You’ve most likely heard that video games causes violence, but have you ever stopped to wonder if there was more to video games. Ever wondered if playing games would allow for improvement or growth? What about skills that could be applied to the real world? In such cases, this is where fighting games come in.
Patrick Miller, a Shoryuken writer, wrote an article for Insert Credit breaking down the mechanics of fighting games and why they matter. Miller said that it involves a level of understanding in “game design, psychology, programming and basic machine input/output, human physiology, motivation, and several other serious bodies of human knowledge.” He also says that, like any other activity or hobby, that a player has to learn to become better at something and with fighting games, it is also similar.
“How to absorb good behaviors and discard bad ones, how to push yourself, how to practice, how to diagnose problems and fix them,” Miller said in his article. “I think it’s a good thing for people to do, period.”
Henry “Choysauce” Choi, a UCI alumni with a bachelor’s degree in economics and music, said fighting games are great for decision making skills and self-improvement. Choi, who dabbles in various fighting games competitively since 2009, said decision making skills makes a huge impact in the game and can be applied to real life situations where split-second decisions mattered. He also refers to fighting games as “speed chess” where Miller referred to in his Insert Coin article as “speed-chess-poker-magic-the-gathering-rock-paper-scissors-fighting”.
“One thing I like to tell people who don’t play fighting games is that it’s like chess,” Choi said. “It’s a battle of the mind with pieces, but you take turns and it’s slow because you’re strategizing. With fighting games, it’s speed chess without taking turns, you can move freely however you want.”
People also play fighting games for socialization. Jett Montoya, a senior film major in CSULB and captain of the CSULB eSports Association Salt Miners fighting game division, said fighting games bring people together and help players connect with each other on a social level.
“The best experience is when you’re playing with somebody else,” Montoya said. “You’re just having conversation in-game with your characters. Playing video games by myself is already fun, but playing with the people I like and who are my friends, even better.”
With these skills, they can even be applied to real life jobs. Christopher Plummer, CSULB alumni with a bachelor’s degree in English, said it helped him with his “Red Origins” video game project.
“It helped with my action-based video game project,” Plummer said. “There were times where we asked how do we make this action scene work between these two characters. You wouldn’t really know what it’ll look like. A big emphasis I’ve taken from Tekken was that craziness to it.”