Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Combat Community: Choosing What Games to Play

Let us assume that you are part of the fighting game community or are looking to become involved with your local community. Sure you can find your way by checking forums such as Shoryuken, or even searching Facebook for community groups. Local stores which provide gameplay space are also great places to start. So now that you have found the community, what games are they playing?

You probably entered the community because you already played a particular game and wish to meet other people in your area who also play. You could get lucky and play UMvC3 or SSFIV, but maybe your tastes are more geared toward less statistically popular games such as TTT2 or KOFXIII. Of course this also depends on your location. The more people, the more likely that game variety will such that you can play any game you want and still have decent to great competition. Other times you may find no one who is playing your favorite game. For the latter situation, what should you do?

I can share what I have done to help get more enjoyment out of the community even though my favorite games have not remained popular or were never popular in the first place. I have taken it upon myself to be the spokesman for games such as MK9, IJ:GAU and TvC. TvC was killed by MvC3, MK9 was killed by changing tastes and the VS boom, and IJ:GAU is currently on life support.

The Cincinnati / Dayton / Northern Kentucky community that congregates at Arcade Legacy is not as large as you might think, although it is growing steadily. I believe we have approximately 25 regular players who can also be considered non-beginners in at least one game. Not too shabby, and over time the Arcade Legacy location and local college players' organization efforts have grown the community.

So let us assume that the games you like are just not popular. You can offer prizes, you can do tournaments, and you can beg and plead with other people trying to convince them that your game is both fun to play and deep in explorative potential but it is just not happening. At that point you have a decision to make: do I want to stay in the community and play games that are not my favorites, should I remove myself from the community, or should I continue to advocate for my favorite game in the hopes that one day the effort will pay off?

My answer has been a combination of playing non-favorite games and continued advocation for certain favorites. It can be rewarding to try and discover characters and teams in games that you do not necessarily enjoy or understand intuitively because you learn to challenge yourself and maintain an active mind.

  • Non Favorite Games That I Want to Play
    • TTT2
    • UMvC3
  • Favorite Games That I Want to Play
    • IJ:GAU
    • VS
    • SSFIV:AE 2012
    • GGAC+
  • Unpopular Games That I Want to Play
    • UMK3
    • MK9
    • SCV
    • VF5:FS
  • Unreleased or Soon to Be Updated
    • SG
    • SSBW
    • JJASB
I am sure that by now you have noticed I love lists! They help me organize my thoughts and get me involved with thinking about the games and what I want from the community. Although I sometimes have trouble stopping the list creation and focusing on actual playing! 

So take a good look at your local community and come up with a plan for what you want to play and how you can go about it. Good luck and have fun!

Nathan Shields PowerUp Founder

Fighting game enthusiast, martial artist, and teacher. Nathan Shields ran three regional events, two of which were part of the Road to EVO Championships in 2011 and 2012. He continues to run local FGC events and supervise the growth of his scene and the PowerUp brand.

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