Members of the fighting game community recently launched a behaviour rules for the competitive scene. Similar to a similar (and, As of December 2020, dissolved) Project in the smash Community, the document is a list of common sense rules that includes a firm stance against various forms of abuse and harassment, hygiene standards, and procedures in the event that these conditions are violated.
Pushback was, perhaps unsurprisingly, quick after the project went live yesterday. The competitive fighting game community prides itself on maintaining an edgier vibe reminiscent of the arcade era, and those who exploited that ethos as an asshole have naturally been threatened by guidelines trying to keep them at bay.
“Our old piece system puts too much pressure on the individual [tournament organizers] to make community-wide decisions and incentivize a type of enforcement no one enjoys, ”said David“ UltraDavid ”Graham, longtime fighting game player and ruling signatory. wrote on Twitter. “More (but not exclusively) uniform rules and enforcement measures can avoid these problems.”
That is not to say that there was no criticism in good faith. Some feel that the list of signatories is too focused on the west coast, for example. But the majority of the online responses obviously felt fussy, to sow doubt and confusion about something that should be largely positive, or at least worthy of the work needed to improve its language and goals.
“This is the product of the last six months of voluntary discussions [tournament organizers], Players, streamers etc who wanted to help our community improve and move forward after the horrific deeds that came to light last summer. ” Graham continuedReferencing the barrage of allegations that shook them Super Smash Bros. World last year.
Graham added that he had drawn up similar guidelines for developer-assisted tours and professional gaming teams based on his experience, and helped write this document. And while he’s only one of the 30+ names on the signatory list, he’s by far the most visible and respected and has defended the group’s intentions on the front lines.
The team behind the Code of Conduct encourage tournament organizers to adopt their guidelines to instill a community-wide standard of conduct once in-person events return.
As with the smash In the scene, competitive fighting games are just a community of names made up of individual tournaments with their own standards and not under the jurisdiction of any single unit. Relying on a loose collection of events to hold bad actors accountable, however, has created a situation where abusers can drift from venue to venue with no consequences. A central organizing body like this is a good thing, and I hope the community will accept it as we slowly move towards a pandemic-free world.