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I play an assload of Street Fighter. Street Fighter 3, Street Fighter 4, X-Men vs. Street Fighter… I love Street Fighter. I love playing characters that nobody uses. I love playing with friends and enemies. What else can I say? Street Fighter is awesome.

What’s not awesome are about half the people who play. I don’t care what character you pick, just pick them. If we’re not double blinded, don’t be a jerk and wait for me to pick so you can play match-ups. Also, just letting the time run down is rude. You know who your main is, pick them, and let’s get on with life. And when we start playing, is it too much to ask for you to turn off your headset? I’m pretty damn sure you didn’t have sex with my mom last night or any other night, and I also don’t like the music you listen to. Stop piping nonsense through your headset. And by the way, when you taunt incessantly, you’re not impressing me at all.

And after the match, send a message that says “Good game” or “Wow, Guy is cool.” Try to stay away from saying nonsense like “FAG” or “F— YOU BITCH” or any other such negative and non-constructive advice. Want to help the scene advance and flourish? Get over yourself. Help someone out instead of inflating your own ego.

The best way to shut these people down is to use tools already in place. Ignore people. Block them. Report them, in extreme cases. Don’t feed into the problem by messaging them back, informing them of either their apparent homosexuality or what race you think they are. Don’t let them get under your skin; they’re probably a thousand miles away. You’ll never see them again. And if you take proper steps, you’ll never deal with them again, either. It’s easy for someone to be negative when cloaked in a sense of anonymity; if you just let it slide, you save yourself some energy and can get on to the next match.

The sad thing is when the arcade scene was big, people wouldn’t do this as much. I mean, the guy is standing right next to you. Handshakes were commonplace, and many budding friendships were formed over the joystick panel. Respect, honor, and dignity abounded near the SF3: Third Strike machine. All the other bullshit was found at the Mortal Kombat machine. Hear about the guy who got shot in the leg in real life because he was being cheap with Liu Kang? Every time you talk shit, grief, or just be a dick, you’re shooting that guy in the leg all over again.

Let’s remember, people. It’s a GAME. A FREAKING GAME. As much as I love the game, I don’t take it to the point of killing someone because they were cheap. You learn from it, move on, and hopefully get a rematch with your new strategy. Be part of the solution, people, and let’s move it back to the days of arcade camaraderie. Don’t tear someone down who isn’t good at the game yet; help them out! What’s the point of being good at any game if you can’t share it with other people? Why take it to the level of cyber-bullying when again, it’s only a game? Be polite, sensible, and respectful. If you can’t do this, then here’s a tip: Stop playing. Life only gets harder than dealing with people in a fighting game. If you can’t handle this, then don’t have any kids. Chances are, they’ll grow up to be just as petty and cruel as you are.