I’ve been kicking this idea around in my head for a little while, but have hesitated because I don’t want anyone’s feelings hurt. But really I see some areas that could have improvement for new people, and even people who we all have known for a long time.
This is going to be very, very basic:
Respect people’s environments:
Most of the scene takes place in other gamers’ homes, seeing as we do not have a healthy arcade scene in WA. So unless you are hosting, you are going to gaming sessions in someone else’s home. If you would be hanging out with this person regardless of whether you both play games or not, that person could be considered a “friend”, but if you are they ONLY because of your gaming hobby, that person is probably more of a “gaming buddy”.
It is ESPECIALLY important to respect "gaming buddy"s houses!! They are providing you with a venue to practice up, improve your game, have fun, and in the case of excellent hosts like Keith and Zach, will also provide you with food and refreshments. The LEAST classy thing you can do is to disrespect them in anyway.
Past disrespect at people’s houses that I know of includes, not following the “no drinks downstairs” rule, leaving garbage around, breaking stuff, “helping yourself” to convertors, leaving shoes EVERYWHERE when there is an empty shoe rack RIGHT at the door… just treat everyone else’s house like it is your grandma’s house and you should be fine.
Also, DO NOT invite people over to someone else’s house that you have never met in person before, I can’t believe I have to say this one. You have no idea who that person really is or if he is trustworthy, so you don’t let the HOST take the risk that this person is grimey as fuck. When you ask a host if you can invite (gamer), make sure they know you have never met them in person before.
On the forums
Before a lot of us meet up, our main means of communication is going to be SRK (or super-turbo.net, if anyone ever posted there anymore!!). You do not know these people, they are not your friends, nor even a gaming buddy yet. The proper response for when a stranger you don’t know jokingly refers to you as stupid is a quick “Fuck you”, and SRK works roughly the same way. Until you meet in person and introduce yourself, consider yourself a stranger to that person, and treat them with the same politeness you would a stranger.
In general, this is a SOCIAL hobby
Gaming in the media is portrayed in the media as anti-social to the point of causing mental illnesses… I don’t know since I don’t play PC games, but I know for a fact that fighting games are a fairly social hobby. But I have noticed some new people’s tendency to not attempt to “warm people up” to their individual personalities, or bother to try to socialize at all. Here’s an example from the first SFIV tournament at Preppy’s, where I was running an HD Remix tourney and trying to get to know some of the new faces.
Me: "Are you a smash player?"
Me: "Cool…I tested Brawl before it came out, but I don’t like how they weakened Snake in the final release version."
^This is an example of “making small talk”. It is when you don’t know a person so you talk about the only thing you can think of to talk about in common. For regular folk, it is the weather. For gamers, you talk about whatever gaming you have in common. My comment was an INVITATION to let the conversation flow more to get to know a person. An appropriate response would be “Oh, what else was different in testing?” or “How was he better in testing, he’s already hella good!” or something.
No one is asking you to be a TRL host, but you need to open your mouth and learn how to communicate with other people if you want to make any friends.
How to be in a tournament
For a lot of new people, when they enter a local tourney now it is their first ever. GREAT! However, from running that HDR tourney at Zach’s I can see that by and large a LOT of you do not know how to be IN a tournament properly, and this goes beyond new people too.
A tournament director is making a BIG sacrafice, so that YOU can enjoy your game, play at your best when it’s match time, and also enjoy your evening at Preppy’s socializing with your friends, while they are running up and down stairs the entire night trying to look for the right pairs of people who can play. This is more difficult than it sounds. You have three pairs of people in your bracket who can play, but chances are 99% likely that one of them from one game is playing a big poker hand and has to wait, another is in his marvel match, and you just can’t fucking find one of the guys waiting to play his third game.
So when I say “You are up next” but I finally find someone who is ALWAYS hard to find, DO NOT fucking disrespect me by bitching and moaning that you have to wait an additional FOUR MINUTES to play your game so I can get this match out of the way. If you are downstairs and I tell you you are next, DO NOT wander off. And even worse, DO NOT make me fucking have to tell you to come downstairs more than once, or you can be easily eliminated. Incredibly disrespectful behavior. Consider that anyone who is running a tournament is a gamer too, and they’re undoubtedly not going to play their best when they have to go from “Tournament director hardass” to game mode when their match is up. It is pretty unnappreciated and completely thankless.
Tournament directing is very high-stress, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to make everyone happy, especially when there is only one tv and 22 people in the bracket. So fucking relax about when your turn is up, who you are going to play, etc.
Do not make the northwest look bad
This is not a huge deal because in general we are a very tight-knit community with very few randoms or “problem” members. But do not go into other regional boards and talk shit, or say that our player X,Y, or Z would beat your player. They can speak for themselves if they want to.
You would be surprised how sensitive non-northwest people are, we have already had people call the ST scene here “Seattle shit talkers” (we’ve never figured out what shit talking they are talking about, I think it is related to CCC2/Dreamcast ST version controversy), and we’ve had people like Kuenai/Jamie rip people off via the trading outlet section. Don’t make us look bad, we are really trying to make our scene grow right now.
If anyone can add anything they can think of I will edit this post.