My Excuse For Not Updating, 3.13.07

March 13, 2007

My latest piece for the Escapist just went up.

Many veteran arcade gamers, particularly those who were around during the early ’90s, can recall a stereotype of an Asian or Asian-American kid, usually a male, who is unusually gifted at videogames. He is young; he can be loud and vivacious or soft-spoken and patient. He is known simply for his skill; his fingers glide over the buttons of the arcade machine with practiced agility and impeccable reflexes. Black, white and brown players dutifully line their quarters on top of the machine, each waiting for their chance to defeat him and prove themselves to the rest of the group, but they’ll inevitably find themselves digging in their pockets for another quarter after two short rounds, perhaps three if they get lucky. He is found in arcades, movie theaters, family restaurants and 7-11s across the country.

Escapist Magazine – Fei Long and Justin Wong: Race and Street Fighter II



  1. LOL! Talk about overanalysis!

    The crowd cheered Daigo in that match because he whacked, with verve and panache, a player notorious for being a gutless ultra-turtle. It is *that* simple. Asian-vs.-non-Asian, American style vs. robotic Asian style, “yellow peril,” — none of that stuff was an issue. Take any two guys of any race, national affiliation, cultural background, whatever; the one that plays like Wong will be booed, the one that plays like Daigo will be a hero.

    You saw the same thing during Daigo’s first visit to America, back in the Alpha 3 tournament (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P533Ea0Du_0 ). His Gen barely lost to Graham Wolfe’s turtle Dhalsim. Realizing what he was up against (i.e. the hardcore turtling that was the weapon of choice of most of Sunnyvale’s top players), he switched to Guy — and the rest was history. The crowd went nuts as Daigo laid absolute waste to his next five opponents, of whom only the venerable Alex Valle didn’t fall back on turtle tactics. (Incidentally, Valle had more success against Daigo than any of the Northern California players, save Wolfe.)

    You saw it *again* when Daigo took on John Choi in the Sagat/Ryu/Balrog SSF2T match (i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnG-OBPYa2I ). John Choi played turtle Old Sagat the entire match. Tiger, tiger, tiger, tiger, tiger, tiger, all damned day. No balls at all, play to win, no style, no class. Boring. So, when Daigo had had enough, he switched to Balrog and mowed Choi down like a weed garden. The crowd went wild with glee.

    No one likes a coward. That’s all you need to know.

    — M. Cooper

  2. Waiting for your next post. Still hope to read that paper.

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