It seems that once again, the fighting game community has shown its true colours: a culture full of poisonous personalities and abrasive actions that scare most, if not all new comers. Full of elitism and aggression, the FGC showed why it’s so hard to get into fighting games recently. For guys like me who love fighting games and the FGC, that’s a huge bummer.
Summer Jam is a Philadelphia based major fighting game tournament where all sorts of games both new and old are played. From Blazblue to Street Fighter II, if you play fighting games, chances are your game was being played somewhere. Hell, even a Pokemon and Gears of War tourney happened. The point being: if you play competitive console games, come to this tournament to compete, get better, and have a good time. One game on offer was Guilty Gear.
Guilty Gear is seen in the FGC as one of the hardest games to get into because of both its high execution level and long history. So when a newcomer who has only ever played offline comes around, it’s no surprise when he gets destroyed. But when a community taunts you, demoralizes you, and generally doesn’t acknowledge your presence, how are you supposed to grow? This was the situation that relative newbie Sloth Facts faced at Summer Jam.
Sloth Facts was playing in the Guilty Gear tourney and was given a match on stream against a veteran player.
Now the matches were pretty one sided, anybody could see that, and Sloth Facts didn’t take a round. What makes that match cringeworthy is what Sloth Facts’ opponent does. A random select at the character screen, a run up taunt into dragon punch, and just playing an abnormal way. His opponent genuinely does not care on any level for Sloth Facts, and his play reflected that. It was as if he was being told to leave because he was not welcome. So he did just that. After Summer Jam, Sloth Facts went to Twitter and ask.fm and told the world he was done with Guilty Gear.
“Got treated like a complete joke. Validated that treatment by failing to even take a round. So I was completely demoralized. I never got good, and I was never going to get good… I was certainly never gonna reach a point where I felt welcome near a GG setup.”
So why does this all matter? The FGC has had many an incident where players were treated poorly and left in the cold by their more experienced contemporaries. It’s not strange for this type of thing to happen. While it may not be strange, it matters, because for the first time in my time being a part of the FGC, someone has publically left because of their poor treatment. That scares me. I’m not saying the dark ages of fighting games are about to return because one guy said “Fuck it! I’m out.” But to me, the idea that anybody could be forced to leave because they don’t feel welcome is wrong.
The Fighting Game Community may be the single most inclusive gaming community out there. Doesn’t matter if you’re straight, gay, bi, trans, white, black, asian, Chilian, Canadian, Japanese, Christian, Jewish, Muslim–all that stuff doesn’t matter. If you like fighting games, that’s ALL that matters. It’s all that should matter. Because of this, the best become elitist and stop caring for those below them. If you aren’t getting better, then what’s the point of playing?
Now, I could write a whole book with that last phrase, but that would help nothing. No, I’m writing this article because I love the FGC–playing games, watching streams, meeting new people, and just generally enjoying this big, dumb thing I love with amazing personalities. It’s honestly changed my life for the better and helped shaped who I am today, and I want to see it grow so it can keep getting bigger and dumber. And that’s why it sucks to see guys like Sloth Facts get screwed over the way he did. That the FGC isn’t ready to grow.
We’re still childish and self-centered, and while there are a lot of people out there trying to change it, it’s clear it’ll be a while before we can find that balance of competition and fun.
Article by contributor BBWoggle.
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