KirbyKid on The Smash Community, Project SMASH and More

The Derrit

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#1
Some in the Smash community may know KirbyKid from, well, playing Kirby. KirbyKid has been around the Smash Bros. scene for some time, and recently he has been looking to give back. He is currently conducting a survey regarding Project SMASH, a project designed to help bring new players into our community with the advent of Smash 4. His goal with Project SMASH is to eventually "represent the plurality of voices in the Smash community in a fair and clear way" through building a website that can create a healthy environment for all types of Smash Bros. players. I sat down with KirbyKid to talk about this noble cause - take a minute to read about Project SMASH and how KirbyKid hopes to influence the Smash community going forward.

The Derrit: What types of players do you think the Smash Bros. community are overlooking, and how can we reach out to them?

KirbyKid: Most of us think “casual smashers” when they hear this question. One thing I love about using clear language to communicate is that sweeping, generalized categories are replaced with more accurate terms. I don’t see the Smash community as casual vs competitive. There are many shades to both these types of Smasher. So to answer the question, we’re overlooking the shy, the quiet, the lurkers, and our fellow Smash sisters (female gamers). We’re overlooking the gamers who don’t instantly dedicate themselves to Smash from observing our hype and high level play. We’re even overlooking the tournament attendees who enjoy our events but have concerns about a few bumps in their overall experience.

I meet people all the time who still have no idea that competitive Smash exists let alone how they fit in. The first step to reaching out to these players is being open, honest, clear about who we are. Competitive Smashers are more varied and complex that even we give ourselves credit for. The next step is to recognize that these overlooked players exist and that they’re not valuable to us because they’re potential competitive Smashers, they’re valuable because they’re Smashers and potential friends.
Where do you think Project Smash will fit as a website alongside established hubs such as MIOM and Smashboards?

Simple answer: right in the middle. Websites like Smashboards and MIOM were born out of the community to fulfill certain roles. They have their own goals, followers, and culture. Project Smash aims to connect to these sites and needs these sites to keep up the good work. Project Smash will create snapshots of these sites and present them in a clear, digestible way for Smashers, gamers, and even non-gamers to understand them better. Project Smash will also provide tools and moderate discussion between different sites. Think of Project Smash like a traffic light communicating to all sides to help everyone get to where they want to be most effectively.


Richard Terrell, a.k.a. KirbyKid

What was your initial inspiration for Project Smash?

Two sources:

1) The Dallas krew from the grassroots days of Smash. Back in 2002 the D-krew worked hard to show Texas that putting Smash and friends together in the same room was a winning combination. Back then, there were no Smash pros. No big pots. And hardly any tournaments. Just Smash and good times with friends forming the bonds that made up the foundation of our current Smash community.

2) Masahiro Sakurai, one of my favorite game designers. Sakurai designed Smash to have a wide appeal to many types of gamers. This accessible design is what allowed competitive Smasher to find their identity. To be the kind of person who embraces the diversity of Smash fans and to work hard for all of our unique and sometimes contrasting differences, is nothing short of amazing.

How will the Smash Bros. community benefit from a wider 'voice,' and hearing the opinions of more players?

The Smash community is like a gathering of brothers and sisters. We fight together, laugh together, eat/travel/room together. We successfully tackled the big problems together, and now we’re left to take on many of the smaller problems like diversification of members/rulesets, bullying, professionalism, etc. How can we move in the direction we want if we don’t know what we want? If most of our thoughts about the Smash games, the community, and tournaments aren't voiced and organized, how can we make the right adjustments? Currently TOs, commentators, and top players are in the Smash spotlight. You can say they’re leading our community. However, they make up less than 1% of the competitive smashers. By listening to more voices we can better know and serve each other.

There is a real tension in the Smash community over certain issues. The negative effects of the Smash arguments and flame wars (many of which started within the competitive community) have echoed out everywhere, even to the conversations between casual Smashers and non-Smashers. Our community wasn’t ready to handle the stress of a new game and thus the Brawl v Melee schism happened. The root of the problem wasn’t the games, but how we treated and communicated with each other. Since 2008 the communication between the different sides hasn’t improved much. Have hope. Project Smash will create a safe space for every Smasher to learn and express themselves. It will facilitate healthy communication to lessen the internal tension in our community in a way that no amount of hype or high level play can do. Instead of fighting each other, internalizing this tension, or passive aggressively taking sides, with Project Smash we can truly act like a family of brothers and sisters.

----

Much thanks to KirbyKid for sitting down and speaking with Smashboards. We wish you the best in your endeavors! Help him out by taking the Project SMASH survey! You can also reach him on Twitter at @ kirbykid kirbykid or at his website at Critical-Gaming. Learn more about this project by reading this blog on Project SMASH.
 
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FoxBlaze71

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#4
What is this even going to accomplish? It sounds like the usual E-Sports "SANITIZE EVERYTHING" lines. Make everyone completely touchy and feely, pander to the casual audience, and complain about non-existent issues.

THAT AIN'T STARCRAFT!
 

Aguki90

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#11
Go go go Project SMASH and tell everyone in the world that Smashing are no Joke!!!
Smash bros. forever!!!
 

kirbykid

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#12
What is this even going to accomplish? It sounds like the usual E-Sports "SANITIZE EVERYTHING" lines. Make everyone completely touchy and feely, pander to the casual audience, and complain about non-existent issues.

THAT AIN'T STARCRAFT!
The first thing it'll help me understand is what we all think. I don't assume there are issues out there. I'm simply going to read what everyone has to say and take it all in.

If there aren't issues, great. If there are, I'll begin to work them out in any way that I can.

Have you looked at the survey to see what kinds of questions I ask?
 
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#13
I have a feeling the Smash 4 might have a competitive scene which would even rival that of the great Melee. I really hope this helps us grow, however it shouldn't reduce the skill cap. If we find a proper balance with a larger community willing to put a lot of time into practising then I'm all for it.
 

Wazygoose

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#14
Warning Received
@ kirbykid kirbykid : "I want to create a place where the unrepresented can join the community and create positive relationships where schisms once existed."

@ FoxBlaze71 FoxBlaze71 : "screw you kirbykid, screw you casuals, screw diversity, I want to be mean and ignore issues I don't care about without having to be bothered with the friendly and self-aware. Douchebags."

Did I get it right?

Edit: changing my naughty words
 
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FoxBlaze71

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#15
The first thing it'll help me understand is what we all think. I don't assume there are issues out there. I'm simply going to read what everyone has to say and take it all in.

If there aren't issues, great. If there are, I'll begin to work them out in any way that I can.

Have you looked at the survey to see what kinds of questions I ask?
It seems like a lot of the things you're bringing up are either really obvious or unimportant/nonexistent. As examples, Brawl vs Melee. Of course there's a schism, people have preferences. How exactly do you plan to fix that?

Another is the "negative" part of competitive Smash, which I assume means some kind of discrimination. I've played Smash for several years and I've never seen anyone harassed because of their gender or any other aspect about them, so I don't see the need for the implied white knighting.

Lastly, the casual audience. Not only do they know almost nothing about Smash, what purpose is served in trying to encourage them? Are you actually going to put them in any significant position? APEX 2015 with item FFAs sounds great and all, but...no thanks.

KirbyKid: "I want to create a place where the unrepresented can join the community and create positive relationships where schisms once existed."

FoxBlaze71: "F*** you KirbyKid, f*** you casuals, f*** diversity, I want to be mean and ignore issues I don't care about without being judged by the self-aware and compassionate. Douchebags."
I'm just Saiyan that I don't see the necessity or purpose in this. If you're just gonna do the usual mad and bad routine, then your commentary really isn't necessary. I don't mind casual play, and most people I know only play Smash casually, but I see no need to start bringing them into the competitive community and breeding them like mice. It's not a question of me being pissed off at the world, it's one of necessity. KirbyKid is potentially putting a lot of work into something that doesn't seem that well-defined or groundbreaking.
 

D-idara

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#16
It seems like a lot of the things you're bringing up are either really obvious or unimportant/nonexistent. As examples, Brawl vs Melee. Of course there's a schism, people have preferences. How exactly do you plan to fix that?

Another is the "negative" part of competitive Smash, which I assume means some kind of discrimination. I've played Smash for several years and I've never seen anyone harassed because of their gender or any other aspect about them, so I don't see the need for the implied white knighting.

Lastly, the casual audience. Not only do they know almost nothing about Smash, what purpose is served in trying to encourage them? Are you actually going to put them in any significant position? APEX 2015 with item FFAs sounds great and all, but...no thanks.



I'm just Saiyan that I don't see the necessity or purpose in this. If you're just gonna do the usual mad and bad routine, then your commentary really isn't necessary. I don't mind casual play, and most people I know only play Smash casually, but I see no need to start bringing them into the competitive community and breeding them like mice. It's not a question of me being pissed off at the world, it's one of necessity. KirbyKid is potentially putting a lot of work into something that doesn't seem that well-defined or groundbreaking.
So basically you want casuals to stay casual?
 
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#17
I think I'm going to save what I have to say for the survey to avoid getting in an argument with anyone, but I'd just like to say publicly that even though I may not fully understand all the issues with the smash community, I very much appreciate what you're doing here, KirbyKid.
 

FoxBlaze71

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#20
So basically you want casuals to stay casual?
You got me there. It can really be a mixed bag. I started out casual, but as time went on and I discovered high-level play, I began to appreciate its intricacies and became a very competitive player myself. But often I look at the Smash 4 boards and see the usual ******** about Ridley and new items and whatever, and the casual crusade ignites itself in my mind.

If they can become more competitive, that's great, but most will want to stay with their same old simplistic mechanics, randomness, and absurd, arbitrary rules (see the laughable "debate" over whether using the C-stick is scrubby). I guess I've come to see the casual community as unnecessary baggage and not much more.
 
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#24
You got me there. It can really be a mixed bag. I started out casual, but as time went on and I discovered high-level play, I began to appreciate its intricacies and became a very competitive player myself. But often I look at the Smash 4 boards and see the usual *****ing about Ridley and new items and whatever, and the casual crusade ignites itself in my mind.

If they can become more competitive, that's great, but most will want to stay with their same old simplistic mechanics, randomness, and absurd, arbitrary rules (see the laughable "debate" over whether using the C-stick is scrubby). I guess I've come to see the casual community as unnecessary baggage and not much more.
I would disagree with that. Just like you and me, people can start casual and get into competitive. I don't think it's unreasonable to play competitive while also appreciating casual gameplay. What's wrong with enjoying new characters and items in Smash 4? Maybe some people will want to stick to their casual ffa pokemon matches, but in my experience, most people begin to appreciate the technical and intricate side of Smash once they're introduced. Have you had a different experience, or are you just against casual play in general?
 

D-idara

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#25
You got me there. It can really be a mixed bag. I started out casual, but as time went on and I discovered high-level play, I began to appreciate its intricacies and became a very competitive player myself. But often I look at the Smash 4 boards and see the usual *****ing about Ridley and new items and whatever, and the casual crusade ignites itself in my mind.

If they can become more competitive, that's great, but most will want to stay with their same old simplistic mechanics, randomness, and absurd, arbitrary rules (see the laughable "debate" over whether using the C-stick is scrubby). I guess I've come to see the casual community as unnecessary baggage and not much more.
You're coming off as disgusting, you know that? What's wrong with complaining about Ridley? And also, what's wrong with people talking about Items, or soundtrack, or wacky stages? You do realize there are a lot of competitive players who like the crazy gameplay of the Smash series too, right?

Also, any Smash player should be playing a Nintendo game first and THEN a fighting game, the characters and representation of franchises are one of the most important parts of the game, this isn't Marvel Vs. Capcom where they suck it up when Megaman's missing, Nintendo fans are more passionate than that.

Do you seriously not speculate about characters and soundtrack? That's a little sad, since they're the biggest parts of the game.

And old simplistic mechanics...you mean the simplicity Smash is built around, right? You talk about the random factors and the wacky action as if they don't belong on the game, well let me tell ya' something that you probably haven't realized yet:

THEY DO.
 
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FoxBlaze71

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#27
Warning Received
I would disagree with that. Just like you and me, people can start casual and get into competitive. I don't think it's unreasonable to play competitive while also appreciating casual gameplay. What's wrong with enjoying new characters and items in Smash 4? Maybe some people will want to stick to their casual ffa pokemon matches, but in my experience, most people begin to appreciate the technical and intricate side of Smash once they're introduced. Have you had a different experience, or are you just against casual play in general?
I've had a very different experience. Most people I've tried to introduce to Smash competitively just get butthurt and cry "cheap" or "OP" on everything when they get beaten legitimately, and then go back into their little huddle and start bashing each other around on New Pork City with Golden Hammers. It could be that I just hang around a bunch of salty rectums, but I think it's best leaving them to do their thing.

I don't really mind the usual song and dance about items and characters and whatnot, but seeing it on the front page of Smashboards can be a little depressing.

You're coming off as disgusting, you know that? What's wrong with complaining about Ridley? And also, what's wrong with people talking about Items, or soundtrack, or wacky stages? You do realize there are a lot of competitive players who like the crazy gameplay of the Smash series too, right?

Also, any Smash player should be playing a Nintendo game first and THEN a fighting game, the characters and representation of franchises are one of the most important parts of the game, this isn't Marvel Vs. Capcom where they suck it up when Megaman's missing, Nintendo fans are more passionate than that.

Do you seriously not speculate about characters and soundtrack? That's a little sad, since they're the biggest parts of the game.

And old simplistic mechanics...you mean the simplicity Smash is built around, right? You talk about the random factors and the wacky action as if they don't belong on the game, well let me tell ya' something that you probably haven't realized yet:

THEY DO.
Really? How often do you listen to Brawl's soundtrack? Play the Subspace Emissary? These kinds of things aren't what keep kept Smash going, it was the great gameplay. If you're letting ******* Mega Man's absence ruin the game for you, then go play Mega Man or whatever garbage you're into. If you're thrilled Sakurai made more awful stages that kill the players for you, you can play them in your basement with other neckbeards.

You aren't really qualified to explain to the world what Smash is about, let alone be reminding everyone that random **** and unimportant features that absolutely no one remembers are mandatory.

Also, required reading, since you have no idea what the **** you're talking about.

That's my two cents on the subject, so good day to you, sir. I'd appreciate KirbyKid's input on my earlier post, but the rest of the casual peanut gallery can suck it.
 

The Derrit

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#28
@ kirbykid kirbykid : "I want to create a place where the unrepresented can join the community and create positive relationships where schisms once existed."

@ FoxBlaze71 FoxBlaze71 : "screw you kirbykid, screw you casuals, screw diversity, I want to be mean and ignore issues I don't care about without having to be bothered with the friendly and self-aware. Douchebags."

Did I get it right?

Edit: changing my naughty words
No, you didn't. Don't do that.
 

B.A.M.

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#29
Another is the "negative" part of competitive Smash, which I assume means some kind of discrimination. I've played Smash for several years and I've never seen anyone harassed because of their gender or any other aspect about them, so I don't see the need for the implied white knighting.




LOL this response takes the cake. " I haven't seen it so it doesn't happen."

Rapes, frequent fondling, stalking,death threats, etc. have happened in the Competitive Smash community. I dont know how deep you are into the Smash community, but these things definitely happen. Heck it is a global issue with gaming period.

Its not about being a white knight, its about addressing an issue that hurts both brothers and sisters of Smash. I'm not going to berate you about the core issue at hand, but I will just say this: don't make such baseless inferences based on experience alone. If you haven't done research, or your due diligence regarding the issue leave it be.

Lastly, this doesn't have to be groundbreaking in terms of an idea in order for it to be important. An idea doesn't solve issues; the actualization of an idea does.

I love the Smash community with all my heart; there are definitely a myriad of gems within it. However, its not all rainbows and lumas, there are definitely issues that could be dealt with that would result in the betterment of this community. I will always be for someone who is dedicating time to better the community we love.
 

pickle962

Smash Lord
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Messages
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Louisiana
#30
I've had a very different experience. Most people I've tried to introduce to Smash competitively just get butthurt and cry "cheap" or "OP" on everything when they get beaten legitimately, and then go back into their little huddle and start bashing each other around on New Pork City with Golden Hammers. It could be that I just hang around a bunch of salty rectums, but I think it's best leaving them to do their thing.

I don't really mind the usual song and dance about items and characters and whatnot, but seeing it on the front page of Smashboards can be a little depressing.



Really? How often do you listen to Brawl's soundtrack? Play the Subspace Emissary? These kinds of things aren't what keep kept Smash going, it was the great gameplay. If you're letting ******* Mega Man's absence ruin the game for you, then go play Mega Man or whatever garbage you're into. If you're thrilled Sakurai made more awful stages that kill the players for you, you can play them in your basement with other neckbeards.

You aren't really qualified to explain to the world what Smash is about, let alone be reminding everyone that random **** and unimportant features that absolutely no one remembers are mandatory.

Also, required reading, since you have no idea what the **** you're talking about.

That's my two cents on the subject, so good day to you, sir. I'd appreciate KirbyKid's input on my earlier post, but the rest of the casual peanut gallery can suck it.
Don't be a **** to get your point across. The casual side exists whether you like it or not and ironically enough, we all started more or less with all items on and wacky stages on before realizing there's a more competitive way to really throw down the gauntlet with friends/rivals. Oh and I really appreciate how condescending you are being to the casual side of smash bros. dude! I mean telling them they can suck it, why didn't I think of that? ;)
 

SmashBro99

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#31
Smash is still considered the kiddy table at any real big gaming event by people who play actual fighting games.

I love smash but it's true, not that I agree with that of course.
 

FoxBlaze71

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Messages
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#32
LOL this response takes the cake. " I haven't seen it so it doesn't happen."

Rapes, frequent fondling, stalking,death threats, etc. have happened in the Competitive Smash community. I dont know how deep you are into the Smash community, but these things definitely happen. Heck it is a global issue with gaming period.

Its not about being a white knight, its about addressing an issue that hurts both brothers and sisters of Smash. I'm not going to berate you about the core issue at hand, but I will just say this: don't make such baseless inferences based on experience alone. If you haven't done research, or your due diligence regarding the issue leave it be.

Lastly, this doesn't have to be groundbreaking in terms of an idea in order for it to be important. An idea doesn't solve issues; the actualization of an idea does.

I love the Smash community with all my heart; there are definitely a myriad of gems within it. However, its not all rainbows and lumas, there are definitely issues that could be dealt with that would result in the betterment of this community. I will always be for someone who is dedicating time to better the community we love.
I've actually never heard of any such thing happening, let alone seen it. Source?
 

The Derrit

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#33
I've had a very different experience. Most people I've tried to introduce to Smash competitively just get butthurt and cry "cheap" or "OP" on everything when they get beaten legitimately, and then go back into their little huddle and start bashing each other around on New Pork City with Golden Hammers. It could be that I just hang around a bunch of salty rectums, but I think it's best leaving them to do their thing.

I don't really mind the usual song and dance about items and characters and whatnot, but seeing it on the front page of Smashboards can be a little depressing.



Really? How often do you listen to Brawl's soundtrack? Play the Subspace Emissary? These kinds of things aren't what keep kept Smash going, it was the great gameplay. If you're letting ******* Mega Man's absence ruin the game for you, then go play Mega Man or whatever garbage you're into. If you're thrilled Sakurai made more awful stages that kill the players for you, you can play them in your basement with other neckbeards.

You aren't really qualified to explain to the world what Smash is about, let alone be reminding everyone that random **** and unimportant features that absolutely no one remembers are mandatory.

Also, required reading, since you have no idea what the **** you're talking about.

That's my two cents on the subject, so good day to you, sir. I'd appreciate KirbyKid's input on my earlier post, but the rest of the casual peanut gallery can suck it.
Well, now that you've made it clear that you're not interested in the opinion of the people around you or those who think lesser than you... you can go.

The whole point of his project is to make the Smash community a larger group. The Smash community is not "your thing" for which you decide how and why people should enjoy it. The fact of the matter is that casual players enjoy the game. Competitive players enjoy the game. You are the type of person who is being actively discouraged - the intolerant, dismissive elitist who thinks everyone who doesn't act his way is the stupid one. Project SMASH is being built to specifically shepherd in the people who want to join the community but don't want to be around people like you.

Your opinion is not worth more than anyone else's. Don't act like it is. Also, don't post in this thread again if you're going to continue to express yourself so inappropriately, because you will get points for it.
 

Ralsei

Fluffy Secretary
Premium
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Messages
23,006
#34
I've had a very different experience. Most people I've tried to introduce to Smash competitively just get butthurt and cry "cheap" or "OP" on everything when they get beaten legitimately, and then go back into their little huddle and start bashing each other around on New Pork City with Golden Hammers. It could be that I just hang around a bunch of salty rectums, but I think it's best leaving them to do their thing.

I don't really mind the usual song and dance about items and characters and whatnot, but seeing it on the front page of Smashboards can be a little depressing.



Really? How often do you listen to Brawl's soundtrack? Play the Subspace Emissary? These kinds of things aren't what keep kept Smash going, it was the great gameplay. If you're letting ******* Mega Man's absence ruin the game for you, then go play Mega Man or whatever garbage you're into. If you're thrilled Sakurai made more awful stages that kill the players for you, you can play them in your basement with other neckbeards.

You aren't really qualified to explain to the world what Smash is about, let alone be reminding everyone that random **** and unimportant features that absolutely no one remembers are mandatory.

Also, required reading, since you have no idea what the **** you're talking about.

That's my two cents on the subject, so good day to you, sir. I'd appreciate KirbyKid's input on my earlier post, but the rest of the casual peanut gallery can suck it.
Anyone who tips their rant with, "suck it" shouldn't be taken seriously. :rolleyes: You're just looking for attention by using this news post to bash the casual community. You ain't the first- you ain't the last.

Moving on, good luck on this project, kirbykid.
 

GaMeR N1CK

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#35
I've had a very different experience. Most people I've tried to introduce to Smash competitively just get butthurt and cry "cheap" or "OP" on everything when they get beaten legitimately, and then go back into their little huddle and start bashing each other around on New Pork City with Golden Hammers. It could be that I just hang around a bunch of salty rectums, but I think it's best leaving them to do their thing.

I don't really mind the usual song and dance about items and characters and whatnot, but seeing it on the front page of Smashboards can be a little depressing.



Really? How often do you listen to Brawl's soundtrack? Play the Subspace Emissary? These kinds of things aren't what keep kept Smash going, it was the great gameplay. If you're letting ******* Mega Man's absence ruin the game for you, then go play Mega Man or whatever garbage you're into. If you're thrilled Sakurai made more awful stages that kill the players for you, you can play them in your basement with other neckbeards.

You aren't really qualified to explain to the world what Smash is about, let alone be reminding everyone that random **** and unimportant features that absolutely no one remembers are mandatory.

Also,..., since you have no idea what the **** you're talking about.

That's my two cents on the subject, so good day to you, sir. I'd appreciate KirbyKid's input on my earlier post, but the rest of the casual peanut gallery can suck it.
this argument wouldn't have started if you'd just put your opinion on the survey instead of commenting it where people would read it and get upset...
 

kirbykid

BRoomer
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#40
It seems like a lot of the things you're bringing up are either really obvious or unimportant/nonexistent. As examples, Brawl vs Melee. Of course there's a schism, people have preferences. How exactly do you plan to fix that?

Another is the "negative" part of competitive Smash, which I assume means some kind of discrimination. I've played Smash for several years and I've never seen anyone harassed because of their gender or any other aspect about them, so I don't see the need for the implied white knighting.
So my angle is that the root of the problem is how we communicate. That's my speciality. Video games are complication and talking about video games is even harder. Being a community is more just recognizing that people have different opinions and preferences. How we express our preferences and how we respect one another are related. I've been thinking about how to approach this sensitive area for years. I've actually been doing research for years and this will be my best attempt to help. Bottom line, I think we're more likely to be friends than enemies about this issue and many others.

Lastly, the casual audience. Not only do they know almost nothing about Smash, what purpose is served in trying to encourage them? Are you actually going to put them in any significant position? APEX 2015 with item FFAs sounds great and all, but...no thanks.


I'm just Saiyan that I don't see the necessity or purpose in this. If you're just gonna do the usual mad and bad routine, then your commentary really isn't necessary. I don't mind casual play, and most people I know only play Smash casually, but I see no need to start bringing them into the competitive community and breeding them like mice. It's not a question of me being pissed off at the world, it's one of necessity. KirbyKid is potentially putting a lot of work into something that doesn't seem that well-defined or groundbreaking.
I think it's cool that you don't quite see the purpose yet. THis project is complicated as is Smash and our community. If I could convey what it is an why I feel it's important in one simple post like this, I would have. I hope you're at least curious. That I can work with.

I'm not here to diss anyone or "call anyone out." This isn't about casuals vs competitive smashers. It's a lot more complicated than that.
 
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