Boy does time fly. You blink your eye and half a month is gone and it seems as if nothing has been accomplished yet the work just keeps piling up as if there is no end. I guess this feeling is known as the drowning effect and hopefully not too many of you are going through this. I wanted to launch the Super Arcade kickstarter on February 1st but due to many contributing factors this was not possible. This is obviously a very important time in my life and also a huge game changer for the FGC in southern california. The pressure is building and fortunately I have been able to maintain focus, but at the same time I really do want to get this thing going so I know what I will be doing a month from now. As things sit, the arcade is actually doing a little better in terms of attendance and income. This is another thing I dread because the whole reason for the kickstarter is to make Super Arcade a whole new entity and give it that financial boost it so desperately needs. On the other hand though, I do understand that the minor upswing is just a false sense of hope and a major change is the only forseeable outcome. I honestly feel that everything will work out for the best and Super Arcade will be around for a very long time, but that is no longer up to me and I can only sit and wait. I am not sure what the toughest part of all this is really. I have put everything I have into this place and have always has complete control. For the first time in my adulthood I don't have control yet I don't fear the option of failure. It's really an odd situation and almost impossible to explain if you haven't experienced something like this for yourself. Have I mentally given up? Or am I just trying not to set myself up for the fall......... I really don't know..... I would love to have the opportunity to transform this place into a crazy sick hangout for everyone to enjoy, but I also know that it is a privilege to own a business and in a sense this place is like a toy that maybe I can no longer afford to keep. Regardless, I want to thank everyone who has been able to share great times here at Super Arcade and hopefully many of you have been able to grow as a person and take something from here that will stay with you or effect your life in a positive manner.
Over the many, many, many......... years of my FGC life I have come across many people and situations that weren't always for the best and I guess I wanted to finally find some closure and even apologize to the few I felt I truly wronged in the gaming scene. I don't know if this particular post can hold all the content so I might have to break it into sections so here goes nothing. Let me set the stage as usual and try to get everyone to the time frame I am about to discuss. This goes back almost ten years to 2004. Evolution was held at Cal Poly Pomona and brought the infamous "Daigo Parry" into everyone's life and changed the gaming scene forever. But also that tournament is when I placed top 8 in 3rd strike and defeated Mester in a 2/3 set to qualify. Yes I just typed a "JeBailey" line but hey, this was honestly one of the biggest wins I ever had in my career and one of my most satisfying victories to say the least. Anyways, placing top 8 here was important because I was only one of 3 Americans to place top 8 alongside Justin Wong and Hsien Chang. The year after, Evo was announcing another 3s Exhibition and obviously Justin and Hsien were invited as team captains. I felt a little slighted and used my voice to get on the USA team of 5 but I also knew deep down I didn't deserve it at the time. I didn't practice much and I didn't bother to stay at the top of my game, but my ego got the best of me and I felt that my past performances should validate my spot on the team. Instead of choosing me, the SRK staff chose a Dudley player by the name of Vic Vance. Had they chose someone else I probably wouldn't have gone through the extremes I did to make sure he wasn't a captain. A couple of my good buddies despised Vic and I figured I was killing two birds with one stone so essentially took his spot. We had actually worked out a deal to where we would have a playoff to see who earns the spot. So I drove up to Family Fun Arcade and warmed up a bit. I was also watching him play and boy oh boy, dude was beasting. Myself on the other hand, I was playing like trash and the rust wasn't going to come off in 5 minutes so I pulled a move I regret to this day. I just said F this and took the win, no playoff, just drive home and said it's mine. Vic played his ass off for almost an entire year and rightfully earned a spot on the team. To this day I have never told him face to face that I am sorry, but if I did see him I would. Before heading to Evo in 2005 I told his friends if he showed up he could have the spot because I felt guilty and because I wasn't in good enough game shape to represent the team. Well, he didn't show up and I proceeded to get perfected left and right by Team Japan....... Yikes..... Got my ass kicked worse than ever before and I deserved it. So Vic, I would like to publicly apologize to you for taking away something that I know meant a lot to you at the time and although I could never make it up, and at least know I was embarrassed not only by my performance but also for letting my ego get in the way of doing what was right. I'm sorry man.
So you might now wonder wow, what a douchebag Mike is and what more did he possibly do? Well, there is more unfortunately... Although there is both a good and bad side to this particular story I would like to say I still do feel bad about it and don't know if that will ever change. The reason I feel badly about this one is because I still see the passion in this player's eyes and I know I stole another "could be" shining moment from a genuinely good person. The person I speak of is Darryl and goes by the name "MuffinMan." This goes back many years during an SBO qualifier to make it on a 2vs2 team. I teamed up with Afrocole and we won first place but we also had no intent of even going to Japan again so that's where the problem arises. I can only speak for myself, but at the time there were a couple reasons I wanted to win this tournament. Firstly I believed that if you couldn't beat me, you didn't deserve a spot to go and represent the US in this game. Again, my ego got in the way, but at least this time I was the better player and won. Another reason I entered this tournament was because the person who organized this tourney was responsible to pay for the half the plane ticket of the winning team. The organizer was a friend of mine at the time and was also going through some financial trouble so I agreed that I would not take a plane ticket from him and just wanted the prize pool generated from the participants. Winning the tourney would put a few bucks in my pocket and also relieve some stress from the person who was held liable for the prizes. What could be wrong with this scenario? Well, at first I was happy to split the pot with my teammate and also see a smile on the organizer's face. I honestly thought what I was doing was right but months, and even years later, I now realize how I was wrong and it was too late. I robbed a team of their chance to go to Japan and compete in a game they loved and worked hard to get good at. I stole a possible once in a lifetime chance for these guys to fulfill a dream of playing against the best and being a part of something that only a small handful of players will ever get to participate in. The only thing that helps me not feel so bad about this situation is MuffinMan still competes and still has a love for Super Turbo like no other. He has gradually become a better player and does a lot to keep this game alive. But regardless, MuffinMan, I am sorry for what I did and hopefully you have forgiven me after all these years. I know I have said sorry to you in person and I joke around about the situation, but now you finally will know how I truly feel and possibly understand why I did what I did.
Ok, two down, one more to go......... this goes back somewhere around 2009 and I will start with 4 letters. Y J D K. What a clusterf*ck and unfortunate series of events this turned out to be...... but, here's the dreaded cliffhanger and this story will be saved for my next post. Until next time people, and thanks again for reading!