Stephen King Baffled By Tekken Jargon

Stephen King Baffled By Tekken Jargon
Stephen King ponders a dark future. (Photo: Joe Kohen / Stringer / Bandai Namco / Kotaku, Getty Images)

I love horror novelist Stephen King. I love fighting games. But it seems those two flavours don’t go together all that well.

It all started last night when a random Tekken player, as they are wont to do, hopped on Twitter to demand changes from the developers. I won’t bore you with the competitive implications of their asks, but when they went to tag important members of the Tekken team, some wires got crossed. Rather than mentioning Tekken producer Michael Murray, the player instead roped in fantasy and science-fiction author Myke Cole due to some slight similarities in their usernames.

Cole was rightly bemused by the technical jargon that had suddenly appeared in his notifications, and King, who follows Cole on Twitter, was just as confused. America’s foremost horror author reacted to the Tekken jargon with three simple words: “Strange. Interesting. Tantalising.”

And that’s how we got to the timeline where two high-profile, accomplished authors shared a moment of puzzlement over a fighting game while, I’m assuming, rolling around in large piles of money.

The denizens of Twitter got a kick out of the interaction as well, with some even calling for King characters like Pennywise, Jack Torrance, Roland Deschain, and Annie Wilkes to join the Tekken series. I guess anything is game after the Walking Dead crossover.

King’s work often deals with regular folks dealing with the fallout of encounters with horrific and unknowable evil. The language of Tekken might be simple to those who have dedicated their lives to its intricacies, but it might as well be a mind-bending Necronomicon to someone who’s likely had little experience with fighting games. I look forward to a King monster muttering phrases about “pushback” and “launch punishes” in a future book.


  • Reading that tweet and thinking about how a person who doesn’t play fighters would try to read that was an experience. It’s nonsense.

  • Sounds like King is taking inspiration. His next novel – a streetwise fighting game tournament pro is beset by otherworldly nightmares which increase his number of block frames by 1 every minute… ????

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