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Questions I Have No Business Asking, No. 1

If you could magically (or scientifically or telepathically) travel back in time to the moment you started liking fighting games and, knowing everything you know now, decide to hate them instead (then instantly forget all your future-knowledge), would you do it? Why or why not?

Please include a few basic background details about yourself: roughly how long you’ve been playing, which fighting game you’ve played the most, how many tournaments you’ve entered, where you racked up the majority of your playing time, etc.

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  1. May 11th, 2011 at 14:40 | #1

    … Maybe this was a bad idea. We’ll see!

  2. yungxcve
    May 11th, 2011 at 16:25 | #2

    I’ve been playing since I was 6 when I had SFII Special Edition on Genesis. I played pretty much every Street Fighter or fighting game for that matter after that. The most played game I’ve played so far is either SF 2 Hyper fighting or Marvel Vs Capcom 2. Although I’ve played for so long, I’ve never entered any tournies because everytime I go to an arcade I get bodied (lol). I can kinda hold my own, but I feel in a tourny atmosphere i would probably get bodied too, so why bother. The majority of my early playing time was at arcades in the east bay area. After that I got a Dreamcast and my first arcade stick, so I started playing the MVC series and SFA3. Been playing alot of MVC3 and a little Super on the side, but training mode only (stupid PSN) Anyways catch me on PSN my iD is: YUNG C

    As far as taking it all back, to when I got SF2 Special Edition? Just hate the game? I actually think I hated it for some time when i got it. Beating the game on 4 stars difficulty in order to watch a characters ending is tough as nails for a 6 year old. I remember making it to Sagat, and he would time the uppercuts perfectly whenever you jumped in. I remember hating the game at that point a lot! However i dont think you mean that hate.

    I don’t think I would hate on fighting games. I liked growing up playing fighting games. Being able to take out someone you are competing with gives you a somewhat rewarding feeling: your skills/abilities getting better and your strategy is enough to outsmart the opponent. It’s not something you can do just on training mode or playing through story mode or what have you. Fighting games made me who I am, whether it be my competitive spirit or just my skills in MVC3. So yeah, I would choose not to hate on fighting games. Unless it’s a really bad game.

  3. May 11th, 2011 at 16:49 | #3

    This is very hard to answer, but well here we go (?):
    I play fighting games since i was very little with SF2WW, obviously like most of you, mashing buttons, coz in that time i was something like 5 or 6 years old and i had no idea of how deep and technical fighting games could be.
    The games i played the most are the SF Alpha series, CVS, Guilty Gear, Vampire and Project Justice and many others very obscure titles.

    I entered many (can’t remember how many of them right now) small/underground tourneys in my local scene, and i spent most of my time playing at the arcades near my house or with my friends at home with consoles, and being honest, i hate online playing, it really annoys me.

    If i can go back in time, i choose yes, to forget about everything i know about fighting games and start to hate them, why? well, Fighting Games were something like a runaway for me at the beginning, then they became something like an addiction, and i started to take them very seriusly, i waste lot of my time/life playing them or getting involved with the “community”, yeah i enjoyed it a lot, had a lot of good times, meet a lot of cool people but i don’t know, sometimes i really feel the need of change that and take care of my “real life” a little bit more.

    Maybe now i’m older, i grew up a bit and I started to get tired of it… i don’t know. The right answer for me would be: I would like to still liking fighting games but in a more “casual way” and don’t take them so seriously. One of the main reasons i’d say yes now is because i hate “modern fighting games titles”, i play old school games that nobody plays here nowadays and i refuse to play them online.

  4. mrkimchi52
    May 11th, 2011 at 18:06 | #4

    Interesting topic, I started playing when SFIIWW came out. I played that game at the arcades, then when I got it on the SNES I must have played it at least once a week for around 7-8 years. Something about it kept me coming back, once I could beat the game reliably on hardest difficulty I went to beating my high score.

    Over the years I would play whatever SF cabinet I came across, III, EX, Alpha but never liked the versus and never too seriously always vs the computer.

    When SF4 came out and I could play against real opponents online then found SRK, I realised the true depth of the game and was sucked in in a totally new way. I like going to the occasional tournament but will come dead last without fail. I like to read up and play a fair bit but I don’t bother with practicing links and trickier stuff because I can still find lots of opponents online at my skill level to enjoy competing with, without having to put in that extra commitment I don’t enjoy.

    So if I could go back to little me playing WW at the arcade, knowing what I no now, I would probably try and find some good competition rather than just dropping the whole thing. I can’t play sports as I am naturally unco/too cautious. This is probably why I suck at SF as well because of my lack of coordination but it has given me something to really sink my teeth in to as a hobby and rediscovering this in may late 20’s has been really fun. It’s such a cult thing too which makes it fun everyone knows what SF is but do they really know!?

  5. Rufus
    May 11th, 2011 at 18:10 | #5

    The first fighting game I played is probably Street Fighter (or does chess count?) one game. Before Street Fighter 2, a long time ago. Never really got anywhere playing through SF2, though I did take cracks at CE and so on at the local 7/11 and in the arcades. The game I’ve played the most is probably Tekken 2 because of competition with house mates and friends. I’ve never been a competitive caliber player, and as far as I can recall I’ve entered two fighting game tournaments: tekken 3 once -I think in ’95- because I happened to be in the arcade, and a Super Turbo side tourney at Evo 2010.

    I think Keiko and I are in similar situations. At the end of the day, I think the worst thing about fighting games is that they’re not really that rewarding outside ‘the community’, and ‘the community’ is IMO over-focused on competition. Although I did enjoy the earlier vs games, I also feel like the genre is becoming more and more technically demanding (this is exacerbated by the internet), and there are way too many games coming out for someone who has a life outside of the games to really participate.

    At this point, fighting games have a de-facto US (and arguably world) Championship in Evo, but with arcades dying out, there’s no Sunday pick-up game in the park.

  6. XSPR
    May 11th, 2011 at 21:22 | #6

    Great question. Getting a little introspective won’t hurt anyone in the long run. For me, there wasn’t a lot to like about fighting games to begin with. One guy made a video called “Fighting Games Suck” and I thought he was pretty much dead on in his criticism of the genre. It wasn’t Street Fighter’s story that drew me in and it certainly wasn’t the single player mode (and if it ever was, it shouldn’t have been! hate THAT, past self, the single player mode!). I too played a lot of chess right before getting into SF, and both interests were sparked from the same reason- hunger for competition. That alone kept me around for the long-term. You could say I hated a few fighting games back then from the start (the first two Alphas), yet I still played them. I played them because that’s where the competition was. That’s mostly what fighting games were to me from the start: an outlet for competition.

    When you first get involved and spend significant amounts of time with a community, before you decide to continue on with that community, you ask yourself, what kind of people are in this group? How am I categorizing myself by becoming a member? (Why in the hell would I want to join any club that would have myself as a member?) The fighting game community tends to have a fair amount of diversity, but the one constant I found was that its members were competitive.

    It’d be very easy to tell my past self not to waste so much time with games, or don’t watch TV, etc. but man doesn’t live on bread alone. I think that I’d just get involved with something else competitive anyway.

    Would my past self even believe me? I could also tell him that in the future, there will be these new devices called “e-readers” and allow you to bring any text from a book, news source etc. with you on the go and he’d say oh like a gameboy from 1989 can do and I’d have to say uh yeah basically, but e-readers’ll be a lot more expensive, and by then you can buy a used gameboy for 10 bucks. You will be able to buy a new portable DVD player for much less than an e-reader costs, for some reason… hm that is messed up isn’t it.

  7. Dayun
    May 11th, 2011 at 21:23 | #7

    Hmm this is kind of a strange question. I myself as a gamer have always liked fighting games but kinda sucked at them my whole life. I like to play competitive games, no matter what they may be. I suppose fighting games and I were a match made in heaven. No way of blaming anyone else but yourself unlike a team sport. I’m not exactly the most sociable person in the world, and tend to avoid most people like the plague, sadly. Whenever Street fighter 4 came out and it had online play, i started to get more real about fighting games. I tried out what i knew about fighting games from playing CvS2 by myself forever as a kid. I knew about crossups and random other strange stuff in fighting games. I had an account on SRK i didn’t remember the email OR password for. Hell, i even had a picture of myself dressed up as Ryu in Halloween when i was 4.

  8. Dayun
    May 11th, 2011 at 21:29 | #8

    I can’t really say whether the last 900 million hours invested into SFIV was positive or negative in regards to my life. All i know is i’ve met some pretty cool people playing in arcades, and I have really enjoyed learning the little nuances of the game. Online play, albeit a shadow of offline play, offers a lot that we wouldn’t otherwise have. People like me. People who always had a lingering interest in the Street Fighter series but never really wanted to take the effort to go out and make an effort to get into the scene. It’s pretty damn nice in my opinion. I really can’t say i’d take that time back and invest it elsewhere. I love the games, i love the people that play them. Without this interest, i’d never fully appreciate a Maj combovid. I’d never have the desire to travel out of my state to go to a tourney full of people i’ve only ever heard of. I think the experiences to be had in the fighting game community are really great. It sure as hell beats any other game series i could be fond of.

  9. May 12th, 2011 at 03:10 | #9

    yes, mainly because I’ve always wanted to travel backwards in time

  10. Persona
    May 12th, 2011 at 11:13 | #10

    I started with SF2:WW in the arcades when a few friends told me to try it (since they secretly wanted to beat me since I never played the game in my life) just to have me beat them. After that they said I should practice more so I can actually compete with complete strangers in the arcade and I guess that’s where my interest in fighting games came along. Entered a few SF2T tourneys then moved to Asia. SF wasn’t as popular over here as SNK games so I turned to SNK games instead. There was a KOF 98 Asia tourney for just about every large asian country sponsored by SNK and I guess that’s when “play for fun” turned into “play to win”. Kept playing fighting games seriously until the early 2000s where I started to lose interest since everyone started to move to PC games. Started making combo vids after that. SF4 came along and it brought enough interest to enter a few tourneys but after that I completely lost interest and went back to not playing fighting games.

    If I could reset everything and take everything back then I would. As Rufus has said, there isn’t much of a reward outside the community and anyone outside the community usually laughs at such a topic such as competitive video games. I’d rather just play normal video games for fun and stick to something else that’s ‘more productive’ that actually rewards you.

  11. xtxoxpxd
    May 12th, 2011 at 14:02 | #11

    the responses so far confuse and scare me.

    i played sf2 on snes as a kid the same way most people remember playing mario, mike tysons punch out, etc. i was never serious about it but have great memories of it. in my teens i played mvc2 and cvs2 very recreationally, but enjoyed them very much.

    then in 2009 i saw some youtube videos os sf4 and bought a ps3 just to buy that game. the thing that brought me back? seeing people do cross ups. “omg you can jump over them and force them to block the other way?! awesome!” that small thing opened up all the strategy behind fighting games i’d never seen before.

    since then, i’ve logged plenty of hours into sf4 and mvc3. i regularly read srk.com and follow the fgc scene. i’m a respectable (imo) sf4 and mvc3 player – not a tournament player by any means but i’d describe myself within the top 80% of casual players.

    i have met exactly 0 people from playing these games and have exactly 1 friend whom i can play with live (ie one at my skill level).

    yet, i completely love playing ssf4 and mvc3. i wish i had more friends to play with, rather than spend most of my time playing online opponents. its a great way to pass the time at home and i’m planning to go to evo this year with my fightning game buddy.

    someone needs to explain why everyone above wants to erase this part of their lives? does going down this path make you miserable or something? is the only reason i like it because its still a hobby for me, and not anything i’d consider a large part of my life?

  12. supersonic1453
    May 12th, 2011 at 16:52 | #12

    Well, I started playing games when I was two and have been playing Street Fighter since I was four at least. I only know this because I named my first cat Chun-Li when I was four. I mainly played at home or at arcades in Ocean City whenever I was there. I beat some of the older kids there because I could do Hadoukens and Tatsus.

    Anyway, I’ve never really been too heavy into tournaments. I never had time to go to them growing up because I was always playing sports. I also never really dedicated myself to perfecting any game because I didn’t really have anyone to play or any arcades or anything near me. The closest one would be Pinball, but that is 40 minutes away, and that is forever when you are younger. I’ve gone to a few tournaments for various games in the past few years though, and they were fun even if I didn’t do very well in them. I’m always up for one if I have time to go.

    The fighting game I’ve played the most is probably whatever version of Street Fighter II. After that, it’d probably be Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter, Rival Schools, and other stuff. I didn’t really play Darkstalkers too much, I didn’t really play Street Fighter III until I got the Anniversary Collection, and I never liked Tekken or SNK games too much. I’ll play them, but I’d rather play something Capcom made.

    As for your question, I don’t think I would. Fighting games have always been one of my favorite type of games. It’s up there with RPGs for me. I always like competing, and I hate losing. I don’t hate being beaten; just losing. They’re also the only games that I play consistently now since I don’t have a lot of time with work and school. I can play them for like an hour or two and feel like I got something done. That’s kind of difficult with other genres. There’s also a sense of fun that can only be had at tournaments. You can’t replace that with anything else.

  13. May 13th, 2011 at 12:16 | #13

    Thanks for all the candid responses so far. It’s always interesting reading different perspectives on our shared hobby and seeing the impact fighting games have – whether positive or negative. Keep ’em coming.

  14. Tarnish
    May 13th, 2011 at 14:29 | #14

    I’ve been playing Street Fighter II since I saw it at some large scale laundromat in Mountainview, CA in 1992-93-ish?. Only ever started going to tournaments when I moved to Virginia and wanted to see if there were any arcades near where I was living. Been to about 2-3 years worth of various tournaments, a few majors here and there and an Evolution. Most of my quality playing time was during that 2-3 year period of tournaments and casual, offline scene.

    I invested most of my time in Super Turbo in MD/VA, but I have a few games I was casually fond of in my youth. Marvel Super Heroes, Guilty Gear XX #R… really, nothing probably worth mentioning. I played because I enjoy video games and I thought fighting games were cooler than most other video games, save maybe certain other genres. They’re all I usually play nowadays, so maybe I just ruined all the other games I used to be into? I don’t know.

    Uh, I’d probably forget it if I could remember the importance of a bunch of other shit I learned because of my experiences in life. I could be cynical about how pointless it was to play fighting games, my life just wasn’t that great to say I could have had something better than fighting games. Shitty parents who wanted to teach their children to put money before whatever it is they WANTED to do… fighting games allowed me to meet people who didn’t compromise or were comfortable or well adjusted in doing the things they wanted to just to have a few hours in the week to play some casuals whenever possible. I don’t mean folks who are only able to play fighting games and barely support themselves, I mean bankers, IT heads, Veterans such as myself, graphic designers, artists… the scene is robust, with talented people in various interests.

    Maybe fighting games are a distraction, but when I have to think about it, I didn’t have any direction in my life until I did something I wanted to fucking do for about 2-3 years instead of being enlisted or having friends and relatives try to gripe to me about how “There’s no money in teaching” or “There’s no money in art” or “There’s no money in *anything that isn’t a doctor or a lawyer*.”

    I’d rather go back in time and tell myself to hate people who told me not to do something reasonable, like be a teacher or, hell, I don’t know a musician, because I might not make any money because success is hard and failure is easy.

  15. CPS2
    May 13th, 2011 at 15:48 | #15

    I’ve been entering tourneys on and off for 6 or 7 years, mainly offline but a few online, and have run a few local and national tourneys, helped out with a few combovids >_<, and this has been over various SF titles and also soul calibur, blazblue and a few other games.

    I don't really have any regrets, even if I'm not totally happy with how things are or where they might be headed. I kinda like putting together small and large projects like setting up a tourney or making a video, I feel happy with how things turn out when I've put something into it, most of the time. Sometimes things don't pan out how I want, and I'm usually nervous that whatever I'm trying to do will fail, but to be honest I'm almost always happy with how it turns out.

    Things I've never tried to do: be the best SF player, win EVO or SBO, run a perpetually ongoing tournament series without losing players, give fighting games mainstream appeal. Props to people who dream bigger than me, I feel bad seeing people with massive dreams not reaching them, and this community can be harsh =/. It is a bit scary to see people who I look up to saying they kinda wish they didn't play fighting games, but I can see why. There's a lot of things you can try to do, and a lot of those goals are by definition only attainable by very few people.

  16. LB
    May 14th, 2011 at 18:29 | #16

    i’m not exactly sure where you are trying to go with it – are you kind of tired of all the energy you’ve invested in fighting games and wish you’ve gone a different route instead? :)

    i think the question is a little loaded, especially since your audience is mostly to current competitive players. i would LOVE to go back to when i started playing fighting games, a good 11 years ago when mvc2 came out. one of the things i regret the most is that it took me a LOONG time from mashing on the stick/buttons to actually understanding the fighting games at the core. i really wish i had a chance to dedicate myself to higher level play from the getgo when i had 20 hours a day to play.

    it’s a little hard getting that many game-time in a week now that i’m old and tired, and unfortunately because of that it’ll take so much work to get out of strictly mid-tier status i’ll most likely spend rest of my fighting game career.

    the community is great and for the most part it is young and stupid and socially unaccepted, but you learn a great deal about being competitive that most people don’t get to experience otherwise.

    i would love to go back 11 years and play the great players of the past and see how much i might have evolved in 11 years.

  17. P1d40n3
    May 16th, 2011 at 01:46 | #17

    Nope.

    Been playing since SF4, and I’ve only been to one tournament. Still wanna get in some real games with some non-offline people (just found out about the regular AZ get-togethers), and I still wanna level up my game. I got into this stuff to learn about game design in competitive systems, and while I’ve learned tons, I still got lots more to see. And more games to play.

    And tournaments to win :)

  18. Arc
    May 19th, 2011 at 08:55 | #18

    I was the youngest child in the family growing up with two older brothers that liked to play all types of games, but mainly fighting games. It all began with Killer Instinct when we finally got an SNES in 97. Being the child I was, I wanted to play with my brother’s, so I would start playing the game without them or watch them and try to learn. A few months later one of them bought SF2 Turbo and interest shifted to that. Eventually my brother started taking me to arcades to play against people and try new games. When MVC2 came out, my brother was able to get a copy from a friend for the dreamcast so we could play at home. He actually made me learn combos or I wouldn’t get food. It’s also safe to say I didn’t put too much effort into studying anymore at that point.

    If I could go back in time and change that experience…Maybe. I’m actually thinking about retiring from playing fighting games against people since half the people I’ve played against always whine at me when they lose or get really pissed off. (Especially this one guy from college that kept saying “Stop spamming headbutts!” when he wasn’t blocking full screen honda headbutts in CVS2) Also a lot of things I do in fighting games are not original to me. Almost everything I do is just a reproduction of something I’ve seen online, from matches or something that’s been done to me in a match. An example would be my Spencer in MVC3. I’ve basically stolen Keno’s spencer tactics that don’t involve assists. I should probably stop though, graduating college soon.

  19. onreload
    May 21st, 2011 at 19:53 | #19

    Nope.. Like some others have stated, the arcade scene is done, and that’s something I really miss – though not from my fighting game days – the community I miss from my fighting game days was a gathering of people in a public space, but in my case it was a university…my arcade days were on DDR.

    However, having a scene to keep up with, waiting and looking for the next breakthroughs, etc…it’s exciting. I definitely missed the boat on some of the more interesting games (A3, CvS2, 3s), but, for example, I’m more excited to play around with SSFIVAE in training mode than I am as a competitive player.

    Though I haven’t done much, watching people make videos (combo videos mostly) has inspired me to be creative – it’s shown me that anybody can make something worth watching, and there isn’t anything too niche-y to be explored. I like when people can break something down – reverse engineer an idea that isn’t even tangible in the first place, and make something new out of it. I feel like we’re on the cusp of a new era of artwork with interactive media, and fighting games are sure to be one of the most important genres (or media, if you will).

    Fighting games have also exacerbated my gaming/collecting hobby, which is something that I treasure, because they are my favorite escape (maybe even more so than movies), and they give me a reason to get out of the house and meet people, have money in my pocket, et cetera – obviously they aren’t the sole reasons to keep a normal, motivated life style, but they help…It’s not a competitive drive in me that pushes me further and further into fighting games, it’s the creative and appreciative one. So, if you ever think your video is going to be useless, or you don’t see the point in doing/uploading something, remember that there are people who will appreciate it, and may be inspired to try their hand in it.

  20. Crysalim
    May 21st, 2011 at 23:55 | #20

    I see a lot of people talking about how fighting games have become too competitive. I think the real issue, though, is that the players in the community don’t have as much respect for each other. When you reach a high enough level in a craft you need to collaborate with other experts to advance. The community for fighting games, though, has always shunned teamwork. When people want to win for instant gratification instead of some kind of deeper internal cause, losing will make any kind of feelings become very transient and hurtful as well.

    I would not abandon my love for fighting games if I could; I would love the opportunity to meet my younger self and battle him, though. The drive a person has in their youth is perfect for what fighting games are all about.

    That being said, I still love fighting games, but wish they were conducted in a much more professional manner. If I ran a tournament, shit talking and throwing controllers would result in not only instant disqualification, but a permanent ban from any future tournaments. My events would not even get to the point where the kind of controversy that was exhibited at this year’s Final Round could take place.

    Maybe this is what we really hate about our scene, Maj.

  21. XSPR
    May 23rd, 2011 at 09:02 | #21

    I know very little about the DOA (and uh… thank God? judging from the below) scene but just got wind of this post from Tom Brady on a site that shall not be named:

    “this is a subject very personal to me. i know its long but because i mentioned some of it on stream last night i figured i would give the whole story.

    enjoy the true story of DOA.

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnvxQqJyXv4
    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFFtzMsBzBg
    3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KF9iS0m62LU
    4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiC_jP-MmbA
    5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYjUteFlXjU
    6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63_KVUXD12w
    7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9roOjh6hC78

    The Follow Up Video:
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4FBYmgdx6A
    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZVYX0MDWPA

  22. May 25th, 2011 at 11:35 | #22

    I was in 7th grade when SF2 first came to the arcades in our local billiards halls (why only billiards halls?), and my future best friend and I bonded over SF2, MK1/2, Killer Instinct and Samurai Showdown. If I had to do it all over again I would. The friendships, connections and social learning I gained from the line of quarters on a single, dirty arcade cabinet was priceless. I see every match as a game of chess; beyond the button mashing and occasional lucky victory, it’s all about sizing up your opponent and making them fall for your tricks. That’s why I will never stop.

    I’ve never played competitively, though not for lack of trying. But, it was after college that fighting game tourneys started becoming prevalent thanks to the internet, so by 2001/02 I had the real world of job, girlfriend and anime conventions that stymied any true potential I could have mustered. I doubt I would have gone far as I play to play (my Team Saikyo’s tagline back in the day), and enjoy 1% matches over sheer glory. The tournaments I did enter were mostly at anime cons back when SF3:3rd Strike / CvS2 were the main staples. I took a CvS2 tournament once, and it was downhill from there.

    My favorite fighting game of all time is Killer Instinct 2, but within my sphere of influence my top games are the core SF series, CvS, and KoF 98 – XI. I never got into 3D fighting games and don’t feel like I missed out on them, either.

  23. May 25th, 2011 at 22:07 | #23

    Let’s see… first fighting game was Mortal Kombat when i was 6 or 7 and I played a Street Fighter 2 machine everytime i went to a pizza place by my house. Never really played much outside of the occasional fighter with my friends like smash bros or KoF until I went to Arcade UFO when SF4 came out and thought “I can beat my friends at these games so I can beat these guys, how hard can the game be?” Needless to say I got thrashed and that light the fire to keep playing. Still working on tech skill and still trying to get better at SSF4 and Marvel, I’ve entered 2 tournaments, gamestop tournament type things. So I’ve been playing most of my life but now I’ve seriously playing for a few years. I play mostly at home but take it to the arcade to see how I’ve improved. One day I want to play at evo and other majors(Big dream I know but hey, with enough hard work and a little luck I can get there)

    No, I would not go back, these games are to much fun and I like them too much, I like perfecting combos and making comebacks, I like meeting the people that play and watching the streams. I love tournament atmosphere and figuring out something I never realized was possible in the game. Reading articles and getting better, it’s become a part of my life and It’s a really cool community to be in. I love most everything about these games and I wouldnt trade it for anything really.

  24. Necrosis
    May 25th, 2011 at 22:12 | #24

    I’ve been playing since about 2003 or 2004, starting with Guilty Gear X. I grew to like other games more as I learned about them and (I suppose) “got over” the initial cool factor of GG that got me interested. Since then I’ve won a few tournaments here and there, including a couple of local KoF tournaments and the Blazblue tournament at (yeah yeah i know) Youmacon 2010 as well as plenty of other respectable (but not 1st place) performances, but I’m by no means a top player, even just within the local scene in Chicago. My main game has shifted over time, most notably Guilty Gear to awful Naruto fighters to Arcana Heart to Blazblue to Melty Blood to Arcana Heart again with the release of AH3.

    I’ll admit my feelings about fighting games now are mixed. I want to love them, I want to say that I still have a burning drive to get better, but my opinion of most of the newer fighters is extremely low and I can’t say I want to ever touch SF4 or MvC3 seriously again. I’ve also been fairly rage-prone when it comes to fighting games, a side of myself I hate and wish would never have become a defining feature by which people think of me (J-Money even made mention of it in an interview for PowerUp a few years ago). If there were a single biggest reason I’d give it all up, it would be that.

    That said, back when I started playing Guilty Gear X, it kickstarted literally my only friendship to endure for almost a decade now through everything that’s been thrown at it, and it’s been far from an easy friendship at times. Through that whole chain of events, I learned what I want to do with my life, which has made its own enduring friends come up. I made a lot of memories with people through playing fighting games that a shy, judgmental kid like myself probably wasn’t going to without some kind of catalyst like fighting games.

    I wouldn’t give up any of it. I might hate them at times, I might question why I still play them, but I DO enjoy playing them, and I feel like on some level I have fighting games to owe for everything in my life now.

  25. May 27th, 2011 at 23:52 | #25

    Thanks again to everyone for providing such insightful answers. Keep ’em coming sirs (and ma’ams). Even though i haven’t been participating, i’ve been reading and enjoying every single comment.

    I don’t want to risk skewing the discussion one way or the other with my own opinion. Maybe i’ll add my two cents once we reach ~50 viewpoints, but my answer isn’t particularly interesting or important anyway.

  26. darcontek
    June 3rd, 2011 at 13:19 | #26

    I started playing fighting games seriously with marvel vs capcom 1. I used to play 8 hours a day every saturday with my friend in 8th grade and it was almost like a serious crack addiction.

    I feel playing fighting games was a very positive experience to me at that time because it was the first time I was able to be good at something and have the discipline to do it for 8+ hours.

    I see it both as a positive and as a negative experience.

    The negative experience for me is that being “noticed” in fighting games takes way too much effort andall that effort will be useless once the next update/sequel of the game comes out.

    Moving from marvel 1 to marvel 2 was very disaapointing since I had to relearn the game over again, and relearning games that are marginally different is not fun.

  27. dijon
    June 13th, 2011 at 02:23 | #27

    I started playing with SFIV console release, so I guess I’ve been playing for a little over two years. I never played fighters seriously before then, but I won the local gamestop promotional tourney and got hooked. I didn’t know ANYTHING about strategy yet (everyone there sucked), but beating others and winning was quite a thrill and I realized that I wanted to get more serious about playing and found some real competition. I lived in the cincinnati area then. I went to the arcade every week to play SFIV. I entered innumerable ranbats over the life of vanilla/super, and attended many tourneys around ohio/indiana (naptown clash, columbus bar battles, lake erie summer slam). The only major I’ve been to was Season’s Beatings 4 for vanilla SF4. I never placed in the top, but I trained hard to get better until a bit after evo 2010.

    If I went back in time and decided not to tell myself to hate fighting games, I would have to tell myself to skip the rest of the SFIV series. When I began my journey in SFIV, I became a rabid consumption monster of all old media on the internet about street fighter. I read FAQ’s for old games and played them often because the execution was harder and the spacing game was more delicate I wanted to push myself to be able to do anything in SFIV. I read seth killian’s domination 101 articles over and over again to learn about playing in tournaments and what makes street fighter so good. I read old alt.games.sf2 posts. I watched videos every day trying to get inside of the heads of top players. SFIV vanilla was a silly game (ex snake strike damage, sagat ridiculousness), but most of the lessons learned in older street fighter games (mostly) applied. I didn’t like the systems of defense, but I got over that. In super I really began to doubt that capcom was interested in creating a street fighter experience. Everyone who threw fireballs got nerfed. Characters like c. viper and cammy who have crappy normals and minimal zoning tools but great gimmicks thrived. Playing against seth feels more like playing a dice game than street fighter (though you’re playing with loaded dice due to his low stamina rating). In AE this problem has been amplified to ridiculous levels. I began to realize that anything that made street fighter great (as s-kill says in his 2d vs 3d article: the fireball) was so badly obscured by SFIV’s stupidity that what was left was not fun and it wasn’t street fighter. I no longer felt the drive to get better or to play the game at all.

    Ultimately, I would still not choose to hate fighting games because I remain hopeful that one day a fun game that is worthy of competition will be released. Maybe an indie developer comprised of actual street fighter players will create a great game (like those skullgirls guys). Right now, I am not confident that Capcom even remembers how to make street fighter. Here’s to hoping that SFxT is better.

    Oh, and MvC3 is one of the most ridiculous products ever intended for competitive play in the history of games.

  28. ProfessorBeef
    June 13th, 2011 at 17:28 | #28

    Absolutely no way. I’ve been playing fighters for years since SF2, and competitively since Capcom vs. SNK 2. Some of my best friends have been met through those games, and I wouldn’t trade them or my experiences for the world.

  29. Ron Newcomb
    August 18th, 2011 at 01:42 | #29

    I’m tempted to say I would, if I at least knew I would still develop interest in actual martial arts, or at least physical fitness, without their influence.

    I already had several videogames under my belt by the time of Karate Champ. I liked the large, detailed, physically articulated characters, and became OK at the game. When I found SF2, it was fun, but it turned out to be a much deeper game than Karate Champ because the first successful attack did NOT end the round. But being from small town America, I didn’t get to play the game for real until the SNES version. I eventually came to dominate everyone, so I spent a lot of time playing alone. But my interest began to wane with SSF2, and when ST added supers and sped up the game again, I was disgusted (and in college). I flirted with the first few SSs and Tekkens, greatly enjoyed SFA when it came out (it seemed fresh and optimistic, and normals would chain) and, finally, a friend who could keep up with me in SFA2 and later XvSF. After I moved away, I stopped playing any fighting games until SSF4, and even then mostly out of nostalgia.

    I’ll be 36 later this month. Fighting games now are too fast, overly complex, and have very little to do with actual martial arts — it’s the magical cinematics that wins fights. I miss the pre-super-move era when every normal move was a tool with a particular use. Now normal moves just seem like filler, and making one button do something useful seems a verboten design choice.

    I greatly enjoy your vids, Maj, as well as other combovids set to music and such since I have the background to understand them, even for fighting games that I’ve never played. But it’s to the point now that I prefer watching vids and reading SRK to actually playing the game.

    All of us get old, and as our reflexes leave us, what will you think of fighting games then?

  30. idunrlynoe
    November 25th, 2011 at 12:21 | #30

    For what it’s worth:

    My bro got into the SF2 craze back then(I’m from Singapore btw), begging our father for a Super Famicom set, but I was the one who ended up playing more than him. I was like, 8-10 years old and when my brother was explaining what kind of game it was(he was trying to get me in on the craze so I could back him up with his begging) I just couldn’t get the concept in(when he brought me to see others playing I had like zero interest). Anyway all my experience at that time was against my brother(who sucked) and the computer, so I became like the ultimate turtle(my whole concept of playing it then was waiting for the computer to make a move and then countering it; even hadokens were for safe distances and chip-upon-awaking-up). Eventually made it a personal challenge and ritual to always reach Dictator without using a continue(on hardest setting; if I died on the way to Dictator I would actually restart).

    Didn’t really play fighting games until present(been playing SF4 at the arcades for two months now; six days out of seven for up to an hour time allowing). What I do remember is playing COTA(I was wahhed at how much it changed); my first chain combo was learnt from repeatedly replaying and watching the intro and watching Psylocke’s animation to identify which punches and kicks were being done(it was the standard magic series followed by an OTG psi-blast); my brother was like visibly shocked/impressed and said “well done” when I did it to him lol(first and last time in my life I remember him expressly paying me a compliment lol). But didn’t play much(I think the set was borrowed for a few months from one of his friends so no more play after it was returned); then many years later I go into an arcade and use an arcade stick for the first time. Was a fan of the cartoon series and wanted to see how gambit would feel like in a fighting game heh. But all against the computer, and essentially *still* turtle style(I never did any combo other than launcher -> magic series; most of my damage were off that lp slash and Rogue’s rush punches/super). Then it was MvC2; first time I started playing against “competition”(other than my brother) but I never ever got important concepts; it was all beneath-scrub-level, my games were won mainly due to Psylocke’s assist with Rogue’s super as follow-up and perhaps DHC b4 she lifted them off the ground(Gambit-Rogue-Psylocke, for no other reason than I liked them). I guess MvC2 was the first time I understood how good some people were at fighting games; this was when a Magneto-Storm-IforgotwhoprobSent used me for target practice lol.

    Soon after I had to go for my army stint(compulsory 2-year stint for all males here), then basically didn’t play anything until now. Obvious by now that I actually have no business posting here ‘cos I don’t appreciate the evolution of fighting games like you guys do and am only just beginning to experience actual competitive play for myself(scrub-who’s-just-starting-to-understand-what’s-going-on-in-the-games-he’s-playing level of “competitive”). So I can’t really answer Maj’s question in the way that it’s meant to be answered. As far as memories go, nothing will ever replace the feeling of beating SF2 without losing a match and that sense of…well, anybody who played video games as a kid should know what I mean heh. I’m playing a “different sort of game” now; playing SF4 against people, far more complex and dynamic than me as a kid fighting the computer…but, actually I can still remember the heart-pumping when it comes down to that last bit of health on both sides. Perhaps in some senses it’s still the same sort of game after all heh.

  31. idunrlynoe
    November 25th, 2011 at 12:24 | #31

    (edit: that sense of beating the video game as a kid and seeing the surprise special ending you get when you don’t use a continue. That sense you get as the ending plays on…”epic” perhaps is the word, or “indescribable” being a better one)

  32. November 26th, 2011 at 10:39 | #32

    I used to do the same thing on SF2 Special Champion Edition on Sega Genesis, trying to finish the game without losing a round. I figured out how to do it consistently with like five characters – Ryu, Ken, Guile, Sagat, and i think Bison. But yeah, i hit the reset button countless times that year.

    Haha someone needs to figure out a way to add endings to tournaments. That special credits sequence with the character sprites breaking crates/barrels was really satisfying to watch after you beat Bison without a single loss. Maybe i should mention this to Evo staff.

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