In response to "Diversity, One Dragon-Punch at a Time" from The Escapist Forum: There's another reason why fighting games are still popular: You only need one console to play them.

More and more "high-end" games, especially shooters, are moving towards exclusively online play. Most shooters today literally do not have splitscreen capability. The reason for this is obvious: Four players playing on one console only spent $60 bucks on the game and $300 on the console. If you force each player to get his own console and copy of the game, they have to spend $1,440 to do so, plus the fees for the online play.

No fighting game, as of yet, has ever done away with living-room multiplayer.

There is a good reason besides all the fan favorite characters that Super Smash Bros. Brawl is one of the best-selling games: It allows four people to play one copy of the game on one console.

Real human contact isn't overrated, it's underrated. No anonymous fratboys screaming incoherent, drunken racial slurs at me over a headset, no twelve-year-old stranger insulting my sexuality using every key on his keyboard except the ones with letters on them, no sitting around in a lobby waiting for a match to open up.


But I'm meandering. Well, the article meandered a bit too, but I agree with its basic premise, so there's not much more to be said.

- Sylocat

Excellent article. I can think of two more reasons that the fighting game community is historically diverse.

First, the mass-market popularity of Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat introduced a lot of people to the idea of competitive gaming without the PC knowledge required to discover Counterstrike or Starcraft. The modern analog is Smash Bros. whose scene has grown organically from a large base of casual gamers who don't fit the usual son-of-privilege demographic profile.

Second, the nature of the arcade machine brings players together by pure geography, instead of a console owner and his friends, or a PC owner and his like-minded online comrades. Because players compete one-on-one, there is little opportunity for group discrimination, and a hierarchy of player skill can be objectively determined. In Street Fighter, people really are judged purely on their merits.

- Robyrt

Comments on