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Why Fighting Games Are Still Bad For Gaming

Update: I’ve written a small piece in response to the feedback I’ve been given today, it can be found here.

Yesterday I published this article about why I personally think that fighting games are bad for gaming in general, due to the fact I feel that people from the fighting game scene or community are quick to insult new or casual players, written from the perspective of a casual player. The reaction was immediate and swift, people were quick to start insulting me for just being a casual observer of the scene. Which was so ironically beautiful, Alanis Morissette songs started playing on my laptop as soon as I scrolled down to the comments.

Now the biggest criticism I got was that I’d simply not done the research, a common complaint. Sure I may not play fighting games for a living, but I do write for a living, as such I didn’t know whether to be complimented of insulted by the insinuation that I’d not done any research before openly criticising thousands of people, as it suggests I’m either stupid or have huge balls.

The truth is I did, do the research, I researched how my opinion that fighting games have a notable mindset that excludes certain people was shared by respected gaming blogs like Kotaku and Penny Arcade. Then I researched how this attitude was openly criticised by Capcom then confirmed in interviews with respected members of the community. But none of those really get the scene right? They’re just people like me, guys with no experience in the area criticising something they don’t understand. I mean, come on, it’s not like one of the lead editors of Shoryuken.com, one of the biggest and most respected representatives of the fighting game community as a whole, openly admitted there’s a problem with certain small subsections of the scene being dicks and condoned the shit out of them for ruining it for everyone or anything.

This isn’t just my gripe I hammered out in ten minutes because I got my ass handed to me on Tekken, it’s something I researched and feel strongly about because I love fighting games. Along with criticisms I’d done poor research I was also informed that I was being unfair for criticising fighters in general when online gaming as a whole is a shitstorm of dickishness. Which is true, but even the fucking New York Times notes fighters as a specific example of this happening. This criticism goes hand in hand with the accusation that I was supporting or defending Call of Duty in some way.

Now, I’ll openly admit that Call of Duty is a great game, however, it’s great because, as I’ve mentioned before, that game is so hilariously broken and cheap, anyone can play it. That isn’t the case with fighters, they require dedication and practise, as such getting people to invest their time or money into buying them is a lot fucking harder, which is probably why shooters completely eclipse fighters in sales every year. Yes the dickish behaviour is present in Call of Duty and it needs to be addressed, but if 10,000 people stopped playing Call of Duty online tomorrow it would hardly make a dent. If the same thing happened to almost any fighter it would cripple its online element. Like it or not, no amount of dedicated fans will convince a company to keep making a video game if the sales aren’t there. Just look at Mega Man. I’ll be honest, I want to be able to play Tekken with grandkids, so I’d like it if they kept making them.

I’m not criticising fighters because they’re bad and Call of Duty is great, I’m holding them to a higher standard because they’re better.

Mostly.

Most of the time.

Another criticism I had, was my inclusion of ChockoBlanka as my example of a good female competitive player, as some were quick to point out she’s not that good (but not because she’s a woman). I could have of course mentioned Kayane, Harli or any other number of female players. But there was no point, since any female player I mentioned would have been met with the same derisive comments. But hey, what would I know about predicting people’s responses to things I write online, it’s not like I wrote a book about it.

At its heart my article had a simple message, I feel that fighting games have a bad reputation for being hard to get into, whether or not that reputation is true is unimportant, since you have to be an active member of the community to know that for sure and you’re less likely to join or participate in a community that has that reputation in the first place. Which was the whole point.

The reason this is harmful to gaming as a whole is because fighters take more skill, hence are already off-putting to gamers as a whole since gaming is mostly seen as a casual hobby, that coupled with constant news stories about it being a boy club or the fact people will yell at you until you cry if you lose put’s people off. Now I’m going to quote probably the best writer I know, Mr David Wong to sum this up, because I can honestly think of no better was to summarise this article, “when I tell somebody to avoid the “bad part of town” I’m not saying everyone who lives in those neighborhoods is a criminal. I’m saying that there are enough of them that there’s a really good chance you’ll have a bad experience”.

The article was never written to criticise the fighting game community as a whole, it was to criticise the fact there is a very small, nonetheless, very vocal and visible minority that have the potential to make it unpleasant, or appear unpleasant to casual or newer players. Which hurts their chances of being popular.  The comments and emails I’ve had since yesterday show that, that this isn’t something I’ve pulled out of my ass. My email inbox is far, far worse at the moment.

hkh

Your research is nothing compared to my personal knowledge blargh, blargh, *Fart Noise!

Like I said, I don’t think fighting games are bad, I think they’re great, but they’re by a large margin, one of the least popular genres of gaming among casual players and casual players are the ones driving the fucking industry. Actively excluding anyone is a stupid idea because when the time comes for a game company to decide where their money is going to go, their decision is just going to be made infinitely easier.

Investing in anything other than a shooter or sports game is a risky move, in an industry where only 20% of video games make any profit at all risks are pretty much business suicide. The more a community or genre excludes players, it becomes increasingly less and less likely that those players are going to keep supporting that genre or community. Then where will we be left? I don’t need to ask that question, because David Wong already answered it.

Now, I was also criticised as some people noted, fighters actually don’t exclude anyone, and all those links I posted to them doing exactly that are all lies. The only barrier for entry is skill. Which is true. But when you treat those who lack it with contempt or mockery or it’s perceived that you do, they’ll go home. When your response to people wanting to play a game you like is “step up or fuck off” instead of “let’s have fun, if you lose, we’ll work on that” you can’t claim to like that game, because every person you inspire to not pick up that game is money that would fund the company you supposedly support walking right the fuck away.

Image

Now I hope RenegadeVA doesn’t mind me using his comment, because I honestly respect his opinion and insight. But I wanted to use it as an example of my whole point. Fighters are seen as an exclusive club you have to earn you way into which does give new players something to work towards, but at the same time, players are so into that idea, it can manifest itself in an opinion that is actually harmful to the game itself. Anyway you look at it, if only the several thousand competitive players bought a game, they would not release a sequel. Evo 2012 saw 3500 entrants, even if you said there was 100 times that number of people around the globe who played fighters religiously and each one of those bought and played every fighting game. It wouldn’t even cover the cost of animating Jin Kazama’s dick swing.

But words are cheap. I’ve seen that people feel strongly about this, so I’m going to do something about it. If people out there really think I’m wrong about the fighting game community not being welcoming to new/casual players, prove it. My Gamertag is DarkestDragoon, feel free to add me and show me first hand that I’m wrong, I’ll be documenting the results, if any, next week. Or you could keep insulting me in the comment section, because that will change my mind.

I never wrote the article to insult the community, I wrote it to say that the community is intimidating

As much as he’s probably going to regret this. Karl also has a Twitter, if you’re going to insult him you may as well know what his face looks like.

49 comments on “Why Fighting Games Are Still Bad For Gaming

  1. Pingback: Why Fighting Games are Bad for Gaming Update. | The Knights of Gaming

  2. Actually come to an event and learn what the FGC is about instead of pulling some Kotaku bullshit. Holy fuck I love how you ignore all the good shit the scene has done like the damn Charity event at FFA this weekend. But wait, that shit won’t get you hits. Stop spreading this link around and getting this faggot views.

    • I’ve openly explained my position and feelings as best as I can. If that’s not good enough, I apologise. But calling me a faggot isn’t exactly helping anything. I put my contact details at the end of this article because It’s obviously touched a nerve and like I’ve said, many, many times, I’m a huge fan of the genre so would love some actual insight into this. All I’ve gotten so far is a bunch of emails telling me to go fuck myself.

      • A.Go fuck yourself. B. How the misoginy or attitude of a certain fanbase means that a genre is bad? C. Where is the misoginy in example you posted? All I see are legit complains of an underskilled player that for some “magical” reason is being sponsored. There are tons of better players that are not sponsored, and she , “for some magical reason” is sponsored despise being a low tier player. What is your hypothesis? Wouldnt be reasonable to believe that she is being sponsored for marketing purposes? I mean, would it be so crazy? You know the reason, I know the reason. Why do you insist on calling misoginy to something that is just being reasonable? Im not saying that all gamer girls suck, maybe your mall brain might missunderstood that, but in this particular case, the player regardless the sex, is underskilled and is not fair for other better players to have her sponsored. You say misoginy, but I say that you are retarded.

    • so dumb, he’s saying that ppl in the community is insulting the crap out of the beginners and making them stop playin fighting games. he’s basically telling the fgc that they keep away noobs from learning and becoming good.

    • What kind of fool thinks some emotionally charged words singlehandedly destroys an argument?

      A point is a point, and irrelevant words are hardly evidence to prove that point wrong?

      • In this case it does, because the main argument here is about a large number of douchebags in the fighting game community. Sure enough, the first reply is some guy raging out and throwing some personal insults at the author.

        Stop it. None of these games “belong” to anyone except the company that produced them. Nobody has a right to hold it hostage with arrogance and elitism. Arcades are dead in most of the world, and arcade “culture” sure as hell isn’t worth saving. It’s worth noting that even though arcades are still around in Japan they never seemed to encourage the practice of being a dick to everyone else. Since so many players seem to worship these guys maybe they should learn a thing or two about it.

        And since when was all this “lolol sodiums mcscrubbum pringles you’re a scrub faggot GET HYPE” crap a huge selling point? I got into these games because they were fun, not because I want to hear some clown running his mouth all day.

  3. Your observations are less in line with the fighting game community and more in line with the internet in general. Hate on the internet? TIME TO WRITE AN EDITORIAL.

    Going by his picture I think faggot is pretty much in order. Probably small-minded enough to read this reply and think it confirms his viewpoint. Seriously though, I think you’re stupid and I hope bad things happen to you.

  4. So, as I said in the previous article’s comment section I’ll just stick to some writing flaws here and hopefully you’ll see the criticisms and make a note for stronger pieces in the future.

    “The truth is I did, do the research, I researched how my opinion that fighting games have a notable mindset that excludes certain people was shared by respected gaming blogs like Kotaku and Penny Arcade.”

    — And this is great. I’m glad you’re reading some of that stuff as a reference point [Ben Kuchera is a great guy to learn from], but you have taken the stance of trying to strengthen your points on why fighting games are bad for gaming. Wouldn’t it help to go to an iPlaywinner? A Shoryuken? To see what they have written about this community as well? Even the news sites you referenced cite and interview people from those outlets when writing critically about the FGC.

    “Another criticism I had, was my inclusion of ChockoBlanka as my example of a good female competitive player, as some were quick to point out she’s not that good (but not because she’s a woman). I could have of course mentioned Kayane, Harli or any other number of female players. But there was no point, since any female player I mentioned would have been met with the same derisive comments. But hey, what would I know about predicting people’s responses to things I write online, it’s not like I wrote a book about it.”

    — And I’m glad you have been able to be in a position to write a book about social media. Congrats. The one difference here with your previous points is that you are placing a valued judgement on what anonymous posters on youtube and twitch TV say about people like ChocoBlanka.

    This is where writing about the industry and culture separate. You could have a stronger point if you pointed out if this is how people feel about ChocoBlanka at tournaments, better yet point out how Japanese players feel about her. Otherwise, it looks like you’re taking U.S. commenters and basing the global FGC off of said comments.

    [edit: Kayane and ChocoBlanka comparisons are difficult because thos Choco is a great player. Kayane has actually won tournaments and placed high in them recently and has kinda built herself as a bit of a brand which is huge, not just for women in the FGC, but women...period.]

  5. What struck me most about your article was how you were describing the exact opposite of my experience when I first started playing Blazblue. I first got involved in the PSN community at first, and i never felt like people treated me with hostility or condemnation even though it was my first fighting game. Maybe it was just because BB was just out at the time and everybody was new at the game, but people with years more experiance than me where always giving me useful tips and encouragement. Later down the line i’ve been to loads of tournaments and offline meetup in Scotland, London and Denmark and I’ve never gotten anything but friendly advice and positive attitudes from people. The main reason why I still love and play fighting games today is because of how supportive and constructive i find the community. Yes there are dicks and elitists, more so than in most competitive gaming communities i’ve been involved in (except for WoW maybe), but I dont think a small minority should really be a reason to drop an entire genre.

  6. Karl, you state how the FGC isn’t welcoming in any respect, and I’d like to prove you wrong.

    My name is Cam, and I run the Fighting Game Bronies group. Since you’ve written a book on the internet, I’m sure you know what that means.

    We’re, obviously, bronies who love fighting games, and when any other shows that interest, we bring them in and we show them the ropes, hoping that they, too, will be hungry enough to get serious with fighting games and go to tournaments to have fun and play competitively. We don’t haze people when they first join, we welcome them and throw some games at them to try. If EVER we exclude someone who shares the interest, it’s due to the fact that they are either being a huge dick or because they’ve stopped caring about the games, but even that second reason isn’t a certainty.

    While you say that the FGC isn’t welcoming, and that is very true of the old arcade days, that’s not fully representative of the entire community. You just have to look. You also have to see past the things that aren’t a GOOD representation of the community, like CORN, who got a lot of publicity for being dicks.

    (And a side note about CORN. One of the well known FG community streamers, Jaxel of 8wayrun, has mentioned many times that CORN sheds a bad light on the FGC as a whole, and feels that they should be banned from tournament because of how they acted at Youmacon, not JUST for the video you provided.)

    Putting your gamertag out public isn’t going to make people show you that the community is nice, it’s going to open you up to getting blown up by people that are upset about your articles, and then, in turn you’re going to take those messages and put them in a NEW article, just to showcase that you were “right”. You’re trying to bait people out, in true fighting game fashion, and it’s making you look really bad. Your articles ARE going to make people mad, and yes, they will react badly. Why? You took a shit on something they like.

    — Cam

    • Thanks for the articulate reply.

      I’ve no intention of releasing a new article to say I was right, I’ve put my gamertag up for two reasons. One, I’m genuinely interested in the response I’ll get and two, I understand that I’ve pissed a number of people and those people would relish the chance to beat me at a video game. If I’ve pissed off or taken a jab at something they enjoy, I’m not going to deny them a chance to take a shot back. It’s why I’ve personally read and approved every comment on this article and replied to every email that wasn’t just an outright attack. I’ve annoyed a bunch of people and they’ve taken the time to critique my work, so I’m going to take the time to read their comments and hopefully better shape my opinion.

      • “…so I’m going to take the time to read their comments and hopefully better shape my opinion.”

        And that’s all we really needed to hear. These two articles, mainly the first, came off as if you really weren’t taking much into consideration aside from your own opinions and youtube comments (Which, by the way, the hell were you thinking? They are youtube comments) and for that, the articles sounded really one-sided. As long as you’re going to take all the things said, even the bad ones, into consideration, then there’s not much more I can say. I do hope the rest of the FGC doesn’t flood your mail, even though this is the internet and judging from some of the comments already, that’s a bit too high-hoping, even for me.

      • They should flood my mail. I’ve pissed people off and when people are pissed they deserve an outlet to that. Both articles represent my feelings at those exact moments, my feelings and opinions can and currently are, being changed. But I’m not going to deny people the right to be annoyed by changing those articles.

        If by the end of this I’m horribly embarassed by those articles and the contents, they’ll stay as is, to remind me of the fact that opinions change.

  7. And though it goes without saying…this is fairly a big issue.

    “Like I said, I don’t think fighting games are bad, I think they’re great,”

    — Then it’s probably a bad idea to title your headline “Why Fighting Games Are Still Bad For Gaming.” Well, unless [and I hate to even think this] it was for clicks.

    “but they’re by a large margin, one of the least popular genres of gaming among casual players and casual players are the ones driving the fucking industry. Actively excluding anyone is a stupid idea because when the time comes for a game company to decide where their money is going to go, their decision is just going to be made infinitely easier.”

    — This I take issue with simply because there is no metric that supports this idea. I take it you and me both read Gamasutra and Gamesindustry.biz. We both know genres are at the whim of trends and interest. When you read a site like http://fatuglyorslutty.com/ it’s clear that “men on the internet” and misogyny in general is rampant and hurts any form inclusiveness in any genre.

    Do strategy games, puzzle games and casual games also suffer the same impairments of the FGC? They sell just as few to a niche community. They are, much like current fighting games, hard to get into because of systems and mechanics at the gate. I will admit, I’ve had plenty of friends [men and women] give up on competitive gaming [of all genres] because they felt put off by the community. But it wasn’t because they went to Gamestop and thought, “I would buy this game if the community wasn’t such dicks.” Those are dots that are connected much later and probably by intermitten people.

  8. Hey smalldong, calling Kotaku a respected gaming blog is a good way to drown yourself in the swampy waters before even seeing the shore. The FGC is a good target for faglords like you because it’s a more closed off community. You could say the same about the Call Of Duty audience but they wouldn’t give two shits, rightfully call you a faggot and forget you even exist.

    • It’s people like you that give articles like Karl’s validity. There are enough children [or people who think like children] in the FGC. The grown ups who are actually trying to make this community better and enlighten people about the culture don’t need your homophobic statements. We got this. Fall back.

  9. Wow, going from citing youtube to citing kotaku. hilarious. That was one incident. Sexism happens in all games. Its not just the FGC. So to pull comments from a youtube video where people are bigots and racist all for the sake of being an ass is not a good look. Im just going to assume all League of Legend players are inspiring porn stars because of that one idiot that masturbated on stream. This isnt a good act. Rather indecent I dare say. LoL players are monsters and we should stop the growth of such a raunchy and lewd scene. Bunch of disgusting pigs.

  10. All those articles that you pull up as research only lead up to one actual incident with the FGC. To be honest with you, you haven’t really pulled up much of anything with respect to research about the fighting game community, its players and its culture. If you really want to experience the fighting game community, you really do need to step outside and attend an event. The fighting game community has stepped up for charities and its individual members. TheRabidDuckie who provides modification services for the community ended up injuring his eye at an event by having molten solder hit his eye had received an outcry of donations and support form the members of the community. AGE|Knives just had his mother’s house burn down without insurance leaving them homeless and the community donated to their cause. Osamu, a fighting game enthusiast in Japan with brain paralysis and cannot play games normally, got donations from the community to fulfill his dream to attend an EVO. The EVO organization is actually giving out college scholarships for gamers. These are all stories that the fighting game community do that will probably never be known to anyone outside of it since hype stories about “niggas” and misogyny sell more papers and get more views.

  11. FYI,

    The reason the CORN video has over 100k views has nothing to do with the fighting game community; the video was posted to WorldStarHipHop, aka WSHH, and went viral shortly thereafter.

    Your “points”, including the one about the number of views the CORN video got that supposedly “show” the “wretchedness” of the fighting game community, are flimsy at best.

    Stay ignorant.

  12. The sad thing is articles like this and publishers like Kotaku only choose to publish the bad side of things when there have been plenty of good and heart-warming stories in the exact same community in the past couple of years. You know how speed run, 24 marathon, and Starcraft 2 charity tournaments became a thing in the gaming community in 2012? FGC had Fight for Relief in 2011 and Fight For Youth in 2012. FFR raised over 30k in donations, and the organizers didn’t take a single cent to at least break even for their efforts.

    Chris Hu loses his house in 2010 to a fire, Knives in 2012? The community from all over the world gathered to help cover his losses and make his transition back to normality easier.

    Now you mention Call of Duty and shooters in general in a comparison for different things, but if you are gonna talk about how specific community members act while playing fighting games, how about talking about how random kids on XBox Live or PSN act when playing shooters? You think harsh comments and constant use of derogatory terms are with the FGC alone? This isn’t to defend how we act, but you can’t single out the blame on us then move on to another community/genre and neglect to mention it.

    As far as sexism goes, I’ve played in plenty of tournaments and had tournament matches versus numerous females, or have been in tournaments with female participants. The SFxT incident you repeatedly cite is the only one I know where people openly heckle a girl because she’s a girl. I’ve seen a couple of girl vs girl matches where one girl’s friends (both males and females) heckle the other girl, but it’s because she’s the opponent, not her gender. Us guys get the same shit from time to time too. I’m from SoCal too, same as Aris.

    As far as competitive “hostility” goes, it pretty much happens in every competitive setting outside of the little leagues. I’ve played sports in junior high, high school, college, casually with friends throughout the years on random weekends… there is shit talk all over. Watch the NFL, NBA, NHL… you’ll always see a little replay of two opponents having a little chat during the TV timeouts. Again, you can’t just pinpoint this to the FGC, and in fact, I would say that level of competitiveness is indeed what COMPETITIVE PLAYERS thrive on. Yes there is a place for casuals, that is why not every FGC gathering is a major tournament. There are plenty of local weeklies you can go just to learn the game, hang out with friends, have fun. You can also play online (and of course just ignore the hate mail like you should with every other online game). But don’t go into a tournament signed up as a tournament player and get mad if someone takes pride in being better than you. They didn’t just pay to enter and play a couple of games. It’s competition at one of the highest levels for us. And honestly it doesn’t even happen that much. Just like how I can point to Starcraft 2 and say “look at how this IdRA guy BMs his opponents every time he loses” doesn’t mean all of SC2 is full of jackasses who throw a tantrum when they lose. All of us have the competitive edge, and how we express it is different, but it honestly isn’t personal (unless it’s a money match between two guys who hate each other, which isn’t tournament anyways) and we all just want to win when the money is put down and the cards are laid out.

    Ultimately, while everything you say is true to some sense, it is clear that this journalism is very biased and a lot of the problems it chooses to single out as an FGC issue are actually much more universal. As far as the good sides go, I guess since Kotaku didn’t publish it you wouldn’t know about it, but the good side is there and far outnumbers and outweighs the bad. Yes we admitted that what Aris did a long time ago was wrong. I mean we all pretty much moved on from it a week afterwards anyways. So saying “oh, SRK said it was bad” doesn’t mean much to us. We just continued doing what we do: trying to grow our scene, welcoming anyone who wants to take a shot at it, and just enjoying what video games of the fighting genre provide us.

    • The EVEN sadder thing is after a few e-mail exchanges and tweets with people like Kirk Hamilton and Stephen Totilo, even they have ‘tried’ to look for more stories in the FGC that aren’t as controversial, but still relevant to the enthusiast press. And, though I love giving Kotaku a good ribbing … it’s good to see that they have listened to the higher-minded folks in the community.

      http://kotaku.com/fgc/

  13. While I respect your opinions and your reactions to things like the C.O.R.N video, your articles completely ignore all the good things the fighting community has done for people in favor of highlighting how nasty some people can get.

    I helped organize a fighting game tournament to raise money to help families who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. No one was taking any prize money, as all the entry fees were going to charity. We had 30 entrants, a good mix of skilled tournament-experienced players and newbies who want to test their skills against the pros. Everyone knew nothing was at stake and it was all for a good cause, but everyone was motivated to win since it allows everyone gauge their skills in a tournament setting.

    So saying the fighting game community actively drives people away from the scene is rather offensive, as this is ignoring all the good people in the community, casual and all, who actively try to bring in new blood and keep their games alive. Hell, saying that the community as a WHOLE drive casual new players away from the scene is a hugely overblown and misinformed statement.

    The newbies, the ones who said will be segregated due to lack of “skill,” had a great time at my event, putting their skills to the test in a controlled environment where tournament results will assess their performance and skill level they’ve work so hard to develop. Some did better than others, but everyone wanted to train even harder to do better at the next one.

    People deserve to be proud for being good at something, and that does require an emotional investment. Low skill doesn’t mean you’re segregated from the community and not allowed to enter a tournament. Wanting to get to a high skill level doesn’t make someone arrogant just because they want to get good at something.

    Brian in the video is emotional because he loves the game and he takes it seriously, and it’s a profound feeling to lose after putting so much hard work into the game. But like Brian, any competitive player knows that losing is all part of growing as a player and learning from your mistakes.

    You have every right to be angry at the C.O.R.N players and their attitude in the video. But please treat this is a huge misrepresentation of the fighting game community as a whole. Competitive fighting games is a great way to try to be good something so you do not need to try out for a high level team like any shooter or League of Legends. You don’t HAVE to find a other players who will be willing to team with you and take it to the next level. You’re able to rely on your OWN skill level to do well at a tournament. Even if you’re not at a high skill level, the willingness to practice with others and learn to become better as an admirable and respectable trait in a person.

    Again, please don’t take the C.O.R.N video too seriously, as it does not tell the whole story. Please check out Sirlin’s “Play to Win” series of articles, which takes an educated look competitive fighting games.

    http://www.sirlin.net/ptw/

    This particular article I think is appropriate to this conversation:

    http://www.sirlin.net/ptw-book/sportsmanship.html

    For my local scene, I help train anyone who wants to improve and encourage them to participate in tournaments. We don’t belittle anyone, we don’t leave anyone out. It’s all in good fun

  14. The fighting game scene was built on a harsh environment. Back in the days (which I was not a part of back then, so take this as you will), it was pay to play. If you were good, you had to pay less and make others pay. It was literally, step up or fuck off. People who came in to be bad were pretty much wasting money and play time for others. That was the mentality.

    Now, arcades have been dieing in America and I’m fairly certain that a wide majority of the players who had one realize how fragile such a thing is. Having a venue is not something every sub-community is spoiled enough for. This brought in the console mentality of 2009. When SF4 was released, it brought in an insane amount of new players and the arcade era was pretty much over. These new players are a bit more shy and in admiration of those who are good. They are happy to go to events and the such. It’s a big contrast to the old mentality. Having the game at home also helps because it’s not so much a pay to play mentality.

    I’m saying all this because we’ve gotten a new venue in Montreal for fighting games and it started really slowly. Nobody wanted it to die because the idea was amazing. A bar-restaurant with arcades/consoles that are free to play so long as you buy one item on the menu. When it had just launched, the players were put in a position to engage as much as possible random people who showed up to play to stay. Now you want them to take up game time, because they’ll give some revenue to this place to make sure it strives and lives on. Yes playing against someone bad is not as interesting as playing at a higher level and I’ll agree that I sometime find certain players boring or unsatisfying to play against, but in the end I (and the rest of my community) is smart enough to realize it.

    I went to my first big major event less than a month ago and met with some famed players from around the world. They’re all so nice and it makes me more hungry to contribute to the growth of it all and to improve as a player. We had Canadian, americans from florida texas and west coast as well as japanese players play together in a hotel room in Philadelphia. If that is not a showcase of proper attitude that makes us a respectable community, then I don’t know what is.

    When you mentionned you played Tekken in the arcade and you felt like you were told to fuck off, I can kind of understand it. You can’t hog game time to train, you’d have to spend money or other player’s money to do so and it was a harsh environment. But now, the mentality are not so much the same. I don’t know when it was that your story happened, but you would most likely encounter less of these. We are not perfect as a community and yes we do wish for every player to improve and commit, but I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t take the minimum of time to tell you some tips to become better and come back.

  15. “The reason this is harmful to gaming as a whole is because fighters take more skill, hence are already off-putting to gamers as a whole since gaming is mostly seen as a casual hobby”

    I don’t see this as harmful at all. Any “casual hobby” can be taken very serious. You can look at basketball, for example. I play basketball casually. I know there tons of people in the world who would easily destroy me but I still continue to play, only because I love the sport and enjoy playing it. I’m not going to stop playing because I know I’ll never go to the big leagues. I continue to play it since it’s a good way to socialize with other people about something I love doing.

    Now replace the word “basketball” with “fighting games” or “chess” or anything like that.

  16. I don’t generally leave comments on people’s blogs but I think perhaps you have been to inundated by angry comments, and as such are getting angry yourself, but for someone who has “written a book” you are not communicating in a way that makes you seem like anything more than someone attacking a community that it seems as if you do not understand. Your use of expletives (also talking about Russian erections on the beating of a bear doesn’t really come across as a funny quip, just juvenile humor) as well as derogatory comments about the community won’t win you any friends and don’t make your writing sound like a well researched OP piece on a community you are on outsider to. In fact with your previous article you state you are an outsider but then you go to lengths to describe reasons why you are not an outsider. I am unclear as to why you would try and walk this line, its good you have played fighting games before and even been to an arcade, but as someone the is writing for a video game blog of sorts, I think we would assume you know that much.
    You also are now becoming angry because people said you didn’t do research on the topic to which you are discussing. You then post news articles and articles from SRK related to incidents that are somewhat isolated in regards to events that take place in the community as a whole. By saying that we as a community are killing ourselves with our competitive behavior and then saying its proved by a story, an example of some bad seeds in the community and articles that are at most vaguely related to that topic does not show that you have done research it just shows that you have focused on isolated examples of bad behavior and as Im sure most people can tell you every community has examples of bad behavior and yes while a competitive aspect may in some ways exacerbate this it is not the root cause for it.
    I would also like to make a special note for you story, you went to one arcade and you played, and you didn’t know what you were doing and you expected someone to let you learn, I don’t know why you think this is how it should have been, when you first hop onto a Starcraft game if a better opponent steam rolls you or picks you apart slow and methodically do you expect them to let you learn? If you play call of duty and some guy has a 5 to 1 KD and he kills you within 15 secs of you spawning do you expect him to let you learn. Somehow people believe that because it is a 1 on 1 match, that you have a quarter up for, people should give you time to figure it out, and its not the case in other games, so why should it be in FGs. Sure FGs require an extra level of manual dexterity but so does playing soccer, and you aren’t going to go play soccer with good players and then be sad when you lose because you don’t know ball control. You just wouldn’t play with them until you are ready. So I don’t think its a good comparison to say that you weren’t included because someone better than you wouldn’t let you learn, he wasn’t your friend and he didn’t need to be, he told you to get better, which Im sure he hoped you would, I think all in all you had a completely normal interaction that you would have had in any competitive environment. People don’t have to play in tourney (or in the arcade) if they don’t want to, they can play with their friends and play at home and no one will say anything bad about them for it. Most people do, but when you step into an arena of competition there is a certain amount of knowledge and skill that is expected, if you don’t’ have that, people aren’t going to hold your hand at tourney time, that is what casuals are for. Im sure if you ever showed up to a local casual as a new player you would see that the community is not so insular save for some bad cases and that there are plenty of people who are willing to help you learn and get better. That is how it is around here, that is how it is in most places I have seen a competitive FG community.
    This is also perhaps why people are upset with how you are portraying things, you’ve never gone and seen what the community is like in a casual setting, also you are equating professional players with the average gamers interest which will probably never align. That is like saying your gaming interests align with your Mother’s, it probably just isn’t going to be the case most of the time.
    Its too bad that negative comments and what you have heard has colored your ideas in this manner but I think you should really reconsider when you say that fighting games are bad for gaming as a whole. What you should really point out is that overly, violent, angry, racist, and/or Misogynistic behavior is bad for the way video game communities are portrayed in the mainstream, it is not just a fighting game problem we are just the most recent to come under scrutiny thanks to the new found interest. You cannot blame the competitive aspect of the games for the problems, without blaming all competitive games and if you really think no competitive game are hurting video games well that is a completely different argument then the one you have presented.

  17. You could make alot more mileage with the whole “treat people nicely” thing if you weren’t insulting people in your own article. Definitely does not help your point.

  18. FPS games are worse for gaming than fighting games.

    Truth.

    The number of assholes and scumbags in the FPS community outnumbers the fighting game community.

    Also I’m pretty sure people like Marvel vs Capcom 3 cuz like COD, it’s hilarious broken and cheap.

  19. I can appreciate the concern for some kinds of behavior online, but both of these articles are unprofessional and full of shit.

    Firstly, I’ve been in gaming a long time. I’ve played casually and competitively in a lot of communities. The FGC has been the easiest to get into and yielded the most positive results of any I’ve been in – in the shortest time I’ve been in a single community. Simply put – you are plain wrong.

    You are also wrong to misplace wider cultural concerns in gaming in the hands of the fighting game community. Any of the other communities you make a comparison to are as equally rife with the bad bahaviors you attribute to the FGC. I can’t tell if you are dumping responsibility onto them or simply finding excuses to focus your bad experiences onto a “safe” target. In any case, your conceptions of competitive communities are biased, small-minded and badly supported.

    As well, to take popular youtube video comments and likes as representitive data is appallingly naive. You should know better.

    Your writing’s tone doesn’t invite confidence in your knowledge or trust in your opinions. Your examples are misrepresentitive and naive and your messages and concerns for behavior are lost in sad and tired arguments between casual vs Hardcore attitudes which are both so old and tired that they have no place on a decent forum anymore. You should be thankful you have your own blog to post such terrible things.

    I wrote this post out of my offense at the material posted and in the hopes that you – as someone who prides themselves as a writer and professional – would take the necessary steps to write articles that are more honest about the issues you want to talk about and provide solid and acceptable arguments that support your message. What I have been linked and have read is entirely unacceptable.

  20. Pingback: How I Pissed Off Thousands of People at Once | Internet Adventures.

  21. Whats that? Oh its just some aspie kid making some fresh and juicy bait in order to gain traffic and views on his pathetic video gaming blog. And from what I can see plenty of people fell for this bait.

    Nice try kiddo, get a real job instead of aspiring to be Kotaku and thinking anyone cares about your views on anything.

  22. The fighting game community has an issue with new player ridicule like the fast food industry has an issue with people spitting in your food.
    What you are doing here is purely cherry picking the negative aspects of a community that you have never (until just now perhaps) even attempted to be a part of.

    There are strong parallels to competitive sports as well as competition in other genres.

    Would you expect to walk onto an NBA court and expect people to help you learn?
    Would you sit down next to a grandmaster chess player and expect them to remind you how each piece moves?
    Would you challenge an Olympic fencer to a match and bet them money without being prepared for the results?
    Could you blame these people for not enjoying their matches with you?

    This is not to say that I condone the actions of select members of the community.
    Like anything else, there are people at all skill levels in the community. It simply isn’t a proper course of action to walk up to a top player and expect them to take it easy on you or take the time to help you learn. They play to improve themselves just like new players want to, and unfortunately they cannot do so if they have to restrain themselves.

    Just as those players have put in their time to learn the basics, it is expected that you respect those you play by at least taking the effort to do the same so both parties can have an enjoyable match.
    That said, there will always be players of a similar skill level available to you just as willing to learn.

    I have been a member of the community for a very long time, and I have not always been a good player. What I do know is that I have never, at any event (even going to Evo when I originally had no business doing so) been ridiculed or taunted because I was less skilled than an opponent in a game.
    In fact, this community has been one of the warmest and most welcoming I have experienced. Not just as players, but simply as people.
    There are plenty of people who are willing to help you, and the majority of those who you have no business competing against will still welcome you to challenge them, likely picking a character they are inexperienced with to help reduce the skill gap.

    If new players looking to learn the game were not welcome, we would not take the time to put out countless guides and tutorial videos. That is their point, to help draw new players in and introduce them to the basics. I assure you the fighting game community wants new players to join just as much as you do, but not at the cost of gutting the very essence of the game; not by robbing it of the depth and competitive nature that makes it so thrilling and rewarding.

    Anyone can have a bad experience with what is otherwise a good community.
    Using Youtube metrics in place of real experience or research simply falls too short to be taken seriously, and should never be used to imply a majority.
    The Marvel side of the community is indeed considered more abrasive, few will argue against that, however that is the way certain portions of the community have evolved.
    It is unfair to judge the entire community by a hand selected few, and even less fair to blame a genre for the actions of these few.

  23. I must say, you are wrong on some points and totally right in some other.

    Not every fighting game player is a total ass, lamer, and scrub asshole who rightly deserves punches until he’s in the prehistoric age. My myself, knowing very intimately the fighting game community and scene, I’m very approachable and friendy, and I will never SCREAM or make laughs at somebody crying.

    In the other hand, I think this kind of games is more prone to trolls that probably FPS, It’s sadly very common to walk into this kind of assholes that will use the trollest tacticts to win, no matter what, and just to laugh at you. But I think you can spot them well before falling in their trap of playing against them. They are assholes, as they are in every other aspect of life.

    Finally, not the entire community is a gigantic asshole. There are some real kind people out there which are fantastic as an individual and as a whole. Not myself but I came across some real genuine people out there =) and, of course, I came across total assholes as well.

    The only thing I think I will agree with you, no question is the misogyny. I found sadly common to disrespect a fighting player only because gender, no matter is she’s a killer or not.

    I think is because most of the guys in the FG are in his teens, and you know, is what you usually do when you are a spoiled brat. The real concern is when grown-up players do this also. Which is not very uncommon, unfortunately. :(

  24. ” But hey, what would I know about predicting people’s responses to things I write online, it’s not like I wrote a book about it.”

    LOL. No one with a stint of legitimacy is going to take you seriously just because you wrote a book on a subject. Menzies wrote a book on China, but everyone who knows a respectable amount of anything about the topic treats him like the moron and joke he is. Not only that, but it makes you sound like a snob who’s better than anyone else who “isn’t as knowledgeable as you” because they didn’t write some shitty book on the subject.

    Plenty of people can say they do “research”, but with confirmation bias it’s easy to skew the truth with said “research”. It’s not about how much “research” you do, it’s about how much you understand and that you’re stance isn’t supported by something completely unfair and non sensical.

    “that game is so hilariously broken and cheap, anyone can play it. ”

    ….like numerous fighting games? You seem to think that just playing it competitively is playing it so that you’re skilled enough to win EVO or something. That’s not how it works. It’s not hard to just pick up a game, learn its mechanics and then roll off from there as you learn the game some more. There are plenty of people who just play online for fun and don’t bother going to offline communities, hell there’s even people in offline communities who aren’t TOO serious about playing on a competitive level. You seem to think that getting into fighters requires you travel the world and compete at high level tournaments, which is retarded. If by that logic, you can easily say CoD wouldn’t sell too much either on the basis that people don’t take it to that sort of competitive level either.

    If you’re going to play competitively, don’t bring yourself down because you’re not as good as Justin or Daigo. Try to learn from your losses, and get better as you learn your game more.

    “Like it or not, no amount of dedicated fans will convince a company to keep making a video game if the sales aren’t there.”

    But for Megaman there WAS sales for the game. Why Megaman has been shat on is still a mystery, but it’s certainly NOT because the series has not gotten sales. The problem was that Capcom kept releasing too many Megaman games expecting everyone to eat it up but they overestimated his popularity. Sales wise the handheld games weren’t exactly disasters, but they weren’t met with Capcom’s high expectations apparently{which is higher than a lot of other companies it seems} and they have lost faith in Megaman as a property. Still, classic Megaman still sold well and Capcom still released other oddball games like Okamiden{which was also brought on by fan demand, but ironically was not too well received or is given much attention} so it makes it questionable why something like the latter exists on store shelves but not MML3. It’s certainly not because of “game sales”, that’s for sure. At least not exclusively.

    Though disregarding that, you’re still wrong with that statement because if not for fan dedication MML3 wouldn’t have even been suggested to begin with and Beyond Good & Evil 2 wouldn’t even exist… or for that matter we wouldn’t have gotten Sengoku Basara stateside and NIS would not care about us at all.

    “The article was never written to criticise the fighting game community as a whole”

    Nice of you to say this, but the article is stemming with bias. If you’re not putting some few people as not representing the whole of the fighting game community, why ignore the people and aspects that ARE positive of it? You seem to never mention them, and it seems to lead to the conclusion that you just don’t know who or what this is because you lack knowledge of this. Apparently your “research” was pretty crap, no?

    I can tell you now as someone who’s been in the fgc for a few years and as someone who didn’t live near a real arcade scene, people weren’t exactly hostile to me because I was willing to learn and not whine about it. I’ve said some dumb shit before about fighters, and people corrected me. I regret saying some of those things, but I feel like I’ve learned more from fighters and I’ve come to learn what I enjoy about the genre from those experiences. Thing is you come off as someone who just wants to play fighters for shits and giggles, and actually NOT want to learn how to play them or even understand them at a competitive level. For you to show a lack of desire to even learn fighters also goes to show your lack of experience with the community associated with it, which makes your words come off as completely idiotic. It’s fine if you don’t want to play them competitively, but don’t act like you know anything about the scene until you have been a part of it.

    Instead of complaining about how the “FGC doesn’t accept a casual like me” why not admit you suck, try to learn more and don’t take anything these people seriously? And, you know, maybe ask on how to improve? Someone should be willing to help. You clearly didn’t try to even look for it if you seriously think no one is willing. If you’re letting someone who tells you that you suck drive you off from playing a game, then you never cared for or had an drive to really play it to begin with.

    “people wanting to play a game you like is “step up or fuck off” instead of “let’s have fun, if you lose, we’ll work on that’ ”

    There are a number of both in ANY competitive community including the fgc, you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

    “My Gamertag is DarkestDragoon, feel free to add me and show me first hand that I’m wrong”

    Losing/winning in a fighter proves nothing, all it WILL prove is that you’re a scrub.

    “ChockoBlanka as my example of a good female competitive player”

    The other examples you mentioned aren’t considered too great either. I had a friend of mine in Cologne tell me Kayane didn’t even make top 16 in SSFIV there, and Cologne isn’t exactly the epitome of great SFIV players. If anything Kayane is more of a SC player, though even then she isn’t the greatest at that either.

    The fact is female players DO tend to suck at fighters. Sure there are players that can be considered “good”, but they’re ALWAYS outshined by male competition. Always. Fact is, men are just simply better at fighters and I guess video games in general. That’s a fact. I really don’t see why that’s so hard to accept, equality should not be embraced with “everyone MUST be on the same level as everyone else, it’s a must”. Men and women are different, we both excel in areas others don’t. In this case, men are just simply better than women.

    Despite this, though, there are still respected female players. Burnyourbra isn’t considered great by any means{She even says so herself} but people cheer for her all the time when she competes and she’s an all around decent person. There are people who will make “sexist” remarks about the female players, but no one should take that shit seriously. Usually. Hell, Jenix even defended Aris during that big debacle some time ago which had everyone up in arms about “sexism in the fgc” that even had sites like Kotaku writing bullshit about it. Nobody thought less of Jenix, and she’s still fairly well liked by people.

    The whole thing with females in the fgc is with females in general with gaming. They’re entering a hobby that’s pretty much made for males and don’t like that the industry rarely caters to them. Albeit you can argue there is legitimate “sexism” or whatever{I can’t be assed to argue this, since I sorta agree sometimes} but I can ALSO argue that a lot of the time these women entering these hobbies and complaining generally have bad reasons to do so. Such as not receiving trash talk from anyone, which everyone should get if they play games like this.

    “but if 10,000 people stopped playing Call of Duty online tomorrow it would hardly make a dent. If the same thing happened to almost any fighter it would cripple its online element.”

    Complete and utter bullshit. A big reason for why shooters are bought is FOR the online. It WOULD leave a cripple on the community. For fighters, online was never required and to do this people prefer playing offline. If it’s “online element” was crippled then so what? What would it matter? The FGC is not completely centred around online. Far from it.

    On a final note, why name your article “fight games are bad for gaming” when you’re complaining about the community and not the genre itself? As a genre itself, how is it worst than the great many shooters out there right now? You should have changed the article to “why the FGC is bad for gaming” not fighting games themselves.

  25. The backlash these articles you’ve written is understandable because every fanboy and person that identifies themselves within a particular group of people will almost always jump to cut the throat of the “naysayer”. It’s not just an FGC thing, it’s a sociological thing. That being said, the comments you’ve received are perfect examples of what’s wrong in the attitudes of players. The title is strong but most of these people are judging a book by it’s cover. I don’t get too upset over your run of the mill assholes that get salty when you beat them but the misogyny has got to stop. The internet show Cross Assault or whatever it was, the “reality” show for the release for SF X Tekken, had a really noticeable and disgusting incident between two dickheads on the mic talking in a very derogatory manner about a girl who was playing. You would never be able to get away with this for very long in any real recreation or competitive sport. Shit has to stop.

  26. Calling kotaku legit is enough to take you net serious. And by the way not every fucking genre must be termed down into shit for retards like shooters. Fighters are fine how they are and SF IV sold more than well and has still today plenty of ppl playing it.

  27. good article.

    ignore the idiots who make hateful comments.

    I’ve disliked the figthing community and always dislike them till this date.

    fighting game are broken, why are they broken? because the fighting community make them broken.
    Seriously how much of a loser can you get that you spend hours playing Practise/Training mode just to exploit the game?

    they waste their bloody time practising, cheating and exploiting the game while someone can use those VALUABLE time to play online games or Platinum difficult games. There’s just no point to it.

    Marvel Vs Capcom games I love but find them incredibly broken simply because each characters have so few little movesets. Which evidently makes the battle very repetitive because an opponent would only rely on using the same cheap moves all the time. And it’s not the player’s fault but the developer’s fault because you can’t pull off enough varieties of combos.
    And not only that, the problem lies with overpowered characters and underpowered characters.

    So far the best Figthing game I’ve ever played is Mortal Kombat (MK9), it should be how every other fighter’s content should be, regardless MK9 is broken just like other games.

    Who breaks the game? the fighting community!!!
    So because the developers did not see the fault with Cyrax, is it perfectly fine for someone to spam Cyrax’s reset moves and dealing a 49% combo damage on me?
    What is even the POINT in fighting? if I can’t even get a chance to fight back?
    someone would use Smoke and spam the Combustion/On Fire moveset and the match would be over.
    Not to mention spammers who just spam the Special moves.
    Apart from broken characters and resets such as Scorpion, Smoke, Lui Kang, Cyrax etc.
    Now i’m seeing players using the Jab reset, it allows you to keep punching the opponent without the opponent falling.

    You win a match or lose a match online you get abused or insulted! It’s either way. You win, lose and quit and you get abused.
    Yet people cannot seem to OPEN their bloody eyes to the real world and see gamers killing people because of games.
    When someone points out the obvious that “this xxx did this because of games”, these people will be quick to defend “video games doesn’t cause these problems”.
    How so? if a fighter fan wasn’t playing a fighting game, him loosing a match, would it cause him to haul insults at me? of course not.

    The problem lies with both developers and gamers. Developers would not make the game balance, they also aim the game at casuals. And the fighting community are the ones that makes the problem worst by breaking the game itself.

    Yet when someone picks upon the fault of the community or fighting games, they are quick to defend but cannot see the truth.
    Fighting Games are dead, they are just slowing reclining, THANKS to Street Fighter and MK9. They abuse casual gamers but do not know that casuals are the ones keeping the franchise alive. Because who would buy a game if we only have the core fans? Publishers live off casuals not just on the core fans.

    I’m tired of typing, talking about the fighting community is like talking to bunch of red-necks with low IQ.
    I can’t stand them and I’ve had enough dealing with them.
    I’m looking forward to inJUSTICE and if that game is balanced enough, I would put my hope back in fighting games because Neathrealm studios are the only one who produces premium quality Fighting Games.

    And if that game is broken and unbalanced like MK9, I’ll stop buying fighting games. Let the fighting community abuse themselves.

    • This opinion is based on horribly flawed logic.

      Just go ahead and tell me why anything that you’re complaining about is a bad thing.

      Why is it bad that developers make games that have a lot of quirks to discover?

      Why is it bad that players can discover these quirks?

      Why do every single one of these quirks indiscriminately undermine the legitimacy of the game?

      Your opinion contradicts progress in general, not just that of a genre of video games.

      You even contradict yourself by calling FGs a waste of time yet calling Platinum games “valuable”. Their whole philosophy and line of games was birthed from the same kind of evolution that FG play goes through. If it weren’t for players discovering the hidden technology underlying in the DMC games, they wouldn’t have understood what makes the DMC games enjoyable to fans and worked that philosophy into the games they make as Platinum.

      I wonder if you realize that the original SF2’s combos were completely unintentional.

      Real players don’t complain about shenanigans unless they’ve put in due effort into finding ways around it and failed to find anything.

  28. Your “research” reeks of confirmation bias.

    Any man worth his salt knows that Kotaku is hardly a reputable source of anything.

  29. Pingback: This is What Free Speech Looks Like | Internet Adventures.

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