The Dynamek Perspective: Our Cardinal Sin (Part One)

Hello again, one & all. I hope your time since our last chat has treated you well. My schedule has admittedly been thrown off some due to a few personal issues, but I assure you that I intend to get back on track with this latest entry. It's time for the pendulum to swing back...

As I'm sure some of you may know by now, a few days ago found yours truly in Atlantic City for the first (but hopefully not last) time. I was there because KPB had been tapped to stream Ultra Rage at GameaCon. This was possible largely due to the efforts of Jemmillion. As a Jersey native, she worked to secure a foothold for the FGC at an event that focused primarily on gaming. More to the point, independently developed games. Frankly, those two should be a match made in heaven... gamers & gaming, what more could you need? On top of that, we were on the strip, baby! The FGC lives for the party atmosphere & Atlantic City can be a nonstop party for anyone, long as they play their cards right (pun intended).

If I do say so myself, we were in some very prime accommodations. Our own ballroom, giant projection screen, Happy Hour deals at the most adjacent bar and casino vouchers for everyone who caught the bus out there. There was even going to be a HUGE professional boxing match between Miguel Cotto & Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to be seen that Saturday night. Outside of turndown service from an actual showgirl, I can't really imagine what more anybody could want from such an event. There were even $100 pot bonuses thrown in for all three games on the menu -- Ultra Street Fighter 4, Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 & Mortal Kombat X. Considering that this wasn't really a local, but not quite a regional, that's pretty impressive. The stage was set for an incredible event and then something strange happened...

Nobody showed up.

While that's something of an exaggeration -- all told, 21 people ended up competing: seven (7) for Ultra, four (4) for Marvel & "ten" (10) for MKX -- it does speak uncomfortable volumes about our community. Also, to address the use of quotations marks, two of the entrants for MKX were children: an 8-year-old & a 12-year-old boy. If you feel the need to take that with a grain of salt, I won't stop you. For what it's worth, the little girl showed a very interesting level of aptitude with the quote unquote "power" characters (Tremor, Ferra/Torr, etc). At the very least, I could take some solace in that. However, the fact that a little girl finding her potential footing in a game is a highlight of this event for me is a somewhat disheartening. I was sincerely expecting more from the region.

I suppose something I could do right now is bring up the fact that roughly about fifty (50) people had RSVP'd for the event through its corresponding Facebook page, but that's frankly immaterial because nothing posted on social media falls under the umbrella of "legally binding agreement". At best, it presents a general understanding... an almost passing commitment to any event, place or time. And yet, I can't help but feel the sting of disappointment. Not for my own sake, but for Jemmillion. She put in the considerable legwork that comes with arranging/organizing an event like this & to see all that effort be for naught makes me uncomfortably upset, bordering on full blown anger. The only reason I'm not furious & sullen is because I know that, above all else, I was able to keep my word. For those of you who are unaware, dependability/reliability is a VERY big thing with me. Someone who breaks their word ain't worth a damn, far as I'm concerned... but that's just me.

At moments like this, I'm reminded of something that gets said quite often at regionals and majors. Usually, at some point or another, the head TO (or one of their physically present representatives) gets on the mic & makes a statement along the lines of "Support your local scene, folks!". On a personal level, I always want that to be more than just faux populist lip service, but the problem isn't the person saying it... I realize now that it's the people hearing it. For as along as I've been involved with the FGC, there's something I've come to notice. Something unpleasant. Something that ultimately hurts us all: the comfort zone mentality. It's the creeping stagnation that prevents people from venturing outside of their given knowledge/talent pool. Some claim it's a matter of logistics, others cry lack of incentive. Either way, it's just them clinging on to safety & familiarity of their comfort zone not unlike Linus to his famous blanket.


As Keenan Ivory Wayans would say: "MESSAGE!"

I have more to say about both this event & this particular subject, but I'm going to digress right now for the sake of brevity. This particular train of thought will reach its end in the Dynamek Perspective - Special Edition. Talk to you soon, folks...


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