Fighting games, by their true nature, are repetitive things. You play the game over and over, for countless hours cumulatively, trying to understand what you need to know to be good (Or at least less bad) at them. There are no numbers or stats to rely on, and no artificial sense of growth created by playing a certain amount of time. When it comes to fighting games, you either get good, or stay bad. How is it possible that such a genre based around such a callous reality has survived as long as it has? Even more, how has it (Depending on whom you ask) reached what can be another renaissance? The answer is short and simple.
Since their conception, Fighting games have lived and died on the back of the all encompassing community they cater to. The Fighting Game Community, or FGC, is responsible, almost entirely for the long term success of these titles. This community offers places to play, learn and meet other like-minded folk who share the same passion for these games.
This passion can go beyond merely playing fighting games. Many people in this community become friends for life. The faith of this community turns the repetition often needed to learn a fighting game into something far less tedious. Whether that because you’re talking to people about what you’re doing, or because you’re training to beat that bracket monster at your local.
Arguably the most important part of the fighting game community is the birthing of “local fighting game communities” or “locals.” Locals are the lifeblood of the community, with the near total death of true arcades in the west, this was what took their place. A local is exactly what it sounds like, a bunch of people meet up and play fighting games, oftentimes bringing their platforms of choice, to provide more setups to play on. Playing at one’s local is oftentimes considered a must for members of the fighting game community. Not only does it serve to keep the community for that area healthy, but it’s the best way to “Level Up” in terms of personal play. Locals make all the time spent practicing the Korean back dash cancels worth it when you get to style on your friends with it.
Learning and Leveling Up
We as people grow from confrontation. We grow even more when that confrontation isn’t gated by online gimmicks and someone using a wireless connection. This is a reason that offline, or local, play is such a boon to fighting game players. Offline play will grow your skill, and without all the online randomness and frustration. Offline, things are easier to react to, and the atmosphere is different. You can see the little things your opponents do in different situations, how they react. Online is impersonal, you can’t tell what effects your opponent and how. Worse yet, you may get away with things you never would offline, simply due to latency. Put simply, playing offline is akin to a hyperbolic time chamber, whereas online is…an acceptable dojo.
Bring The Hype
Competition at local FGC’s can be intense, and intensity brings emotion and excitement out of everyone. Sure, you might get hype alone in your room from getting the GI on your opponents Critical Edge but that’s nothing compared to what happens when people get on the sticks locally.
Stop me if you’ve seen this one before.
In short, go to your local fighting game community if you like fighting games. You may think you don’t have one, but I promise most of you do. Below is a link that’ll help you find your local, because I’m a nice guy. But just because you have a place or two here and there doesn’t mean there aren’t more. Do some research, hit reddit or wherever. Where there’s one, there are often more. Until next time, keep on rockin’.
-Credit to those degenerates on the SF Reddit.