Super Smash Bros

Melee Saves Lives

Content of the article: "Melee Saves Lives"

Look. There's a ton of people who had a difficult 2020. There's a ton of people who have been struggling to survive for a lot longer than the last 9 months.

I'm not going to pretend that my story is by any means the hardest. Sure, my small business died because of COVID 19. Okay, I'm still waiting for my unemployment to process. I almost lost two family members. Severe mental health issues on and off, mostly on, for some 15 years. Same record, different track. This has little to do with why I'm so upset I can't articulate myself.

Engaging with people has been my coping mechanism. My accountability, and the way to ensure I have some level of control during the times I can't control things at their worst. The pandemic hit, and I lost that. Going to work, spending time with friends, that became a liability.

Then, Slippi was announced. Going to my local again, playing friends, it was some semblance of the control and engagement I've been missing. Hell, I bumped into my old friend from college out of nowhere, just based on our tags, and rekindled a meaningful relationship I all too easily neglected.

The online Melee going on right now has been an amazing distraction that I'm, in moderation, using to distract myself during the hard times. Watching Zain's improvement has honestly been a reminder in how much you can improve if you take ownership of what's in your control – something FGC's have taught us for years. Chuckling at N0ne webcam shots and watching Twitch Clips of watching Mango doing some sick clip to Diddy Kong Racing music has brought me insane nostalgia. Even that one time I walked into Hbox at the grocery store. /s

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Melee has literally brought all this to me, and to many of you too. My best friends, some of the most profound conversations I've had, and some of the most important lessons of my life, I've learned, directly or indirectly, from Super Smash Brothers Melee for the Nintendo Gamecube.

Nintendo is responsible for creating the platform for what may be one of the largest grassroot communities the gaming world will ever have. They made a game that define my childhood, and impacted millions upon millions throughout their 5 game series. I try not to take that for granted.

Nintendo making the decision to aggressively muzzle the online engagement of the Melee community is heart-shattering. I've been here since the beginning. And I'm just as thankful for the streams and the software developments as I am nostalgic to every time I heard "sex kick" or watched someone put their name in front of their AT on Gamefaqs or Smashboards.

To them I say, This subreddit is evidence of the hundreds of thousands of people that this decision impacts, directly or indirectly. I understand you're catering to the 95% to the emotional impact of the 5. I understand you have to run a financially successful business to protect the jobs of thousands of people. I understand we're talking about one of the most complex IP-related spaces in all of gaming and you need to protect your entities and those that have contributed to them. You have a business model of clearly investing in people excited to pass their love for gaming onto their children for generations to come. This decision you all made today makes it hard for me to pass that love for Nintendo onto my son when the time comes. And that hurts like hell to say.

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I don't know how to process this. I am sure I don't spend nearly as much time on Slippi as others, and I probably only watch 20 hours of Melee a month.

But I also know it's going to be okay. Because Melee is sick.

This community has taken every kick to the knee and found a way to come back as big, if not bigger, than before. I don't know if it's going to take a lawsuit or creative rulebending or Hax building a 20XX Sakurai, I'm at least confident Melee will be around for a good while.

But please, Nintendo. For the health and well-being of the thousands of players that care about your brand. That like, but don't love, your newest iteration. For those of us that have created careers, friendships, and in some cases, kept their lives, largely from your accidental masterpiece of 2001. Can we please have this one?



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