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 $US30,000 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 behaviour 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 behaviour 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 behaviour and the best allies in this community. Trash talk doesn't have to mean trashy behaviour. 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.


    What does the guy putting up porn have anything to do with anything at all ever? Is porn inherently sexist? How the hell does streaming porn merit an "unfortunately".

    Pakozdi was treated like shit, something which has nothing to do with the porn. The porn does not send any message at all other than "hey, I are distributing porn of consenting adults, if you like it, check it out.".

    Completely bloody irrelevant.

      It's just pictures of good looking girls topless, to top it off.

      Seriously, what is the mixed message? This is doing my head in.

    I once played SSFIV3DS, and everyone online kept abusing Guile's unbalanced uncounterable Sonic Boom and Flash Kick Combo that was impossible to counter as Cammy and a number of other fighters. They rebalanced it a bit for the 3DS to make it easier for newer players, but they didn't do enough testing.....

    And sooooooooo many people play as Ryu and spam Hadoken. It's one of the cheapest and most annoying tactics I've ever seen next to the Guile thing.

      I haven't played the 3DS version but it sounds like you're playing on Lite mode so they don't have to charge moves like Sonic Boom and Flash Kick.

      Just play on Pro Mode and half your issues are fixed.

      Unfortunately, your issue of calling strategies you can't work out how to beat "cheap" is a little harder to fix. The short version is that very few things in the game are cheap and most things have some sort of counter. Hadouken spam can be countered by focus absorbing then dashing forwards, dive kicks and any moves that close distance and have invincibility (like Balrog's EX punches).

      If you don't know how to tech, throwing seems cheap too.

      Yeah mate, things arent cheap in street fighter. You don't know how to deal with it, that is all. Do a little research and a bit of thinking and you'll figure out a counter, or a way to at least survive.

      Blame the player, not the game.

    Instead of trying to deflect the negative publicity by highlighting other completely unrelated "acts of goodwill", where is the voice in the community that is actually standing against the negative behaviour inherent in the culture?

    None of comments highlighted condemns or refutes the bigotry which has been made apparent. Either the community condones the behaviour or are so ingrained in it, they are blind to it.

      The fighting community isn't a league that has a voice, it's made up of multitude of different communities. How can a general community (as a whole over the world) whose only connection is the love of fighting games can voice anything else but that?

      There you go. The author is inkblot, aka Tom Cannon, who is basically one of the founding fathers of the online fighting game community.

    street fighter is shit anyway. blazblue and soul caliber are better

      Lol you're implying Blazblue and Soul Calibur are good? Go back to playing Smash.

    'Fighting game' enthusiasts?

    That is pretty damn rich. Have you ever been to a lan centre? They aren't playing fighting games yet every third word is a swear word, god help you being a female walking into one of those as well.

    This is exactly the problem. Okay, that guy was a jackarse, fine. Maybe people should speak up more... okay, sure, no one has a spine [just like everyone else in real life].

    But to turn this into a tung clucking at fighting game fans is the real joke, no matter how indignant you get about sexism.

    'Competitive' gaming, and the male-centric gaming community etc, these are issues. Marginalising fighting game fans is just silly when this is hardly an event that is confined to them.

    Meh. If you're going to judge us by the actions of a few individuals... well that's going to happen with any interest.

    Look at halo players, soccer fan, football fans, racing fans. There's millions of people who like this things who aren't idiots. There's just a small minority who are more vocal and get more attention through their bad behaviour.

    There's nothing I can do about it. But I like fighting games and I don't carry on like that.

    I have a good idea for a goodwill story about the fighting game scene.
    Just round up all the sexist knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who are giving a bad name to the scene and put them in a zoo - the public will be lining up to observe this most primitive species of ape and we can donate the profits to charity!

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