Fighting games are like virtual martial arts, but there are no dojos in which to take classes, and students cannot count on studying under masters. The best way to learn might be to sit in on a local fighting game club, watch everyone’s moves, and then allow the experts to beat the virtual snot out of you. Eventually you’ll catch on, but it will take a while.
Fighting game enthusiast and journalist Patrick Miller has put together an ebook to help speed up the first steps in your learning curve. “From masher to master: the educated Video Game enthusiast’s Fighting Game Primer” was made available on July 7 as a free download on Shoryuken.com.
The ebook is 135 pages long, and focuses on how to learn and master Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, by way of introducing basic and advanced fighting game concepts which apply to multiple, different fighting games.
Miller’s intended audience is not limited to gamers who want to learn fighting games. “If you are significantly invested in the production and consumption of videogames as a medium, on a personal or professional level, you ought to know something about competitive fighting games as a matter of basic literacy,” Miller writes in the introduction.
Miller’s primer is loaded with illustrations, phrase definitions, details on how to perform standard combinations, lessons on controlling the pace of a match, and that’s just the first chapter. There are seven chapters in all. In Chapter Seven, Miller switches to discussion of Street Fighter IV by way of bringing the reader into the present day fighting game scene.
“[Street Fighter is] about the act of playing-fighting itself, and how that act enables us to connect with other people at a very intimate level, and about connecting with ourselves at a very intimate level,” writes Miller in the conclusion. It’s a passionate pitch for the fighting game scene, and it’s a passion clearly reflected in the detail and seriousness of Miller’s primer.