How to Raise Money to Travel to a Fighting Game Tournament
Lately there seems to be an increase in players trying to raise money to get to Evo or other fighting game tournaments. While there is nothing inherently wrong with either asking for or giving money, like anything in life, there are more effective and less effective ways to accomplish your goals.
In this article, I will attempt to summarize some of the ways in which I raised money to help myself and other American 3rd Strike players get to Japan for the Super Battle Opera tournament in 2008 as well as look at the ways that other people raise money for FGC and non-FGC causes.
Here’s the TL;DR for those with short attention spans like myself:
1. Produce something useful like video, audio or written content
2. Give something in return such as downloads or lessons
3. Show people how you will represent them and their money
Raising Money for SBO
To give a little bit of background since I have no idea who will be reading this, SBO was the most prestigious Japanese tournament at the time and myself, Justin Wong and kofiend qualified to represent America in 3rd Strike. In years past, the tickets had been covered by the arcade that hosted the qualifying tournament. This year that was not the case and we were on our own when it came to plane tickets and lodging.
After putting in a lot of production work into projects like the Denjin Video Family Fun Arcade Ranking Battle Series as well as the Ask Dr. Sub-Zero Podcast, I had a fair grasp of producing fighting game content and came up with the idea that producing a new kind of content might help our cause to go to Japan to represent America.
I came up with The Street Fighter Podcast and decided to produce a show where myself and other top players would discuss 3rd Strike strategy and release it for free to the masses, while asking for donations to help fund our trip in return. This would serve the dual purpose of filling a niche that we didn’t even realize existed (fighting game strategy discussion) as well as helping to fund the trip.
Oftentimes players in similar situations simply ask for donations without really providing anything in return. It may seem trivial now, but in retrospect there was really very little content being produced like it, especially from proven top 3rd Strike (and then SF4) players at the time like pyrolee, 5 Star, Justin Wong, etc. who were all guests on the show.
Raising money for a cause is pretty similar across the board, whether you’re a girl scout selling cookies, a member of Greenpeace soliciting donations to save Mother Earth or a fighting game player trying to get to Evo. Let’s take a closer look at some of these situations and see why they are effective or not effective.
Girl Scout Cookies
In America, young girls in girl scouts organizations sell girl scout cookies to raise money for various activities like camping or whatever, I really have no idea what they do with the money. What I do know is that most people have a little sister, cousin or neighbor that is either directly or indirectly (through a mom, co-worker, friend, etc) that is trying to hawk their delicious little wares on you.
What are the contributing factors of why this works?
1. Cuteness factor - Very few people are going to say no to a cute little girl trying to raise money so she can go to various girl scout activities. Not all young people are enterprising, so those that are become instantly respected and the buyer receives a good feeling for contributing to a cause.
2. Sweets factor - Goddamn these little cookies are delicious! You know deep down the little girl gets zero dollars from the sale and ultimately some corporate girl scout officer decides what to do with the money that’s received, but ultimately, even if you don’t know or don’t care what they do with the money, you got these cookies to munch on and they were cheap.
3. Philanthropic factor - You understand inherently that this little girl has very little to no income capacity. She’s not old enough to hold down a job at McDonalds, therefore you have no internal conflict as to whether or not to support her cause. Plus, girl scouts have a reputation of being contributing members of the community, therefore you are doing a good thing by buying these cookies.
Overall Fundraising Score: A+++, would give again.
Now let’s take a look at how an unnamed, generic fighting game player might raise money similarly. Keep in mind, I have not looked at how anybody in doing it in particular because I rarely watch other people’s streams, so I’m not putting anybody on blast, I’m just going on how I think they’re doing it.
1. Lack of cuteness factor - This is a tough one to overcome. You’re a dude asking money from other dudes to go to something they either wish they could go to or already are going to. Tough sell.
2. Lack of sweets factor - What do you get for donating? Well, hmm, let’s see. Are you mailing out cookies? Naw..didn’t think so. Are you giving out training lessons to donators on your stream? Maybe some of you are? The equivalent of getting cookies in the FGC would be some kind of exclusive video download that generates some kind of value for the supporter like education or entertainment (Excellent Adventures, anyone?).
3. Philanthropic factor - This is probably the only factor that raising money to travel for fighting games and selling girl scout cookies have in common. You are basically asking guys who have a few extra bucks due to being on top of their grown-ass man game to send a few your way so that you can live the dream they currently are not living. Even though most people are convinced the entire FGC is poverty, the amount of money being tossed around for donations to various FGC-related causes determined that was a lie.
This means that appealing to those more fortunate than you may actually work and these guys can live vicariously through you!
Now let’s see what we can do to fix the problems with the current model.
1. Cuteness. This one cannot be overcome. Unless you’re a gamer gurl using her b00bz to get to Evo, you’re outta luck on this one, sorry.
2. “Sweets.” This one actually is pretty easy if you put in just a tiny bit of effort. Giving back to people who donate to your fighting game cause should be relatively straightforward if you are appealing to the right people. This means doing things like giving lessons to donators, sending them an exclusive video you made showing them some strategies for your character(s), or just providing overall useful content and asking for a small donation in return.
3. Emphasizing that you are going to be representing a certain area or type of people that have donated to your cause is important. A perfect example of this is the r/kappa Evo fundraiser that is sending Tampa Bison and Alex Myers to Evo. Even though these guys didn’t raise the money so they could go to Evo (they were chosen), they will be rockin’ the sweet r/kappa shirt while they’re there and everyone who bought a shirt to support the cause (myself included) will be proud that they contributed to a worthy cause.
So after all of this, where does this leave you, the hopeful Evo attendee? Well, unfortunately since we are less than three weeks away, if you haven’t already made a name for yourself with a popular stream or YouTube channel, you are probably not going to be able to raise enough to make a difference and go on this last minute trip.
But what you can do is plan for next year by starting now. It doesn’t matter if you’re an unknown player, you certainly have the capacity to create useful content that can be used to generate small donations so that you can pay for a plane ticket, hotel, food and registration.
If you don’t know anything about creating content, if you start now you’ll have a year to learn. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you need help.
A while back I was in Vancouver for Anime Revolution and I got a sneak peek at a new indie game called Bardbarian. In Bardbarian, you play a bard named Brad (u c wut dey did der) that uses his metal guitar sounding bard to fight off monsters and other bad guys along the way in a tower defense/RPG/RTS-type of setting.
The artwork was done by my buddy Mike Gaboury, the designer from geek/gamer clothing line Cherry Sauce and when he showed it to me months ago I thought it was a really cool concept.
Now the game has been added to Steam Greenlight and if it gets enough upvotes, it will be added to Steam on release!
I saw it on iOS, but it’s going to be released on PC/Mac first. Check out the trailer and vote for it if you think it’s cool:
I have no idea why this is even an issue, but those of you that are local to Southern California should be aware that the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is trying to ban Airbnb. For those not familiar, Airbnb allows you to rent out your place to people who are traveling. I’ve used it before to find places and it’s always a better experience than staying in a hotel and is cheaper.
There is a petition that will be presented on Monday to the Neighborhood Council. Please take a moment to sign this if you believe that we should be able to rent our places out to whoever we want. Thank you!
The Resistance with gootecks #02 - 08-29-13 Tried to do things slightly different this time, where I just lower the volume on the music and talk over it instead of stopping the music completely. Thank you for the feedback, please keep it coming! Here’s the tracklist:
1. Jimmy Edgar - Sex Drive (Scuba’s Dub of Doom) 2. The Weeknd - The Party ft. Silver Medallion (Chi Duly Remix) 3. Flight Facilities - Crave You (Go Go Bizkitt! Remix) 4. Bixel Boys - Ride 5. Zimmer - Slave to Your Heart (Xinobi Remix) 6. Scissor Sisters - Any Which Way 7. Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon (DOTS Winter Solstice Remix) 8. The Juan MacLean - One Day 9. GRUM - Can’t Shake This Feeling 10. Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream (Sam La More 12’ Remix) 11. Fleetwood Mac - Dreams (Psychemagik Remix) 12. PNAU - With You Forever 13. The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition (RAC Mix) 14. Dragonette - Pick up the Phone (Michael Van She Remix) 15. Fleetwood Mac - Little Lies (Extended Version)
Yes there are two Fleetwood Mac songs, I’m only going to end up keeping one of them in the final mix. jk I was so tired by the end, I forgot I already played one.
After spending some time trying to figure out how to create music content, I finally realized that I could start with just audio since I don’t think most people are into longform video content right now. Thus, The Resistance was born.
It’s simply me talking about some of the songs I’m putting into my mix. Then I show you how I’m going to put them together in the mix. And then finally, in a later episode, PUT THE MIX OUT. That way if you’ve been following it throughout the episodes, you can fully appreciate the final product and the thought and care that was put into it ^o^
Some of the feedback I’ve received so far has been to play the songs as I’m talking over them.
So that’s what I’ll do next time!
Let me know what you think either here or on Twitter (@gootecks).
Oh and it’s downloadable too so please copy it to your music libraries and devices!
“Cross Counter Live,” an online talk show for the fighting game community, was nearly finished with Episode 201.
“Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Gootecks has,” co-host Mike Ross takes a dramatic pause, “a special announcement that he would like to make to you…
After we got the C&D from Capcom, my homie James interviewed me for a class project about the whole ordeal. I asked for it not to be published at the time, but now that everything is out in the open, this might be an interesting read.
I’ve had a burning desire inside me for as long as I could remember. When I was young, my parents used to ask me if I was going to be poor. I would stick my tongue out and “PPFFFFFTTTTT!” No way. Me, poor? You’re crazy.
I went through most of my adult life trying different hustles with the sole purpose of making money. eBay, digital products, promoting bands, selling porn, you name it; I tried to make money doing it. Always with the least amount of effort. Always, with so-so results. I never knew if it was the idea that was flawed or myself that stopped me from making more money. I would see some of my friends make much better money with their hustles than I did and wonder why.
That’s what we call it, by the way. The Hustle. The Hustle is the every day process of managing resources in order to build or acquire more resources. That might sound vague and that’s because it is. The Hustle cannot be defined and yet, is all around us. Kinda like The Matrix.
For some of us, The Hustle is all we know. It’s not a job, it’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle really. The Hustle lifestyle is about getting yours. Whatever it is “yours” means to you: money, power, women toys, whatever it is that gets you excited.
For me, The Hustle was started after I finished reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Kiyosaki believes that if you wanted to become wealthy in this world, you couldn’t have a job, you must own a business and then finally become an invenstor in other businesses. I book changed my life so profoundly that in college, I instantly knew what I was going to do in order to become wealthy: I was going to start my own record label!
As retarded as that might sound now, at the time it sounded like a great idea! I didn’t know anything about the music business except that I really loved music. I was in my early 20’s at the time, this is like early 2000’s for those keeping score. I was into stuff like alternative and indie rock, as well as then-up and coming genres like emo and hardcore. Embarassing stuff to admit now, but hey whatever, I was in my early 20’s. Of course I liked that stuff. FML.
Anyways, I started in the music world, by working with bands that I knew. There was a local band that I went to the same high school as called A Bitter End (or was it The Bitter End when I met them, who knows). Anyways, these guys were a few years younger than me and they played kinda like a mixture of metal, hardcore and emo so I was like, “Hey fuck it, why not?” So I decided that I would be their record label.
That meant that I’d record, produce and sell their music. That was my ultimate plan. What a genius idea on my part, right? Let’s invest a ton of time and resources into an unproven, local band, made up of dudes that you didn’t even really hang out with at all in high school. Sounds great, let’s do it!!
But hey, I was young, dumb and had a lot of energy. So I took it upon myself to learn all aspects of the business. I learned how to record and promote their music through taking the time to read and then apply and execute. It was through this process of both the technical side of these things as well as the promotional, I learned the ins and outs of digital audio production. Although I wasn’t really that good, through the help of being able to access any audio software I wanted (through various, underground interweb dealings), I was able to successfully record a 4-piece rock band with real instruments.
I did this all with barebones gear that was about as cheap as you could get. I got the absolute cheapest microphones, computer, cables, everything. All expenses were spared in the making of my recording rig. But the point is that I learned how to do it. And that recording audio would become relevant again just a few years down the road.
Through my time with A Bitter End (and one other local band who shall remain nameless), I also learned about the marketing of music. It was through a site called Get Signed, which contained a plethora of articles and interviews by various music industry professionals that discussed the finer points of, you guessed it, getting signed. This included how to interact with your fans, how to build a mailing list, the pros and cons of giving away your music, etc.
For A Bitter End, I put together a mailing list and a web site, with which we would use to let our audience know what shows were coming up next, as well as providing links to download their music. This was in the early 2000’s, when putting up all your music for free wasn’t the norm, it was the exception. Most local bands were not even able to record their own stuff, much less put it up for free on the web. But we also did stuff like burn a TON of free CDs to give away to people.
We were the first guys in our area to actively promote our shows with physical CDs. Not only were we GIVING away the music on the site, we were also GIVING away hard copies of the music of the bands that were playing the next show on actual CDs that people could listen to in their cars on the way home.
It was here that I learned the value of interacting with people as I gave them my work.
Eventually I realized that I was wasting my time. I had a new girlfriend and after spending time with her, I realized that spending time slaving over recordings that not that many people would hear (due to the band’s limited audience/visibility) and it was time to call it quits.
And I’m gonna call it quits on this post and come back to this another time.
Ryan hey..I was just looking for a way to contact you... so I just now found your website. I was actually trying to contact you about music. I am a producer who works along side of another producer. I do electronic to mainstream pop you name it. Ive seen your work ethic and I just feel like we could do something with this. I'm well established with mangers and agents but I need someone with a fresh face to take this music into their hands. We could really make big money with this. Let me know...
Hey gootecks, recently started playing more ssf4ae (my first fighting game) and I've really fallen in love with ur work at crosscounter and watched a bunch of ur stuff on youtube! But sadly I can't help but find that there is very little stuff I can relate to on the channel. Sure I can watch you learn Gouken or Makoto and have a real fun time, but I haven't found anything that can help me get me from being complete trash to OK if u know what I mean? Are there any plans to make content like this?
What do you need? Like the super basics? This is how (or more importantly, why) you throw a Fireball? Stuff like that?