I almost flunked out of college because of Mortal Kombat on the Genesis. (Yes, that's how old I am.) Classes skipped, papers turned in late and reading assignments left barely skimmed, all because I was trying to perfect my Scorpion technique. And while the undead ninja from the gory fighting series is a favorite of mine, he's not the favorite. That honor goes to Lei Wulong, the occasionally drunk kung-fu cop from Namco's Tekken franchise.
I've been thinking about fighting games a lot. For no particular reason, really. The genre's experiencing an upswing lately and stands at a crossroads as the call of e-sports and wider awareness compete against the desire to maintain cohesion.