> July - Aug 2012 Feedback

Developing a Thriving Gamer Community. . .

Hi Frank,

My name is Brad, and I am a big fan of your site hailing from the tiniest part of the east coast - Rhode Island. As I just mentioned, I am a huge fan of your website and have been visiting regularly since the early/mid 2000's. While I never seemed to have gotten to an expert level with my fighting game acumen (my online Street Fighter stats are nothing to write home about sadly!), I have a great passion for the fighter genre and the community overall, and I've come to your site on a weekly basis to keep up to date on the evolving world of fighting games. Recently, with all of the conventions out there and with the increasing popularity of EVO, I've come to the realization that there is a growing number of people all over the country who want a place to experience the camaraderie and the fun competition of the fighting game world with others that they might not have met otherwise...but don't have a anywhere to do it!

Based on what I've come across, it seems on the west coast the arcade scene is beginning to thrive again. We really don't have any true-to-form arcades around here anymore, but with the surge in the competitive gaming world, I feel that it can be successful once again. The world of video gaming has been a passion of mine my whole life, and I want to be able to bring that competitive yet fun atmosphere to gamers of all ages right here in my home state. I have done a lot of research via the internet, but nothing is as valuable as knowledge from those who know this world intimately. The purpose of this email is to see if I might be able to pick your brain (as an expert in gaming as a whole) as to where I could go to get inside advice, or maybe even specific people that would be willing to discuss the business. It has always been a dream of mine to own a business where my hobbies and the things that I love can be shared with others, and it feels like there is no better time to dive in than right now. With all your fans across the globe, I am aware that it's just a shot in the dark you'll actually get to this message...but if you have, I definitely appreciate your taking the time to read this and any advice that could be passed on is infinitely appreciated as well! I look forward to the possibility of hearing back from you, and with some hard work...and, let's face it, a little luck...I can report back someday soon that I've been able to develop a thriving gamer community with a place of my own right here in southern New England. Thank you for your time.

Your fan and supporter,
Brad Pari (Rhode Island, USA)

Frank replies: Hey Brad,

You're right about that.... The fighting game community is ever-growing, especially with social networking making things so convenient these days. There aren't any "quality" arcades in my area either, but there are a variety of tournaments around here regularly at least (most of which held at game stores). If your goal is to strengthen your local scene, there are some steps you can take... I remember reading a few articles about that very subject about year ago (and I wish I saved those links so I could direct you to them. I actually managed to find one, but the link ended up being broken). If I do come across any of those articles I'll send them your way.

Anyhow, my advice is: If you have the motivation and the type of personality it takes to organize / co-organize events, then that's pretty much all you need to start. (And having a few friends with similar interests will definitely help a lot). The next step is advertising your event and getting players to attend. I'd strongly recommend announcing/advertising it on the main community sites like Shoryuken.com, Tekken Ziabatsu, 8wayrun, Dustloop, etc. (Just make sure you're advertising it at the right place, depending on the games you're featuring)  It's also a great way to meet other players... and it's exactly when I did in the early 2000's to discover tournaments happening in my area. 

I also have a quick story I can share with you on the subject - I took part in developing a small scene at a local "LAN gaming center" around 2003-2005ish. My friends and I checked the place out a few weeks after it opened, and all they were playing were PC games... Starcraft, Dota & Counterstrike mainly. However, they had two huge TVs in the front, one with a PS2, and one with an Xbox hooked up. They charged a few bucks an hour to use the systems, and we could bring our own games. So we started playing Soul Calibur 2, Tekken 5, MVC2 there on occasion... and soon enough, people started asking if they could play. Some would get owned and never come back (even though we went easy on them), but others showed motivation to improve and stuck around. Before we knew it, there was a solid group of people interested in the fighting games we were playing, and years later we helped bring a few tournaments to the place (with upwards of 20-30 players). Sadly, that place closed around 5 years ago. . . but it was fun while it lasted. I even met a pretty cute girl there and ended up going out on a few dates... so, you never know what can happen.

If your ultimate goal is to actually open an "arcade"... then you have your work cut out for you for sure. To be honest, I have my own fantasy of opening an arcade in my area. I've got the location picked out and everything, but I'm far too busy and dedicated to my other occupation to think about doing it seriously (at least right now). I don't know the business hands on when it comes to managing an arcade or gaming center, but I do know a few people. The good news is: There are a small handful of successful arcades left in America.... One I admire (and one day hope to visit) is Galloping Ghost Arcade in Chicago. Their official website: http://www.gallopingghostarcade.com/. Those guys are making it work, so I'm sure they can be of some inspiration to you. There are some other people I can direct you to as well, if you're just looking to grow the scene in your area. If there's anything else I can do to help, let me know. Stay in touch and good luck!

TFG Webmaster

Page for Real World Fighting Styles. . .

Hello Mr. Yagami!

I've been a huge fan of your site for a long time now (I can't remember how long XD).

I remember you saying that you're a practitioner of a style (forgot which), and in various character reviews you sometimes comment on how accurate a character represents their fighting style.

So have you considered including a page with a brief history/description of various real world fighting styles along with some of your thoughts on them? (may be a quick list of examples of who uses said styles as well, (accurately/badly/with super powers, etc.)

-Johnathan (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

Frank replies: Hey Johnathan,

That's actually a really good idea... I think it would compliment the site very well, especially in this era of fighting games. I'll definitely consider creating a page like that for the Features section in the future. Thanks for enjoying the site all this time, and thanks for the idea! By the way I teach Traditional "Combat" TaeKwonDo (not Olympic style) and Hapkido. I've also trained in many other styles over the 20+ years I've been active involved in martial arts. 

TFG Webmaster

Hello From Indonesia. . .

Hello Mr. Yagami.

I've been a fan of your site since i'm 5 years old (I'm 12 years old now). I'm just asking some few question, but please answer it
1.Do you like JRPG? if so please tell me what series that you like.(i personally like FF and Tales Series)

2.What are your most favorite fighting game series ?

3.And finally, besides fighting genre, what are your most liked video game genre?

I think that's enough. Thanks if you can read it and answer it
P.S: Sorry if my english broken, i'm from indonesia

-Rezarhb (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Frank replies: Wow, you've been a fighting game fan since you were 5 years old? That's really cool. I also became a fighting game fan when I was that young, although back in the 80's there weren't many fighting games as we know them today. To answer your questions:

1. Yeah. My all time favorite series is Final Fantasy. I love FF7, FF8, FF9 & FF10. I never tried the Tales series myself. 
2. Top 4 favorites: Tekken, Soul Calibur, Samurai Shodown, Street Fighter.
3. I like many other genres, but if I had to pick a favorite: RPG!

Your English is good! I'd like to travel to Indonesia some day. Thanks!

TFG Webmaster