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[This essay was funded by my generous Patreon supporters. If you liked this and want to see more, please consider joining the crew!]

The other day, a friend in a Guilty Gear group mentioned that he was looking into coding bootcamps because he wanted to take his career in a different direction, and I wished him well. I don’t meet many fighting game players in software engineering, but many of my fighting game friends have successfully executed that combo before, and I think that’s in part because the bootcamp methods are fairly compatible with fighting game learning mentalities: Learn these concepts, learn these frameworks, ask lots of questions until you get it, here’s how you prepare for interviews, good luck, go get that money. …


[This essay was funded by my generous Patreon supporters. If you liked this and want to see more, please consider joining the crew!]

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Normally I treat New Year’s Day as a welcome opportunity to reflect on the work of the last year, sort through what worked and what didn’t, and determine what I’ll do to change course for the next year. However, when I look back on 2020, I don’t think I’d do anything differently. I’m incredibly happy with the work we did.

My office cleared out in early March, about a week or two in advance of NorCal’s regional lockdown, due to a coronavirus exposure in one of our office neighbors. I remember packing up my work PC, pulling down some last minute files off the network, and heading off to run WNF Oakland Guilty Gear. That weekend, we met up at Gamecenter to run the last in-person Caliburst of 2020. After the brackets were over, someone accidentally touched the last slice of pizza, and no one else would eat it. …


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[This essay was funded by my generous Patreon supporters. If you liked this and want to see more, please consider joining the crew!]

People who play fighting games are embarking on their own martial arts journey, but the games themselves don’t provide the tools, people, concepts, or culture needed to sustain our health and motivation through that journey. I’m writing this essay to explain the concept of sparring, and how it’s distinct from serious competitive matches, so that all players old and new can level up their learning mindset.

The limits of fantasy


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[This essay was funded by my generous Patreon supporters. If you liked this and want to see more, please consider joining the crew!]

“Build your self-confidence!”

This is one of the most common marketing lines used to sell people on signing up for a martial arts program, especially during the days of The Karate Kid (you know, the Cobra Kai prequel). Back then it seemed like every school-age child was enrolled in some kind of afterschool program meant to impart upon them the values of practice and discipline by punching the air a lot and breaking some boards.

The funny thing is that they did build self-confidence, even though it often had nothing to do with the actual combat efficacy of its practitioners. …


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[People who back my Patreon send me questions sometimes and I like answering them. Please consider joining the crew!]

Hi Pat,

I’ve been playing fighting games for a little while now, and I’ve been feeling pretty good about my progress. Recently I decided to try entering tournaments (netplay, of course, we’re still quarantined), and I felt really freaked out by the pressure of playing on stream. I dropped a bunch of my combos and just kinda panicked a lot. Is it like this for everyone? What should I do?

Sincerely,

Under Pressure

Shoutouts to you for putting yourself out there and competing! Most people who play fighting games never get there, and many of the ones that do immediately decide it’s not for them. …


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[People who back my Patreon send me questions sometimes and I like answering them. Please consider joining the crew!]

Dear Pat,

I’ve played fighting games semi-seriously with my friends for years, and the part that annoys me most about playing with them is when I hear them complain about all the “random” stuff I hit them with. It’s honestly not random! But, I don’t really look at guides or copy the combos that the pros do because I want to play the game with my own playstyle, and they’ll complain about it when I win and tell me I’m a scrub when I lose. Copying stuff sounds so boring. …


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[This essay was funded by my generous Patreon supporters. If you liked this and want to see more, please consider joining the crew!]

One year ago, while preparing to run our first Caliburst Beginner Bracket, I wrote down my goal as a local Guilty Gear TO:

Make NorCal a GG powerhouse region. So good we don’t have to go to Japan to get high-level matches in any matchup.

I didn’t specify a time range for this to happen, but I remember thinking that if I could do this within five years, I’d be happy.

This Saturday marks the Play Guilty Gear crew’s one-year anniversary of joining up with Caliburst to bring some fresh energy to the local Guilty Gear scene. Half of that time has been spent in quarantine netplay, but despite that, I can see our scene growing and gaining, so I figured I’d write about some of the things we’ve done to help our community get bigger and stronger. …


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[People who back my Patreon send me questions sometimes and I like answering them. Please consider joining the crew!]

Hey Pat,

I have an issue with anger when it comes to fighting games, and I was wondering if you could help shed some light on this.

I usually get angry when I feel something happened that I feel shouldn’t have that results in my loss, especially in Guilty Gear, such as dropped inputs, a failed Instant Block attempt, I get wakeup thrown even though I was trying to meaty, or just eating the same stuff I can’t deal with over and over. …


[This essay was funded by my generous Patreon supporters. If you liked this and want to see more, please consider joining the crew!]

In 2019, the Play Guilty Gear crew started running the Caliburst Beginner Bracket, and now locals know it lovingly as our “Guilty Gear chuunin exam” after the legendary Naruto story arc. …

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