Thursday, December 12, 2013

One of the main reasons this arcade still stands!

This post is going to be a little short due to time constraints but I wanted to let you guys know the main factor that drives me to keeping Super Arcade open.  It has definitely been a rough road and times I have questioned myself and the decisions I have made in order to continuously keep the doors open here.  I will discuss later all the negatives and the current issues with the arcade and will try and keep this post on a more positive note.

Being a part of the fighting game community before it even held the label of FGC is something I am actually very proud of.  Being able to give back to a scene that has brought me so many memories, awesome and life changing experiences, and just allowed me to mature as a person in general is enough reason to make this journey that much more special.  I guess the only real drawback to being involved in something for so long is with time invested comes age.....  There's always ongoing jokes about who's older and who's 40 and what not so I'm going to set the record straight once and for all.  Out of Valle, Choi, and myself, Choi is 100% the oldest, I'm about 6 months younger than him, and Valle is about a year younger than me.  We are all currently in our 30's but that isn't going to last much longer sadly :)  Now back to the subject.  So I feel that my time in the FGC has had many rewards and I couldn't ask for more.  I tasted victory, I won a free trip to japan and competed against the best of the best, and I met more genuine people through competitive gaming than anyone can imagine.  I believe that all this was achieved through hard work and a trait known as loyalty.  I believe loyalty is a characteristic that many people don't value enough and unfortunately the lack of it has created a selfish environment that is becoming detrimental to our beloved scene.  I feel that I am indebted to repay this scene with my knowledge and years of experience and if I can change or improve just one person's life, than I am doing my part.  Here is the story I wanted to share with you all and mind you this was posted back in May on when I received news that my friend passed away.

C&P from SRK forums :

"Back in 1993 there was a tournament in Chicago that eventually became known as the Midwest Championship Series located in Northbrooke, Illinois. I was 15 years old at the time and just become the top SF player. The comic book shop "World's Finest Comics" received a phone call from the tournament organizer requesting possibly that Tomo come out and compete. (Mind you some details may off a bit as I am now very old and tend to remember things as I want or wished them to be) So anyways, Tomo was done playing at that time and well, this was my time to prove my worth and be the first ever player to hand out the "out of town beatdown!" Problem now was, where was I to get funding to attend this tournament and how was I going to convince my parents I was going to fly some 2,000 miles to go play a game they hated me playing? So let’s skip the part about me bs'ing my parents :) and get to the part of this story that I will never forget and what I feel allowed a pivotal moment in SF history to take place. So word gets around at the comic store during a tourney that I was interested in attending but needed help. Guess who offers the luckiest kid in the world a plane ticket and what I believe is the first ever sponsorship in the FGC? Good ol Mr Vaha Pirjanian. When he offered me the plane ticket my first thought was explaining to him how I was gonna return $400 to him and what kind of bonus I would give him if I win and etc etc etc. I was so excited and mind you $400 back in 1993 was a ton of money! So as the story goes I get to Chicago and thankfully win the tournament (which there is footage to amazingly and also some of the first video taken of competitive SF) and bring home about $1000 in prizes and $300 cash. At this point I’m flying on cloud 9, I win what’s the biggest SF tourney to date, and now all that’s left to do is repay my sponsor and take the rest of my winnings and enjoy! Now here’s where things get even crazier. I bring Vahe $400 in cash and he refuses to even accept my money. WTF!!!!! He says something to the extent of "I knew you were going to win and just wanted to do something nice for you." I had no idea what to say or do at this point and was completely as a loss for words. This man had big time SoCal pride and I was just given the gift of opportunity and made the most of it. There is a lot more to this story but I want to stay on point in this post and let Vahe's character shine like it deserves.

Thank you again Vahe for everything you have done for me and all the great times and memories you have provided in my life. I never got a chance to say goodbye obviously and it saddens me dearly, but if there is any chance you are shining down on us and can read this, I want you to know that I learned to be a man from you and I treat those close to me very well just as you always did. You were a great friend and I will never forget you."

So there's my story and the main reason why Super Arcade is still standing.  This arcade has generated what I would like to call a family in a sense and brought together many people that normally wouldn't even associate with one another in a different environment.  There are so many positives to the arcade life that you can't understand unless you are a part of it.  The FGC is one of the rare places where you are not judged by your race, age, or the size of your wallet.  The game of Street Fighter has brought together so many people from so many walks of life that it will never be surpassed.  Does our community have issues?  of course...  but which community is flawless?  As the growth of the FGC was so rapid along came many factors causing issues such as sexism that were blown way out of proportion.  I will state that I do not condone the actions of people involved but it I do believe the community leaders are handling these issues progressively and doing a good job to resolve it.  There will always be problems of some sort that come about but the real problem is the vultures who lurk and wait for the smallest of slip ups then publish their 2 cents in which they really have no clue what they are talking about.  Since when did the FGC spawn the growth of these so called "TMZ-like" websites and employ clowns to write garbage that isn't more than yesterday's news?  You might ask why I am bringing all this up and I will get to that immediately.  As a member of this beloved community please realize that all it takes is for 1 person to make a mistake and gain the attention of the media, as to all the while, we have many many people working their asses off and their efforts are all overshadowed by ignorance.  You are all part of a scene that is under a microscope as we try to grow and prosper so please take the responsibility to act as a rational human and not some inbred farm animal.  Thank You.

I am sorry for the continuous rants but as i stated in my intro, I wish for this blog to build a better FGC and create an understanding for those of you who might overlook your importance as an individual in the matter.  In my next post I will discuss many of the problems and current issues here at the arcade along with how I became the sole owner.  Thanks as always for reading and see you all again soon!

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