This weekend I was at The Fall Classic in Raleigh, North Carolina. For those unaware, the tournament is a collaboration between tournament organizers Larry “Shin Blanka” Dixon, Eric “Big E” Smalls, Joseph “LI JOE” Ciaramelli, and John “SweetJohnnyCage” Gallagher to unite the East Coast FGC under one banner. This year’s tournament was a humble display of everything that the fighting game community represents, and it reminded me why I love my community. Last year’s tournament was the breaking point that pushed me back into competing regularly.
Over the weekend, Raleigh was partially affected by Hurricane Matthew. The tournament was affected with rolling blackouts that caused a power outage at the venue. There was no power in the hotel rooms, but the hotel lobbies and elevator lobbies on each floor had working outlets. The main lobby turned into a gathering of sorts as players from the east coast, west coast and overseas congregated to have drinks and hang out. I wasn’t around for much of this celebration, as something fantastic was happening on the top three floors. Crafty players came together and organized game stations, stream stations, and encouraged the community to come out and play despite the blackouts. The community came together in a time of crisis and discomfort to play their favorite games. Each floor was dedicated to a specific genre as players congregated, shared stories, and drank profusely in between sets. I’ve been a member of the FGC for almost 5 years now and The Fall Classic brought me to tears at how the community comes together in a crisis.
I came into the community as a young adult and they have taught me a number of important lessons. I learned what it means to win and lose on my own merits. I met some of the most important people in my life and some of my best friends. I had members of the community reach out to me after my car accident a few weeks ago and they helped me get back on my feet with job suggestions and help finding a car. Despite the corrosion of my liver due to the Knoxville FGC’s influence, I’ve become a better person through interacting with them. I’d like to take a moment to thank Trung Mai, Joshua Otis, Davis Hodges, Jason Hamilton, Johnny Blackwelder and Donnie Sage for being there for me and for pushing me to become a better player. Extended shout outs to Bobby Conant, Mateo Keen, Justin Gunnels and Brandon Roach.
This sadly brings me to my next point as this will be my last article as the Fighting Game Correspondent for The Game Haus. I’ve been on the fence with this decision over the last few weeks, but I must sadly resign and step back. I started writing because I wanted to talk about video games on a more academic level. I wanted to touch on mature issues and challenge some of the bad stereotypes the medium has created for itself. I love writing about fighting games, but I find myself less enthusiastic with each article as I stray away from the work I want to do. My greatest inspiration as a writer is Vice Gaming’s Austin Walker and I want to follow in his footsteps. Thank you all for the last six months and I have greatly enjoyed writing for and working with the community. I’m deeply humbled and eternally thankful.
Last but not least, I’d like to give thanks to Jared MacAdam for editing my nonsense into a coherent form over the last few months. Good writers are backed by excellent editors and I had one of the best.