My informant is an avid player of the Super Smash Brothers game series. This game has fostered a very unique community due to its wide appeal and unique gameplay mechanics. This community encompass all players who play the game, but in this interview when my informant talks about the “Smash Brothers community” he is referring to the community of thirty or so individuals who meet up weekly (or biweekly) at his local game store to play the game together. When they meet up and compete with each other it is called a “local” which simply is shorthand for local gathering or local tournament.
Me: Are you a part of any digital or otherwise non-traditional communities.
Him: I actually play a lot of this game called Super Smash Bros and really dig the community built around it.
Me: Could you please describe the Smash Bros community briefly.
Him: Well super smash bros is a game made by Nintendo. There are I believe 5 installments not including fan games. The series is interesting because the series takes characters from many franchises and has them fight against each other. The community is everyone who plays this game, but to me thee community is the people who meet up to play any of these games together in downtown Los Angeles. We communicate through a facebook group and organize locals every week or so depending on how busy everyone is.
Me: And are there any customs or unspoken rules unique to this community?
Him: Oh my god there is a near infinite amount. I guess that the one that is most important to me is the hidden meaning behind Captain Falcon.
Me: What is Captain Falcon?
Him: Captain Falcon is a character in the game. He is my main which means I almost exclusively play this character when playing the game.
Me: And what is the hidden meaning you refer to behind this character?
Him: Well Captain Falcon players have a unique reputation in this community. You see, in the game there is a feature called taunting. A taunt is a easily punishable move that does nothing other than poke fun at the player. Captain Falcon players tend to be known to strongly utilize these taunts. As a captain falcon player, anytime you have the capability of taunting you should.
Me: Why is this?
Him: Because he has the best taunts of course.
Me: How does this affect the reputation of Captain Falcon mains?
Him: Well when you decide to main Captain Falcon you usually do it because you want to be as flashy as possible. So, being a captain falcon main means that you are going to be viewed as someone who prefers to style rather than play the game as well as technically possible. Being a Captain Falcon main means that if you are given two options, a good choice and a cool looking choice you will always pick the good looking choice. That is what it means to play Captain Falcon.
It is really interesting that the character you use in a videogame can completely define how you are viewed in the surrounding community. Moreso, it is interesting how willing to and excited to accept that identity my informant was. I believe that this shows that in this community there is a sense of pride that players have about the character that they play. This is likely because when in the game, the character you play functions as your avatar. That is to say that while playing the game, my informant identifies as Captain Falcon because Captain Falcon is the bridge between the game world and him. Going off this theory, I believe that if I were to interview other members of the Smash community they would have similarly positive feelings about their “main.”