Help Us Say Something Nice About Fighting Gamers

The fighting game scene has taken a lot of criticism this week due to the controversy surrounding one player's harassment of another player on Capcom's internet reality show Cross Assault.

As Kotaku has covered these stories, a number of readers in the comments and elsewhere online have questioned why it appears that only negative stories about the fighting game community appear on our pages, rather than the many positive stories they say exist.

This past week, for good or for ill, the events of Cross Assault have been in the air everywhere, because the show is going on now. The ongoing saga has cast a fresh spotlight onto a perennial problem that fighting game enthusiasts face: In the midst of heated competition, how can a community maintain baseline civility and respect for all its members?

But negative news is not the only news; it's just the current story. Much of what we hear about the competitive fighting game scene — as well as many other areas — comes to us from our readers. And so we're hoping our readers will bring us more affirming stories as well.

One reader asked us:

"Why doesnt Kotaku post about the positive aspects that've happened in the FGC? Such as how the community came and supported one of their own when a member went nearly blind in one eye due to an accident? Donations for him poured in in order to help the guy. Why don't we talk about how when Miranda quit, DrSubZero (the guy who took her place) gave her the prizes that he was awarded because of it? But that's not news worthy, is it? We're all apparently insensitive sexists and bigots."

Another commenter replied with:

"As for positive things going in the FGC, one of the biggest examples I can think of was the Fight For Relief tournament that raised over $30,000 after the Japan earthquakes; very few websites even posted an article about it. In fact, googling it right now only brings up two articles from major gaming sites/blogs like Kotaku, while the rest are FGC related."

The reader is correct about coverage of the Fight for Relief event; a search reveals two short blurbs on mainstream sites, with other coverage coming from community-oriented pages.

Dr. Sub-Zero's act of graciousness seemed to be the perfect diamond to salvage from the pile of muck that the last week's events on Cross Assault stirred up. As Giant Bomb reported:

Per the rules of the show, [Miranda Pakozdi] would then have to face off against John "Dr. Sub-Zero" Rockafeller, who was already eliminated. If he beat her in three out of five matches, he would be "revived."

Instead, she forfeited. Moments after she bowed out, Rockafeller looked over and handed his prizes over to her.

"I would like to donate everything to Super_Yan for being an angel," he said.

Pakozdi publicly thanked Rockafeller on Twitter, saying "Thank you for the stick and headphones @AskDrSubZero!! <3 you've been so nice to me the whole week I appreciate it so much." He responded with, "Enjoy them, my dear. :)"

Rockafeller has indeed been capturing accolades on Twitter and around the web for his behavior on Cross Assault. Unfortunately, the other half of accolades aimed at him seem to come from readers who are thankful for the stream of pornographic nude images (all of women) he shared on his Tumblr account [NSFW] this week.

The road to gender equality and sterling behavior never did seem quite so rocky. While there's nothing inherently wrong with nude photos featuring or shared with consenting adults, filling a Tumblr with them immediately after condemning the treatment Pakozdi received on Cross Assault complicates the message.

So help us. We genuinely want to highlight the best behavior and the best allies in this community. Trash talk doesn't have to mean trashy behavior. We learned about the harassment issues in Cross Assault from readers to begin with... so now we'd like you, the readers, to leave us some good news about the fighting game community.