Tonight, I thought it would be a good idea to do another article on the fighting game community or FGC as everyone is calling it nowadays. My previous article on Community Coverage made some good strives in the community and for my blog. So, why not cover a little more in-depth on what that article actually meant, especially after hearing a lot of talk in the #FGC chat on Twitter about Community Fragmentation.
I like the terminology of community fragmentation because it pretty much sums up the FGC. The entire community is broken up into small fragments all over the world. Some of those fragments we know about and some of those fragments we don’t know about. They’re everywhere, some bigger than others, but overall broken into pieces that have yet to be glued together. That’s us, the fighting game community–fragmented.
What causes the fragmentation? Well, I would say it’s due to the lack of unity within the community. There is no real leadership out there actively looking for the fragments and trying to piece them all together. Everyone is basically off on their own and it’s a kill or be killed world. Thus, the causes are generally from our own hands as the almost entirely fan-driven community. As some of those fragments do amazing things, it sort of inspires more fragments to be created. So, you can say it’s sort of a chain reaction that all starts with our own doings.
The glue that would help piece all the various fragments would be the influential community figures and organizations in the community. Fan driven sites like Shoryuken.com and Eventhubs.com would be the prime spots to help glue the pieces or bridge the gaps between all the smaller fighting game communities worldwide. Community figures like Alex Valle and Mike Ross just to name a few would be some good examples of those who would also do the same. Yet, we are still very much fragmented and there are small improvements being made to help glue the pieces together.
Some of the complications that have been conveyed to me since my community coverage article seem understandable. However, when researching a little more, it doesn’t seem as viable. You see, on one hand you have top fighting game outlets claiming they have tried various outreaches to those fragments with no luck and on the other hand, various fragments claimed they have tried those same outlets very little luck either. Both sides are reaching out to each other, but yet have no return to show for the efforts.
The Closing Remarks
Like I’ve said before, someone has to reach out and bridge the gaps or discover the fragments and help glue them together. Otherwise, everything will always be fragmented. You can’t really expect to wake up one day and see all the communities working together in complete harmony. The top ranking fighting game outlets are going to have to do more than just reach out every now-and-then. Someone has to be active in discovering these fragments and making the connections.
If you’re not doing as much because those fragments have to prove something to you, then you’re doing it wrong. You’re the fighting game community and your small. The high entry barrier is not the way to achieve a bigger and more robust community. You are going to have to lower your standards some because the returns are not there. Do more to reach out and help glue those fragments. If you don’t, then as I’ve said a few times already, the fighting game community will forever continue to be fragmented.