Fist I wanted to wish all of our American BlargNauts a Happy Americas birthday. America is a country and the 4th is when it was founded, so let’s be happy about it and all that jazz! For myself, the 4th was actually quite hectic, ad it marked my moving into a new apartment, and amidst all the boxes and packing tape, I did not have too much time to celebrate the big two-three-six, but post 4th, I like to celebrate in the best way that I know how, which is by watching the biggest fighting game tournament of the year, Evolution. The fact of the matter is though that the fighting game community (also known as FGC) has been under quite a bit of pressure as of late, and I wanted to quickly address the way that the FGC has changed, and how the biggest tournament of them all dealt with the problem of “fighting game trolls”.
So for those who are not that aware of what is going on in the FGC, there was a show a while back called Cross Assault, which was put on by Capcom in order to promote their new game, Street Fighter X Tekken. In this competition, there was a Tekken team, headed by Aris Bakhtanians, and a Street Fighter team headed by Alex Valle. Well the short of it is that Aris said something to one of his team members, who happened to be female, that was essentially saying that sexism is a built in part of the FGC, and that people just need to develop tougher skin in order to take the remarks that are bound to happen. I won’t go into a long diatribe about this particular incident, but it is fair to say that the larger video game community did not necessarily react well to this incident.
Fast forward to the 6th of July, and Evolution 2012 kicks off (no pun intended) with the best Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition players battling it out to get into top 8. For those who have not watched a major fighting game tournament before, the fact of the matter is that the chat can often be quite…vocal. This year however, they decided to nix this problem by making the chat available only to subscribers (and a subscription runs 12 dollars for a 3 day event). I think that this is actually a tremendous idea, as the money that they raise by making it subscriber only is going towards a college fund that evolution created to help go towards people pursuing gaming and technology careers. This is a great move for a community that may be on hard times, and I think that it is the best way that the fgc could have recovered from the earlier controversies.