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Christopher Hamilton
Professor Campbell
UWRT 1101
November 2, 2014
Mini-Ethnography
I decided to do my mini-ethnography on the Video Game Fight Club or VGFC at UNCC.
VGFC is one of the many clubs UNCC have, the whole purpose of the club is for different young
adults to come together and play popular fighting games. These games would range from
Tekken, Dead or Alive, and Smash Bros, of course there are other fighting games too but the
ones Ive listed are culturally popular. They use a conference room to meet and have a variety of
TVs and gaming platforms to play on. The total amount of TVs that are utilized has to be at least
20 with an assortment of Play Stations, Game Cubes, Xbox 360s, and lap tops as well. I chose
this group because at first glance anybody would come to the same conclusion, these are nerds
that play video games more than they take care of themselves but in actuality theres more to it.
People who play video games are generally categorized by public society or so I thought.
Research
No other industry has experienced such a massive growth in such a short time except the
gaming industry. In fact CNET study shows that the industry grew 4 times faster than the US
economy in 2012. Specifically it grew 9.6% from 2009 to 2012 adding 6.2 billion dollars to
Americas economy. Its expected to be a 100 billion dollar industry by 2018, also now some
colleges are actually giving students scholarships to play video games competitively for their

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schools. According to the Entertainment Software Association 71% of gamers are 18 years or
older and 62% play with each other either online or in person. ESA has also determined that
3.9% of gamers purchase and play fighting based games. Annually there is a video game
tournament held in the US that gives out cash prizes, the competition is called EVO and is
exclusively for fighting games.
Club Rules/Expectations
Many members in VGFC if not all play video games every day, none of them are casual
gamers. One of the unspoken rules of VGFC is that you must have a gamer tag or nickname to
be called by, so for the sake of members identities Ill just use their self-proclaimed titles. There
is no cursing or foul language towards one another. There are (depending on what is being
played) 3-5 rounds per match. If you want to participate in one of the tournaments you have to
pay 5 dollars. After every match you must show some sort of good sportsmanship whether it be a
handshake or compliment.
Observations
One of the members who goes by Kai knew I wasnt a regular because I didnt bring my
own controller, interesting enough your controller is like a pass of sorts that allows you to play
with others. Generally how one gains access to one of the games is by walking up to one of the
tables, call I got next, and show that you have a controller and if you didnt have one go ask
someone else if you can borrow theirs.
Each game played has a barrage of colors and visuals that would leave someone trying to
keep up with the quick set of movement and sounds. Interesting enough fighting games pushes
gamers reflexes to a different level than before. Random elements are added to give people a

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reason to multitask and handle stressful situations ex. Fighting three other people in Smash Bros.
Different variety of characters with unique abilities to match their random designs give the
person playing the game a different experience each time. Perfect example of this is Super
Smash Bros which has different characters from vast Nintendo game titles.
Most people warm up before participating in tournaments by playing each other, not
only do we gain experience in the game but we bond in real life Super Falcon-man explained
while waiting for the next round to open. His T-shirt covered in various Nintendo characters, and
in his hand is his Game Cube controller. Granted we pay about five dollars to enter tournaments
but it makes sense when it helps fund our club Super Falcon-man continues to say with a smirk
If you look around not trying to throw shade we are all wearing videogame apparel whether it
be shirts or book bags, we care about this stuff immensely. We tend to stick with our own,
outside of here people see me as lame, unappealing because I dont have the nicest clothes, or
dorky because I like games explained Kai BUT when Im playing these games with these cool
people I dont feel so alone. Watching others play including Kai and SFM its obvious how
important playing these games are. Sitting down both players move their physical body in the
direction theyre trying to their move characters in the game as if by moving themselves it
would make up for the lag in the controller or by moving their bodies they are putting their
passion into the game.
Interpretation
It is seen in the giant conference room that people walk up to each other with a sense of
comradery with greeting ranging from waves to hugs with reminiscence of previous battles and
memories of bonding from the club. Many members are people from previous years and are

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actually open to lower classmen and willing to accept them into their family. The word family is
used because thats how open the environment is and it makes anyone feel comfortable. With
this comfortable feeling many people in the club dont care about appearances because they
know there wont be any judgment cast upon them.
The gamers here come from different backgrounds but all share games as the unifying
common ground. There isnt any popularity or cool kid hierarchy like there was in high school.
How genuine these people are comes from the fact that they have been mistreated by others
before and they know how it feels to be misunderstood. Thats why I see them rooting each other
on and cheering for themselves because as a unit they are all the same people. This explains the
greetings that are exchanged and how it seems like there isnt any negativity present.

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