In a strange twist of fate, I find myself playing fighting games seriously. I remember when I was younger, I couldn't stand fighting games because I would always lose, yet for some reason I couldn't stop thinking about them.
It all started with Dead Or Alive 3, my mother had gotten me an Xbox for my birthday, and I was surprised, since the Xbox was the farthest thing from my mind at that time. I was flip-flopping between Gamecube and PS2, and eventually my mom said "fuck it, Xbox", and I was happy with it, since it gave me a chance to try DOA3, since before that I had played the DOA2 Demo over my uncle's house on his Dreamcast, but never owned it. I was instantly addicted to DOA3, fell in love with the characters and I was hooked on the craft, that was my beginning.
During the time of the original Xbox, it was a huge developmental period in my life, I was just a single impulse away from being the other side of the competitive fighting scene with shooters. A bit after I got bored with DOA3(lack of single player goodness, and my friends hated losing to me all the time), I picked up the first Halo game, I loved the first Halo and played the shit out of it, all of my friends couldn't get enough either, and we played it way more than I had played DOA with them, but my soul still pined for the fisticuffs.
Around the time I was beginning to get bored with Halo, I had a demo for Soul Calibur 2 for the Xbox, and similar to how Kasumi and Ayane made me want to play DOA with the DOA2 demo, Cassandra made me want to play Soul Calibur through the SC2 demo, while all my friends were still hooked on Halo, I was mashing away at the SC2 demo, despite only having two characters playable, I played this demo like it was the full game, over and over again. Eventually I finally got Soul Calibur 2, and played it more than any game I have ever played(aside from FF7, but RPGs don't count
). I was hooked on Fighters all over again.
Eventually Halo 2 came out, and since I loved Halo 1 I figured Halo 2 would be just as good for me. Something strange happened however, I found myself staying up all night playing through story mode, but not in the "HOLY SHIT THIS GAME!" kind of way, but more in the "lets get this over with" kind of way, my love for shooters had drastically dwindled and my passion for fighters was still in full force.
I spent a shit ton of time playing DOA4 and Soul Calibur 3 when they came out, having all the fun a single guy could have playing a fighter by himself, but I didn't worry about it, I knew one day I would find my niche in the fighting game community, I just knew it.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago, I had just got a job at my local arcade, and they had Tekken 6, now in the past I didn't like Tekken(due to DOA loyalty) but I figured since it was from the makers of Soul Calibur, it would pretty much be similar to DOA except with actual emphasis on blocking, so I gave it a try and wouldn't you know it? I loved the game.
Tekken 6 was my very first competitive fighting game experience, there was never a lack of people to play, people came from all around town to play Tekken at the arcade, and I lost a lot and won a lot, it was truly what I was waiting for, and with the game about to hit consoles pretty soon, I was ready to be consumed full force. However something happened, I was transferred to another arcade(hell as I like to call it) and when the game dropped on consoles, people stopped coming to the old arcade to play Tekken, the online was absolutely terrible and I had no way to make it to gatherings to play, I was lost in my own game related sorrows.
Around this time I finally got Xbox live for my 360, and remembered that there was a fighting game with really good netplay, BlazBlue, so I started playing it online, and for 6 months I honed my skills, I never really planned on being any good at it, because in my heart I was still a Tekken player, and in some ways I still kind of am, but this was what I had and I was gonna make it work.
After 6 months I joined Dustloop a forum dedicated to Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, and posted in the Michigan Local thread, and found plenty of players near me who were just as serious about fighting games as I was, these people made me better at BlazBlue then I ever thought I would get, and eventually the higher ups of the forum asked me to be the Moderator for the character I played, Noel Vermillion.
I agreed and since then I have been taking this game as serious as a heart attack, I had a local community that was full of awesome guys and great players, an online community that made me feel at home, and a Noel Player community that is like one giant online family.
I have gone full circle it seems, since earlier today I played DOA4 for the first time in years, and I can't stand the game and how it plays, though I couldn't help but have fun, mashing around with a few friends while joking around with the game series that started it all for me was refreshing, and it reminded me of how dumb I was in the past, the friendships I made through DOA, and back to the roots of why I only play female characters in fighting games.
I am a Fighting Gamer, and that is where I belong.