Fighting Gamers Share Heartwarming Stories Of Gaming With Family Growing Up

By on August 31, 2020

As video games continue to find a home in mainstream culture, they’re slowly becoming less stigmatized. Where gaming was once overwhelmingly seen as a morally questionable hobby for social outcasts, it’s now becoming clear that video games can bring communities together, inspire players to reach for excellence, and reach the level of great art.

Although the perception of video games has changed, the reality is that gaming has always been a healthy and uplifting activity. For evidence, look no further than a recent Twitter thread kicked off by Mark “MarkMan” Julio, a business development and community engagement expert who works with Tekken, Soulcalibur, ten/o media, the Evolution Championship Series, and a host of other big names in the Fighting Game Community. Julio recalled playing Tetris, Duck Hunt, and Ridge Racer with his parents, then asked his followers if they had any similar memories of gaming as a family. The answers are nothing short of heartwarming.

Familiar Faces

If you’re part of the FGC, you’ll already be familiar with many of the people who replied. Still, you may not know that James Chen, the star commentator and content creator, would have late-night Space Invaders sessions with his dad and brother, or that Alex Jebailey, the founder of Community Effort Orlando, competed with his mom in Tetris.

Mama Dao, who works with Combo Queens and Capcom, is another community figure who has fond memories of gaming with her mom as a child. In her case, they played Super Buster Bros., a cooperative Asteroids-like game. Meanwhile, pro Street Fighter player Alex Myers also remembers gaming with his parents, though he leaned more towards the competitive side.

The Family That KOs Together

What’s even more encouraging for the FGC is the number of people who specifically cited fighting games. Along with Myers (“ST” is short for Super Street Fighter II Turbo”), there were tons of people who replied with their stories of mashing out reversals against their parents. These stories prove that the FGC is more than its detractors make it out to be. Not only does the community act as a supportive home for its adult members, for many people it’s a beacon that provides guidance from childhood onward.

We’ve collected some of our favorites below, from top players to unsung heroes and more. If you have your own memories of gaming with your parents, tweet them to us @toptiergg (and don’t forget to include @MarkMan23, too). Then, if you ever feel like you need a pick-me-up, read through the replies to the original tweet. You’ll be sure to find something that brightens your day.

Eli Horowitz is a novelist and software professional who lives in Pittsburgh, PA. His first novel, Bodied, is the coming-of-age story of a young woman in the FGC in 2011-2012. Bodied is for sale here, and you can learn more about Eli @BODIEDnovel on Twitter or at his website.

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