There are many ways to enjoy the game. Takeya, the CEO of Myriashue Ltd., enjoys the story silently, Terai, the director, devotes himself to shooting games. Within Myriashue members, they already have various ways to enjoy games.
I, Sugiyama, have been addicted to the fighting game called "TEKKEN" for the past year or so. Through the game, I happened to get involved in the game community that is formed both offline and online.
Though I've been playing games since I was born, I found the new fun of and loving them, so I am going to write about it here. In short, it's interesting to connect with people through games! This is what I want to tell.
Please note that I will talk about "TEKKEN" throughout this blog because my story is based on the own experience. I hope you can enjoy reading this as a type of how we enjoy the most of the game.
1. What's TEKKEN
2. The online community
3. The offline Community/Part 1: Arcades
4. The offline Community/Part 2: Esports Facility
5. The offline community / Part 3: Competition
1. What's TEKKEN.
TEKKEN is a 3D fighting game released by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. It is a game with the extremely simple purpose of reducing the opponent's life gauge to zero. The series has sold a cumulative total of 48 million units, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and the latest title, "TEKKEN 7", is a global title that has been released on PlayStation (PS) 4, Xbox, PC and amusement arcades.
I was playing the series from the the very first version (PS), but the level of gentle touching. There is a battle mode called ghost mode in "TEKKEN 5" of PlayStationPortable (PSP), which displays the opponent's player name as if an online battle. I won consecutively with the same technique to be satisfied that there are no one stronger than I.
I met a new character called Josie Rizal in "TEKKEN 7", and I got stuck in the swamp because of her cuteness. "Enabling what you can't do feels the greatest." I felt exactly the same as this PS copy. The joy of being able to control the favorite cute character is a special joy.
By the way, "TEKKEN" is registered as Guinness records as both "Longest-running 3D fighting videogame series" and "Longest-running videogame storyline". Therefore, while it is a fighting game, the story is properly prepared.
The main story is composed of such as a heavy revenge character whose sister is killed, a character who tries to kill his parent for a reason, and so on. However, Josie Rizal was advised by her parents to start martial arts. She beats people who carry the heavy backside stories. Before the match, she gets nervous and wandering around, and when she wins, she weeps for joy. What a cute girl...
(Image source: https://www.TEKKEN-official.jp/)
2. The online community.
Now, I called it as the game community, I would like to briefly describe it as "connecting with people through the game" this time. I think this is relatively easy to imagine to do online. Playing with people being "matched" online in the "Monster Hunter" series would be an example.
*"Matching" is a system that connects people who want to play in the game online.
Although sometimes it's a once-in-a-lifetime meeting, but other times each side hits it off well together and exchange IDs to deepen the friendship...this can be happening. Let me call the circle of people who spread in such a way as a community.
Since "TEKKEN" is a fighting game, of course we need an opponent. We can also play against a CPU (computer), but it is still an interpersonal game that you can enjoy the essence of the game, such as thoughtful balance and design.
Needless to say, "TEKKEN 7" also has an online mode to match players from all over the world. This is becoming a standard feature for gamers. Fighting games used to have the image that "Games for domestic use is just for practice", but now that is totally changed.
It's a good time. You can connect and match people all over the world without hustle. Huh? Did you say then why do we need a community? Did you say why we have to try hard to connect with people?
At an easy glance, it seems so, but this game seems being designed so excellently that "it reaches its limit when alone".
"User's Guide", there is no such thing anymore, but there will be moments when we can do nothing even well-understanding the system after thousands of battles. When you're fighting, "Oh, what is it?" "How we gonna do with this...?" Thousands of this kind of moments come. The answer is not written anywhere.
Then I want to ask someone. Again, this game's probably designed that way. In the past, I often thought, "Give me a proper instruction!" but now I think it is really amazing. In my case it was the following flow.
The limit is reached.
Search for videos of strong people.
I want to ask questions.
Create an account of Twitter etc..
Watch live broadcasts and ask questions.
This is again good time and there are many opportunities to connect with people online. Below are the sample cases of numerous experience of my own.
- Twitter: Murmur "I don't know how!", then someone will tell.
- Discord: Peep discussions about each character's fighting.
- LINE Open Chat: Recruit opponents
- YouTube: Live streaming, ask questions, watch videos of well-skilled
- Twitch: Watch the competition to learn
- OPENREC: Watch the competition to learn
Like these, via SNS I asked questions and vice versa...We create and repeat the discussions, if we should use "that skill" at "that timing" or we shouldn't...
* There are currently 46 characters in "TEKKEN" and each character has about 100 skills. All skills have own characteristics and advantages and disadvantages.
Like this, I've been fighting online, having discussions, and making connections, but I came to really want to meet with them. I want to say thanks directly for what I learned from them...I want to play the fight with them side by side while talking...There are various motivations. That made me start making appearance in offline situations.
3. The Offline Community/Part 1: Amusement arcades.
When it comes to an offline game community like my age (born in 1985), I think there are good places to come. That's right, they are amusement arcades also in the subtitle.
There are arcades we would call "Home", and whenever we go there, we can meet someone and battle. When there is a rumor that there seems to be a guy who is strong in the other arcades, we stretch our stride to explore and challenging him ...I would bloom the old stories such as flying ashtrays.
*In Japan, there were fighting game players often throwing ashtrays when defeated, because of vexation. Bad tradition of old times.
The number of arcades is decreasing nationwide, and the number of sacred places in the TEKKEN series is decreasing too. However, on the contrary, the presence of arcades that continue to convey the unique charm of places where events are actively performed and retro games is increasing.
Speaking of "TEKKEN 7", the namcoSugamo store is famous Some kind of tournaments, events, and offline meetings are held every week, and many players are crowded even when there is nothing special. There are many active arcades as venues for offline meetings. Here are some of the offline meetings that I participated.
This is a competition held at an arcade with an event space called Mizonokuchi Mega Rage. There were tournaments for beginners as well, so it was the first off-party I attended. We can drink! That is one of a good feature, and you can blame the alchol for losing.
This is an offline event where you go to eat fried chicken after having a match with "TEKKEN 7". A meeting full of mystery. However, the after party with the friends of the same favorite game is also fun. Most of the conversation is of "TEKKEN 7". After drinking beer, "In what frame did you drink, ha ha ha?", "Un-Guard-able!!" to the squeezing lemon juice for the chicken flew into the eyes. This is how we go in this meeting. You may not understand.
Use certain characters only! There are many offline parties with this rule, and this is an offline party where only dark skinned characters can be used. The dark skinned characters are the best.
These events are sometimes planned by the arcade itself, but most of them are by the volunteers who plan and operate.
Playing tournaments, inviting famous players, we plan with ingenuity. It seems that there are quite a few offline meetings that are held in the red. Even so, various events are being held every day so that people who like the same game can gather and enjoy it.
On Twitter etc., we exchange messages with the players like "Do you go to the offline event this weekend?", and actually go to see them. We introduce ourselves by the player names.
Though it's a bit tedious, I'm used to exchanging pen names with the illustrators at work, so I can do without feeling too much of a threshold.
It's nervous to say hello for the first time, but it's easy-peasy compared to meet and greet to the big names at each company at the Tokyo Game Show.
This is an "TEKKEN 7" offline party at the holy land Sugamo (in the north of Tokyo, near by Ikebukuro). Me Sugiyama looks happy too. It is common that the black rate of clothes is high.
*Otaku people in Japan basically wear black. Maybe they are edgy.
4. The Offline Community/Part 2: Esports Facility
The word of esports has come to be heard a lot in our living rooms, but there are facilities for enjoying esports in various places. Instead of the arcades...Not that, but these spaces are also becoming the basis for new communities. The following three are famous in Tokyo.
Among them, I often visit the third one in Nakano. Here every Tuesday, there is a competition exchange event sponsored by Bandai Namco. Every week!
You can play the above titles and the admission is free! All you can drink Red Bull as much as you wish! I'm sorry to say that I drink Red Bull, which I usually don't, so I can't sleep that night. I'm not sleepless by the lost. It's because of Red Bull's caffeine.
*Because it has advertising implications, you can drink only with the label removed other than Red Bull.
Once you participate in a game competition of this type, you will consider the presence of the new form of the game community, different from having to pay 100 yen and play one game.
PS4 and arcade controller for fighting games are installed. This PS4 is also provided by a voluntary company that rents this out for free. There are also many foreigners.
A monitor and PS4 are included as a set in the duralumin case. Isn't it really cool?
A lot of fierce people including professional players gather. The center of the photo is the strongest player in Japan...for sure! He is Mr. Nobi! It is sponsored by YAMASA Co., Ltd., he has a professional license, and has many achievements at competitions. You can see that person's play up close...If you are lucky, you can even play with... Such an experience is not something that can be easily done. This is a great place.
By the way, the one on the right in the photo is Mr. Suga, a friend of mine from junior high school. At the time, we were playing "TEKKEN 4" at Hiyoshi (Kanagawa Prefecture)'s arcade on our way home from school, but we got older and I fell in love with "TEKKEN 7" again, then "Shall we play "TEKKEN" once more?" I called him back this routine. And he had no problems to fit in his position. I hadn't been in contact with him until then, but this means that there is a way that friendship comes back when the game starts. He is now a hairdresser, and now I have him cut my hair every month. For Mr. Suga, he got one more customer, and I have one more opponents, and this is win-win. "TEKKEN” is amazing.
5. The Offline Community / Part 3: Competition
And finally there is the competition. Games of various sizes are held, and of course are held at the amusement arcades and esports facilities mentioned above. Prize competitions, competitions with JeSU license holders only...
This time, I would like to introduce "TEKKEN" as well as the largest master cup with a specific title.
This battle, which started in 2007 at the Toyama Hello World arcade, has reached its 11th anniversary this year. The number of participants is increasing every year, and this year, 1,320 people participated in 264 teams.
It is unlikely that the number of participants is continue to increase with the same title. As with "TEKKEN 7" in this Master Cup, we are increasing the number of participants every year in the world's largest fighting game tournament,EVO. Mr. Harada, the producer, also tweeted about this phenomenon as a mystery.
Now let's get back to the Master Cup. The biggest feature of this tournament is a 5 on 5 game. If you decide from a pioneer to a general and lose 5 people, you lose, and if you beat 5 you win. So the simple story is if there are 5 strong pioneer wins, game over.
Above all, this battle format is hot and produces many dramas every year.
"I'll take care of you!"
"Yeah! I should respond to it."
"Don't worry about this boy."
It's very hot to fight together as a team like this.
1,000 people gather at the venue. And "TEKKEN" has a culture that makes a yell according to the hit when a fellow decides a series of massive damage attacks called aerial combo.
Therefore, at the venue, "Yes! Yes yes! Oh oh! Hey!" There are voices everywhere and it is like a music festival. If you have a long history about TEKKEN, you will be able to recognize which character is doing which combo with that audience yell...or rumor...
It has been held in recent years at the TFT Hall near the International Exhibition Center (TOKYO BIG SIGHT). I'm deeply moved to think that all of them know that Flash Punch Combo (閃光烈拳) is punishable with an uppercut at -15F... You may not understand.
Now, by making faces in various places as mentioned above and making "Friends of TEKKEN", I naturally want to participate in the industry's largest festival Master Cup...Therefore, a team would be formed.
From mid 20s to late 30s...People from Tokyo, Chiba, Osaka and Toyama gathered for the event. I was so happy that it was like a school cultural festival because we designed t-shirts ourselves with no hesitation of the ages. No, I haven't participated in the Cultural Festival of the Middle and High School Ages, so I can say that I am regaining that excitement now.
*Japanese school students often make t-shirts for their class in cultural festivals and sports festivals.
For the Master Cup, we actually play the game using the machines placed in the arcades, we use 20 sets of 40 machines and proceed simultaneously. Two sets of them will be set on the stage called “Danjou (壇上)”.
Lucky or not, we were on the first Danjou battle... Since the match on Danjou is likely to be shot in the video, famous players will gather.
In addition, since the best 8 and later, all games will be held on Danjou, so everyone will do his best to witness that scenery. However, I don't know why, but I saw it from the first match. This is the view from the stage! (Shivering)
The person in the gray hoodie on the left of the photo is a Korean player KNEE. I introduced Mr. Nobi as the strongest player in Japan, but this person is the strongest on earth.
This person will come out when we are invaded by aliens and say, "We fight with TEKKEN." This is Armageddon.
It's because I am on Danjou, but I'm nervous enough to die. Although I am enough of the age, my head becomes pure white and my hands quiver. No, it's not a joke, but my hands quiver.
What kind of mechanism is tension? I don't want to bother my friends. I want to get the results I have practiced so far. There are various emotions... My hands were shaking.
Because of that,I don't know if that is the case, but when the skill went well, the adrenaline when taking the round is not odd.
As a result, the team was unable to break through the first tournament and was eliminated in the afternoon. Anyway, beat one! I was aiming for, but even that didn't come true. I lost 2-3. Not worth it...
This tournament has a tremendous number of participants, so it is held from 8 am to 9 pm, but it's common that some participants will be defeated in the first match at 9 am even they travelled long way from Okinawa. We were mercilessly exposed to the waves of defeat.
I heard one same word "I want to do more "TEKKEN"" from the team members among various talks. Well indeed. I thought so. I thought I had a good team.
*On the day before the tournament, we had a camp by booking a hotel near the venue. We should get used to playing various characters, but since our team is all Josie Rizal, it was the night when all Josie hit each other up.
Our team, who gathered at "TEKKEN", played "TEKKEN" and cried at "TEKKEN", go to Akihabara again to do "TEKKEN". Only "TEKKEN" wound heal the wound of "TEKKEN".
I played various games in my life. Of course, there were online games as well as competitive games. However, this is the first time I have ever experienced connecting with people.
It is often said that the stronger the digital goes, the more presence of analog increase, but I feel that both online and offline connections are attractive. Rather, it does not seem necessary to think separately.
I have started to participate in social gatherings at work and I often greet various people. However, getting to know each other through a common game has a different range of people, and the depth of communication also differs. "Ah, if I didn't play "TEKKEN", I would never see him", the feeling is this.
It's argued that games are sports or no right now, but in the end, the foundation of such a culture is to host an offline...It's like a small wish to connect with a player and take action... I think it's a voluntary, spontaneous community.
It's simply underpinned by the "I like this game" feeling, and I can't help to feel love for this community.
I can affirm, but I don't think anyone ever be at a professional level even if he continues to play online alone. With current "TEKKEN 7", this is absolutely true. I have the pleasure of playing face-to-face with other people, discussing, sharing and becoming stronger beyond that.
A manga called “Haikyu!!” was introduced by our CEO Takeya. There is a phrase I really like.
“It takes strength to really enjoy a game,”
I think so, from the bottom of my heart,
I respect the people who make the games, they design "fun". So I'm enjoying the fun as a player, but I don't think I can really enjoy "TEKKEN 7" much! I worked hard for a year, and I realized that much. The strength to enjoy the game is still not enough.
There is a world that cannot be seen unless I become strong, satisfaction that I cannot taste, and fun that I do not know. After all, I have not enjoyed the fun of winning at the tournament.
I have been playing this game for over a year and over 1,000 hours. But I don't think I can taste it at all. But Still! It's fun every time. There will never be the same game again. I'm still enjoying while leaving the fun for the next.
Can you design such a thing? ? ? ? Can you imagine what it means to design something like that? ? ? I couldn't do it at all.
Returning to the beginning, there are really many ways to enjoy the game. Win, be strong, get in the community. I have been taught a lot of fun.
The people who made this game. People who have been connected through this game. I would like to thank everyone and continue to enjoy this game.
I want to enjoy the game "TEKKEN". Therefore, I want to connect with people. As a result, I wish I could become stronger and enjoy different fun.
Thanks for reading.
*Myriashue Ltd. is the company of producing illustrations and game illustrations.