In case you haven’t noticed, we here at Rushdown Radio kind of have a bias toward fighting games. Especially me, the fighting game enthusiast. I’m no pro (not even close) but that has never diminished my love for fighting games, nor will it ever. One of the best times of my life was finally going to a big tournament after years of having to just watch them on stream or something. I got to meet so many of the pros and play a few of them. It was kind of like meeting your favorite celebrity. It was a time where I, for a weekend, was deep in the FGC (Fighting Game Community for the uninitiated).
In all that I’ve personally seen or seen in passing, I can see why people love it. I can also see why people would…well…hate it. By nature, these games are competitive. They are a test of skill that shows who can beat up who the best. When some think about it, it could be seen as some testosterone charged manfest where the goal is to find who is the most skillful at being violent. That’s also stupid. To those who really get into these games, they each bring forth a challenge of skill and ability that some other games just don’t.
On top of that, the FGC at large is full of some of the most charismatic and villainous personalities out there. Whether it’s IFC|Yipes and his expert commentating or Echo|SonicFox and his cocky attitude, we’re all bound to find a favorite to root for or against. It adds to the spectacle and makes it more worthwhile to watch. However, with all these grandiose personalities, there is bound to be drama. Oh boy, does the FGC have it’s share of drama.
Be it each state’s local FGC or the more American scene, drama is embedded in the FGC. One guy called out some other player for being a fraud, one player was on twitter talking shit, one player was being an outright misogynist, and so on. Finding FGC drama isn’t difficult if you know where to look. With this degree of fame, we keep them under our microscopes and judge them for human decisions as we do with any other entertaining show or something. Except, we know that this is real. We know these aren’t exaggerations. And perhaps, that just adds even more to the spectacle…so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone in the process.
The unfortunate side to fame is notoriety; something the FGC has in spades. And…well, they deserve some of it. You name it, the community has it: sexism, homophobia, racism, etc. However, those things are only amplified as outside people continue to hear those sides. To be honest, any community has its fair share of those things. I mean, I’m deep in the Pokemon community (keep that in mind: POKEMON) and I’ve seen worse things happen there. The YouTube portion is a goddamn mess (see: Verlisify). Groups are constantly full of thieves and people spouting hate speech for no other reason than they lost to someone. Fandoms are a mess.
When you get right down to it, that’s all the FGC is: a fandom. It just happens to be more organized than most, especially with the rise of eSPORTS. The FGC had always been under scrutiny, but as eSports took off more and more that microscope just zoomed the hell into the underbelly of the FGC and decided that it’s a toxic place full of toxic people.
Do toxic people exist in it? Of course. But as someone who isn’t in it, but is fully aware of it, I can confidently say that the FGC is just a bunch of nerds who like fighting games. At the end of the day, people will be people for better or worse. That doesn’t define the whole. The whole of the FGC is amazing. Are you trash at these games? They’ll help you in a meaningful way. Do you just wanna find like minded people who like your niche game? Say no more. Just be ready for a little banter here and there.
“What if I try and people are being assholes?” Then find other people. This is a vast community filled with great people. That should never be discounted or ignored because of stereotypes or clickbaity headlines about some player calling someone over social media a thot, or whatever.
So yeah. That ends my article long endorsement of the FGC. Where do you guys stand? Ever had a bad experience? A good one? Let us know about it.