I am pouring out all my anger into this blog post so that I can give myself some mental closure. Today, I had to use my admin powers in a Whatsapp group chat to kick a friend out of the group. His crime? Making an assumption, and not bothering to check.
But first, a quick history lesson:
Our Melty Blood Actress Again: Current Code arcade machines are set to 3-round matches: the first player to win 3 rounds will win the bout. This is different from most other fighting game machines such as Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, which are usually 2-round matches.
MB is a very momentum-heavy game with high damage combos. Matches can end very quickly once a player manages to score a successful hit. It therefore makes sense to set arcade versus games to 3-round matches, in order to extend the playtime of a credit. When I visited Japan, most of the arcades with an MB machine had set their matches this way. The most popular one in Akihabara, Taito Station, set the versus games to 2-round matches but gave players 2 credits for putting in one token. Not as ideal compared to 3-rounds, but still fairly reasonable.
Let’s call the culprit friend Bob. Bob types into group chat: “The MB machines have been set to 2-rounds”. What this means is that the arcade technicians have somehow changed the 3-round setting to 2-rounds. This immediately riles everyone up, especially our senior player Joel (who has been playing MB the longest among us). They understand what a 2-round versus game at the arcade means: matches will end quicker, and more money will be spent by the players for each weekly session.
The problem is that Bob DID NOT EVEN PUT A SINGLE CREDIT INTO THE MACHINE, as I eventually found out much later. He is basing his claim by looking at the game demonstration. When no one is playing the machine, the game will go into a loop and show some pre-recorded game demo fights between the CPU. The game demo was showing a 2-round match.
You have been playing the arcade machine for over two years. Why take note of the game demo now? And why would you make this kind of ASSUMPTION, then declare it into group chat without even bothering to CHECK?
We actually have a member of our community who is currently working as a staff member at the aforementioned arcade. I immediately messaged him to help us double-check the settings. This caused him some amount of distress, because the pressure was suddenly on him to fix the problem. His reply a couple hours later into the group chat: “Bullshit, the settings are still the same!”
I went down to the arcade later in the evening to see for myself. I am a trained journalist, and in school we are always taught the importance of verifying facts. One of the most reliable and indisputable ways to do so, is to see it for yourself first-hand. I sacrificed four credits from my arcade tap card (equivalent to S$2). One to tap each side for both pairs of machines. The AI matches were still 3-round matches, as it should be. The versus matches were still 3-round matches, as it should be.
I was absolutely livid, because this proves that Bob was basically lying about what he saw. He had typed into the chat earlier to explain himself: “I played the AI”. No, you did not play the AI, you are lying because I just checked, and my staff-friend had also checked slightly earlier. I even took a screenshot of the round counters as proof and uploaded it to the Whatsapp chat.
Normally, I would be willing to close one eye and just ignore this transgression after an apology. A simple “sorry” or “my bad” would have sufficed. But no, not even a hint of regret, as he proceeded to use the same explanation again: “I was looking at the game demo”. By then I had lost my patience and kicked him from the group chat, and announced to everyone what I had done.
Until now, I am still feeling quite uneasy and upset about this incident. I feel quite torn, because I had to kick a fellow member of our community out of our group chat. That is the one of the absolute last things you should be doing as a community leader: kicking and banning people. You want to invite and attract more people to grow the community, not banish and annihilate your own members.
But the moral side of me, the righteous Edward just simply could not let this matter go unpunished. You have basically:
1) Lied to everyone in the group chat
2) Caused a great amount of unnecessary distress to everyone, especially our staff-friend
3) Refused to apologise, or even show a hint of repentance
Sometimes I wonder why I devote so much time and seriousness into videogames.