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NERDIST: PLAY – EVO 2014 & the Fighting Game Community

You know that old Disney World commercial where the kids can’t sleep the night before they go to the Happiest Place on Earth because they’re too excited? That’s how I feel about our new show Nerdist: Play. The brainchild of our gaming editor Malik ForteNerdist: Play is our way of taking you beyond the headlines and into the high scores. Whether you’re a Filthy Casual or a hardcore gamer, you’ll find something to like here as Malik gives you in-depth analysis of the latest and greatest in gaming culture, unlocking achievements and breaking hearts along the way.

On the debut episode, Malik puts one of gaming’s most controversial fandoms and puts it under the microscope: the fighting game community. This weekend wasn’t just the World Cup of soccer; it was also the World Cup of fighting games, Evo 2014, and more people than ever before tuned in to watch the high-stakes beatdowns. Did the FGC live up to their reputation or have they managed to reinvent themselves? Find out the answer – and much more – on today’s episode of Nerdist: Play.

This week Malik asked, “What’s the best fighting game of all time?” My vote is for Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (“I wanna take you for a riiiiiide”). Let us know your pick in the comments below or tell him on Twitter.

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  1. Josh Brown says:

    Should put this on the YouTube channel. I’d prefer to watch things like this through my XBox on my TV …

  2. GREAT first video; I would love to see Nerdist discuss the TCG community (Magic the Gathering, Pokemon) as well. I do know if such a discussion would fit onto your show, but your talk about the evolution of the fighting game community got me wondering.

  3. 1madhatter says:

    great 1st episode. couple of things lose the headphones and the glare from your glasses was a huge distraction, the lights being reflected repeatedly. Also it felt a bit too scripted, was anticipating a x-play feel. more reviews and more vids. 

  4. Corey Gibson says:

    Is there a reason this video is not on YouTube?

  5. EVO was great! I was there in the indie showcase and the community there was wonderful! 

  6. You’re good on camera. Just a few notes: have more clips, tighten up the news roster, and make the backdrop brighter, it was hurting my eyes.

  7. Gonch76 says:

    Good first vid but will you be posting these vids on the Nerdist Youtube channel also as this site is not exactly mobile friendly ?

  8. NFG00 says:

    You should lose the headphones. Other than that, I liked this first episode.

    • Malik Forté says:

      I realized I spend about 80% of my life with headphone on me. If not on my head, on my neck

  9. RedwoodCoast says:

    Nice first episode Malik.   Looking forward to more gaming scene details.

  10. Gingerredhead says:

    Great series! Very excited to see it

  11. RIYUGA says:

    in future episodes you could include fps tournaments also more behind the scenes with devs, and put your reviews on games.

  12. Red says:

    Would love to hear your take on the upcoming Destiny Beta and get any insight on the Full launch. Great show BTW

    • Malik Forté says:

      Thanks! Loved the Destiny Alpha and will be on top of the Destiny Beta all weekend. 

  13. Red says:

    Destiny is coming up in Beta form. Would love to hear insight about the full game before launch. Enjoyed this show, I will watch more

  14. Cal says:

    what does “going all e-sports” mean?

    • Malik Forté says:

      Haha, it can be interpreted a few ways, but it’s widely synonymous to selling out

      • Cal says:

        cool, gotcha

        I hope the community can keep its “soul” while opening up more to first time viewers of all types.

  15. Jase says:

    Malik Forte doing an awesome job. I’m really looking forward to seeing more Nerdist Play. I would suggest looking back on old favorites and retro gaming from time to time. Good move nerdist 🙂

  16. dopeedoo says:

    Was this an archived vid that you just released? Any controversies that were mentioned in this are far too old to ever be relevant now. None of them are or have been issues for years.  

    The stuff addressed makes this sound more like click bait and pandering than real knowledge. If you want to rep the fgc and actually sound like you care, please do proper research.

  17. Luis A. says:

    Genuinely excited about this new section in Nerdist! Keep it up Malik, that was definitely enjoyable! 

  18. mark r says:

    Ricky Ortiz has been out and proud for a long while now and its never been an issue afaik

    • Malik Forté says:

      Not an issue, but there has been negative commentary around in the past, it progressively got better, and now is pretty much non-existent

      • dopeedoo says:

        You mean got better before street fighter 4 was ever out, right? Because noone actually cared two bits about Ricky ever being gay.

        The community already has had transgendered people as well repped hard for years, yet that doesn’t ever get noticed.

        Any issues people have with FGC are perpetuated by these kind of outlets repeating the same nonsense.

        Get your info from outlets outside of Kotaku. Get to know the ACTUAL people in the fgc. Until you do, please don’t misrepresent us as some sort of group that is NOW coming to reason when instead we have probably been the MOST welcoming group of all for the past few years.

        • Provinguwrong says:

          fuck kayopolice it’s a trap!

        • Malik Forté says:

          Hey man, the FGC is more than just the people who show up to the tournaments and play or watch. It also consist of the folks in forums, the folks in the stream chats and everywhere. Just because YOU didn’t witness the toxicity, doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. I’ve taken up for the players many times in different pockets of the internet that aren’t Event Hubs or Shoryuken.

          Furthermore, I’m not trying to represent the FGC either, I clearly spoke about it from a third person perspective. This is an outsider’s take, and sometimes you have to look at things from the outside and not within. I’m sure everyone who’s deeply established within the FGC is welcoming, but it’s not always about the figure heads, my friend. 

  19. BimmyJarron says:

    Best fighting game has got to be Street Fighter II Turbo, just because Blanka’s diagonal roll drops the rock! It’s the only SF game i know of where that attack does damage on its way back down!

  20. Jay says:

    Best Fighting Game of all time is still Super Street Fighter II Turbo!!!!

    Thank you for posting something about the FGC.  Even though you talked a lot about the “toxic side” of the community, it is caused a very small side of the actual player base, but it is really the anonymous stream monsters and trolls that makes the FGC look bad.  I don’t know if you had the chance to attend any of the tournaments (large or small), but it is the most positive and most fun gaming experience you will ever have.

    As a tournament organizer in NorCal for over 4 years, we have players of all different backgrounds and never had an issue regarding gender, race, preference… whatever.  It would amazing if you would do a piece with event organizers and top players of the FGC so that you can see how grassroots and family oriented the community is.

    • alexis says:

      where are the norcal tourney’s at? i live in sacto and wanna at least play a local tournament once for ss4?

      • Jay says:

        That’s awesome! I’m from Sacramento too! I host tournaments about every other month.  Please go to or @CFD_Jay and I will keep you updated from there.

    • Malik Forté says:

      Hey man, I’ve been a follower of the FGC for a while (attended EVO last year). Definitely plan on keeping an eye on it from here on out. 

  21. alexis says:

    best fighting game is street fighter 2. not turbo champ edition, the first street fighter 2. i was very young and lost many a quarter, but when my chun li jumped off the wall and head stomped a ken. it was the best feeling before i knew what sex was.

    • Malik Forté says:

      Head stomps! My brother use to be so proficient at those and it was extremely annoying. SFII, well played.