Street Fighter II : A Girl's Story
STREET FIGHTER II : The Intro: A new friend and a new game
It is one thing to play to Street Fighter II. But it is definitely something to be female AND play Street Fighter II. This is one of my stories.
Everyone upon everyone, or so it seems, can recall their first encounter with this game. I was a 10th or 11th grader in high school. A friend of mine and myself decided to go to a local miniature golf center because they had an arcade there. We walked in and there IT was in all its glory — nestled between two other games I wasn’t even interested in. It didn’t necessarily call out to me, but we were definitely bored and just went looking for games to play. We went around the arcade floor playing other various games and decided to hop on the Street Fighter game. As we stuck in our two quarters into the machine, I somehow sensed that my Life with gaming would be forever altered.
There was an array of characters to choose from, but there was only one female; Chun-Li. Like most girls would in most situations they would choose the female option. Being that my first time to have played this game, I chose Chun-Li for the simplest 2 reasons — 1) she’s a Female and 2) her moves were going to be definitely easier than the Males. In having not ever touched this game, we began button mashing while trying to read how to play. (Yeah, stupid mistake to just pop in quarters and not read the directions before you play, right)?
While learning and playing, a young guy, seemingly around my age was watching my friend and I play — or at least attempt to play Street Fighter. Being a girl, my blocking skills were basically uneventful. This young guy that was watching us play kept yelling out to me, “BLOCK! BLOCK! HOLD BACK THE JOYSTICK! BLOCK!” I was getting a bit irritated to a point where I was thinking to myself, “who does this kid think he is..?”
After dying a horrible death from button mashing and being beat up on by my friend, I introduced myself to this mysterious guy as he introduced himself back to me. We all talked about SFII and video games. I found out that this guy can game, especially with SFII. He proceeded to insert his money into the machine and schooled me on the ins and outs of basic to intermediate fighting moves and tactics; oh yeah, and blocking.
Days passed and him and I would meet up at the very same arcade to practice our SFII skills almost everyday after school.
PART II : The Next Phase
One day to our surprise the arcade got in a huge screen TV and hooked up the SFII game to it. Mass amounts of SFII players flocked here to battle each other, tag team battle, and practice when no one was looking (or at least try to). There were a lot of really good players, and I mean really good players. Some would battle other really good players and some would battle and do some crap talking while playing. Out of the time I would spend with my friends playing at this location, I only saw one other female playing and she never wanted to battle me. (I think she thought she was better than me –the whole ‘I’m Better Than You Are in Everything’ concept). But I guess that would be another story.
PART III : Tournament Day
It’s life being a mall rat only cooler. You’re an arcade rat. Maybe that’s all I was at the time, An arcade rat. Spending my after school moments (after doing my homework, of course) at the arcade practicing, battling, and tag team battling with my new best friend who taught me how to play. We were there so often workers, management, and security knew us not by face anymore but on a name basis. One day, while practicing, we saw a notice tagged on the game that there was an upcoming SF II tournament that was scheduled. Being the goofy pair of friends that we are, we entered; as did a lot of other gamers. Little did we know the turn of events that would occur.
PART IV : A New Hope — or an interesting set-up
Tournament day is here. I wasn’t sure I was ready. I was anxious, scared, excited, and nervous. I saw classmates from school, friends from the arcade, even my parents showed up.
*Random Detail About the Tournament:
1) You were allowed to sign up and use only two characters of your choice
2) I was the only female in the tournament
About twenty minutes into the tournament, my name was called. I was up! ‘YIPPPPEEE” I thought in my head. That ‘YIPPEE’ turned into “OH MY GOSH!!!” Something just happened that:
1) no one was ready for
2) was beyond my control or anyone else’s for that matter
It wasn’t that my excitement was gone, it was just now laying low; really low.
So I heard my name called, it was my turn to battle. Who would be my opponent? That one Asian kid that just beats almost everyone? Or do I have to battle someone who thinks they’re good but they’re really not? Of course not! The next name called would only have to be my mentor, my really good friend, David. No one upon no one saw that coming. Everyone was shocked! It was as if management and staff wanted to see us battle against each other since we spent most of our time after school together training and playing.
How do you battle your mentor? Your friend? You do it with appreciation, with a smile, with grace, and with humor. And you give all that you’ve got.