Help Us Say Something Nice About Fighting Gamers

Illustration for article titled 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.

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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."

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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."

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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. :)"

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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.

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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.

DISCUSSION

Akka
Akka

The Fighting Game Community has been nothing but fantastic to me my entire life. I never was an athletic kid growing up. I'm a slow runner, I am not very strong, and I'm currently fat. When I was in Basketball and Tai Kwon Do growing up, all I ever heard about was how I was "fat", "too nerdy", "too short to be good at Basketball", or how "short Mexicans can't do Martial Arts."

I had always liked fighting games before, but because I was completely alienated from these (Basket Ball, Tai Kwon Do) communities by HARASSMENT, I started regularly going to our Arcade and playing my favorite game called "Super Street Fighter II: Turbo" and another game I enjoyed "Ultimate Mortal Kombat III." The difference between my days in Basketball and Tai Kwon Do and my days in the Fighting Game Community were that instead of being known as "The fat nerd" or the "wetback" I became known as "That Chun Li player" or "The Human Smoke player." Sure, there are pop offs in the Arcade. I'd be lying if I said I never won a match and told my opponent off afterwards. But that happens in any competitive field. I mean in the NHL players physically fight one another regularly. I never got into a physical fight because of fighting games. However, I did get into fights in school, basketball, and Tai Kwon Do, and in one particular case at work.

Last year I graduated college. To celebrate I decided I was finally going to go to my first Major. My girlfriend, brother, brother in law, and I decided that we were going to go to EVO 2k11. As someone who graduated in film I decided that I was going to document my journey to EVO, for better or for worse.

Words cannot describe my time at EVO. I honestly do not see anything outdoing that event for me for a long time. I met several players such as Killer Kai, Justin Wong, Flash Metroid, PR Balrog, Daigo, Alex Valle, Tokido, Combofiend, SkiSonic, Clockwork, and I even met Marn. I'm sorry to let Marn's secret out in public, but the dude was too nice. He was talkative, he asked about me, what I do, who I play, and how I'm enjoying my time here. How he hopes I continue to go to tournaments, level up, and become part of the community. And all of this was done off camera. So no, he wasn't just acting like a nice guy for the documentary. And Christian (the other gentleman being crapped on by Kotaku) went out of his way to make me a Juri Han bead charm and send it to me. Even though he didn't know who I was, and wasn't selling his charms out of his area. I was his first out of state customer, and he charged me at cost. He didn't even make a penny off of me.

This community is full of love, warmth, and welcoming. Sure, some people do some bad stuff like Aris did. He was wrong and there's no denying that. But Aris isn't the face and voice of the community, and if you get to know him he really isn't The Devil like the media is making him out to be. Sure, he did something horribly wrong there's no denying that. But that's one experience. No community is perfect. However we aren't a bunch of monsters like the media is trying to make us out to be. Every community has people that occasionally do some wrong. We are only human. As for what Marn and Christian did on LevelUp was not bad, but misunderstood. They used an expression that we all use in games "get in that a$$." This is basically the more vulgar form of "Rush that sh** down" Rush down, simply means strong offense and pressure. Because of this expression it started them MOCKING the journalists. Who have done nothing but search for dirt on us. Which disgusts me. These game journalists don't give a crap about us as a community. The only thing they ever want to do is post stuff on Daigo or completely s*** on us. This article I hope will shed some positive light on us. However, because of the constant trolling from Kotaku the last couple days I don't know if many FGC members will actually go out of their way to provide some light to Kotaku. Such as the MK community raising over a thousand dollars in charity just the other day. Or even congratulating Sp00ky on breaking 20 million views on his channel.

Hell, I've been a member of Kotaku for a long time. I earned my star, and I have always been active trying to bring some positivity to Kotaku's infamous Talkbacks (which Kotaku defends as its readers just being "Passionate" yet us FGC members are pieces of crap). I remember when I linked Kotaku the trailer of my EVO Documentary that comes out this fall, and it did not get linked in any form by them. I don't care about getting "famous" or anything like that. When my documentary is done it will be 100% FREE. I only am making it because I feel that is important to spread an inside look at our community from a NON top player's perspective. But from the perspective of the everyday guys. The you's and the me's out there that browse this site daily.

Although I'm sure it won't get linked on here as usual since it's not being made by Daigo, and because it does not contain anyone yelling "RAPE BABY RAPE!" in the video. I figure I might as well leave it here, so that those of you that would like to get a glimpse at the magic our community contains have the option to do so.

Simply put, as someone who has been harassed and bullied in the past by fellow students (in school and Tai Kwon Do), team mates, and even co-workers at times. EVO was the most welcoming experience that I, and my my girlfriend, have ever been to. And EVO as you know, is the Fighting Game Community.