Monday, March 24, 2014

The venue is not the experience

Coffeehouse?  Yes.  Arcade?  Why not.
     Walking around and talking to people on Saturday at the Great Salt Ranbat #1, a couple things made me think.  And now write.
     One, things change and things stay the same. And two, Kafeneio isn't an arcade.
     I'm a genius, right?   I can even dress myself.
     No, what Kafeneio is is a coffeeshop, restaurant, and rental hall.  It's clean, roomy, and serves a good tuna melt.  But an arcade it is not.
     Waxing nostalgic, I also thought it was only about 10 blocks north of Protocol 42, where the Vanilla Street Fighter 4 scene in Utah used to hold some pretty epic tournaments in '09.  That place was an easy-bake oven masquerading as a warehouse converted into a LAN center then cajoled into hosting fighting game tournaments.  Good times!
     Which made me think that honestly, I'm sure that if someone organized a tournament in a barn, players would congregate there, too.    

     Why not?   
     Over the last five years, local players put together tournaments in a variety of locales, like basements, bars, pizza joints, rec centers, and universities.  Yet, what keeps people coming back is not what might be considered the "appropriateness"or "suitability" of the venue.  It's this:
     People that love fighting games will do anything to play in person.  To compete.  Because that's where the memories are.

     Times change and venues change, and sometimes life circumstances change, but fighting games, and the love shared by players of the game, does not.
     It's real-life beauty performed on a digital stage, and it's best beheld before a live studio audience ready to scream their heads off, jump up and down, and kick chairs.
     And it doesn't matter where it is.
     It matters that you're there.

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