fighting games my entire life(32 years old).

Realize why you play.

do you play for fun? do you play to just win at another video game? do you just do it because friends around you play? because you think it is hip(is that still okay to say?)? why do you play and what is your goal for playing, think long and hard, because this question and answer appropriates itself to all facets of life.

Lots of video gamers, in the recent decade, have found themselves playing games with the illusion of every game they play can and should be taken professional. In the FGC there might be 4-5 seriously professional players, travel to almost every tournament possible, note the difference, those that travel continuously and those that travel sporadically. Then know the difference of making money while sponsored and having a sponsor pay for your trip. Those that travel to nearly every tourney, are working very hard, extremely hard, their sponsors typically pay for the travel expense, but if they don’t win, their sponsor doesn’t put food on the table during the week. So getting sponsored doesn’t mean you can just play games and live on easy street, fgc members that get sponsored receive very little, just enough money to travel to tournaments and participate in the negotiated amount of tournaments. So just because they cut you a check, doesn’t mean you get to put food in your stomach.

were you successful at a previous video game genre? why am i struggling with this game? talents lead people to their natural habitats, if you are outside your wheel house, your talents won’t be as prevalent as they were in the past genre, therefore if you wish to succeed in this, your determination and patience must exceed exuberant amounts to make headway. if you are not as talented in one genre as you are another, the sheer brunt of practice hours required damn near make most people cry. So realize if you are talented at this or not, and if not are you ready to sit in training mode or online whatever they call it, and practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, and then get ready to play the game(seriously, until you are able to do what you want on command in fighting games, you haven’t started playing).

coping with character loyalty and losing vs. playing easier/or higher tier characters and winning. “I don’t want to play, if i can’t play <insert character name>” and if you play that character and never win a single game with them, are you okay with that? because bitching and moaning only irritates people around you and doesn’t help you improve. so i will leave you with my slogan and advice i give guys in my area, First learn to win, then you can learn how to win differently. and by this, i mean you should learn what makes it easier for certain characters to win in said game, once you understand that, try to apply the exact same methodology to the character you want to play, i.e. top tier character creates these situations, how can this lesser tier character that i want to play create those situations and probably realize you may have to do more work, but sometimes epiphanies occur and you discover you can create these situations easier than with said higher tier character.

Why do i keep losing? if you don’t know why you are losing, you aren’t paying attention to what you are doing. if you don’t realize you jump, turtle, being aggressive, mistime specials/moves, etc. too much or not enough, you probably are playing to a pattern instead of to the opponent. The word that continues to be thrown around the FGC is Adapt. Players don’t adapt if they don’t have any self-awareness. “I watch blah blah blah player do this, so it should work for me” excluding entirely of why the player they watched did it, only absorbing the fact they saw it work. They go to apply, bam, they take an L. Most fighting games do have a paper/rock/scissors mentality, with the occasional dynamite(trumps all) If someone jump attacks, you should have available to you an Anti-Air. There are kinks to this system, when moves have funky hitboxes that negate some of these rules, or completely just decimate the order entirely like marvel/ggxx unblockables. So what do you do? it’s an unblockable, I can’t do anything, i lose, i give up…there is the door! if you realize it’s an unblockable in X situation, the adaptive player will instead avoid being put into the X situation, i.e. how do i not let Cable guard break my next character on incoming, I know! i’ll try and safe dhc out before my character dies and i won’t have to deal with it(this is a very mediocre and beginner example).

to not beat a dead horse, there are thousands of many different reasons people want to give up. but realize this, you give up here, probably means you’ve given up somewhere else prior to this, meaning you will give up again down the road. You can’t procrastinate and say you won’t give up on the next thing you try, because you will, you have to start now, don’t give up here, don’t give up now, just reevaluate why you do what it is you do. The sooner you come to realistic terms for why you do something, the more enjoyable it is for you. true artists don’t worry about what others think or critique about them, they just do what they do because that is what they love. if you love playing fighting games, just play. don’t allow the surrounding environment to influence why you play, play because you love it.

this was written on a whim so please excuse me from grammatical and punctuation errors. I feel as if there is more I could say given time and proper creative thought, but the general message should be clear enough.
please stay positive, and just keep playing fighting games, if you enjoy a game play it, don’t leave it out purely because you want to focus on one game, other games want to share their love with you too!