Manners pertaining to fighting games

What it is

Dudley, with teacup. From UFS.
“Let’s fight like gentlemen.”

What you will find here is a small collection of topics pertaining to the etiquette as pertains to fighting games. Just because you’re beating the crap out of each other doesn’t mean it is or isn’t “just a game”. There is no reason to take it too seriously, or not seriously enough – feelings are real, and a true player should neither allow himself to be overly upset, nor intentionally cause another to feel same.

It’s true that sportsmanship has its limits. But whoever said “nice guys finish last” was wrong. There is a difference between being nice and being uncompetitive. Manners are a set of generally agreed-on standards that make you “nice”. Being good at the game makes you competitive. Why not be both?

This section is a little Japan-centric for now, but it goes without saying that good manners will get you pretty far in a lot of places.

Manners in surroundings

There are manners to be followed concerning the shop you’re in, and the other customers. Avoid the faux pas below:

  • Hitting the cabinet – treat the cab with respect. Property damage is a crime, at the very least.
  • Machine hogging – don’t monopolize the game! Sharing is a virtue.
  • Group machine hogging – and don’t just share with your friends, thou rascals!
  • Actually fighting – don’t. It reflects badly on all of us. Games should settle actual fights, not the other way around!

Manners in consideration towards your opponent

There are manners to be followed concerning in-game behavior, challenging, and getting challenged. Shun the below faux pas:

  • Newbie beatdown – intentionally targeting and challenging newbies just to beat them. Unless they’re talking trash, there’s no justification.
  • Taunting excessively.
  • Throwing games – quitting in the middle is not respectful of the other player’s abilities.
  • Corpse kicking – just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Actions for which opinion is divided

These aren’t all that bad, necessarily. Sometimes, they are quite valid, in fact. In certain contexts, they can be wrong, though.

  • Chicken – playing a low-risk high-return style.
  • Being cheap – the excessive use of impossible-to or nearly-impossible-to-evade strategies.
  • Infinite and death combos – they’re too strong to foster competition.
  • Bug exploitation – programming oversights can make a game (like SFII:WW or SSBM), but they can break it, too.

Further reading

  • Playing to Win – an in-depth treatise on the attitude of playing competitively written by Dave Sirlin. I don’t agree with him 100%, personally, but he has done a lot of musing on this topic, and his opinion is to be respected. I mean, the man’s a living legend for chrissake.
  • Back to Fighting Games for Beginners
  • Top
Original CSS design by
Attributed (but not necessarily endorsed) under
Creative Commons 3.0.
Based off the article on the wiki, edited on or before 5 January 2009. Dudley is an intellectual property of Capcom.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 1 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.