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

Hello Patrick,

After seeing all your posts about the importance of social interaction in fighting games, I have decided to participate in one of my local tournaments.

That would be my first tournament ever, I hope to have lots of fun and to learn a lot!

The problem is that, because I’m pretty new to Fighting Games in general, I can do a fireball motion, the DP input and a couple of simple combos, I know I’m not gonna win the…


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I hear a lot of people give this as their reason for not playing fighting games. I would like to clarify that no one is fast enough to play fighting games until they play fighting games enough to get fast. But the concept of getting faster feels unfamiliar to people — “mental speed” or “reaction times” get thrown around as though they are the unchangeable determinant of who can be good at fighting games, when that’s obviously…


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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…


[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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…

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