FGC Code of Conduct Endorsed by Ultradavid, Others Launched
The fighting game community has been one of the most challenging communities to govern in the esports scene, purely due to the vast number of titles, the grassroots scene’s open nature, and the vast amount of tournament organizers in the space. However, that doesn’t mean that people have given up trying.
The latest effort, the FGC Code of Conduct, was just announced. It looks ambitious, even if it may prove difficult to pull off successfully. The Code of Conduct looks to unify the fighting game community’s various tournament organizers, at least in how players must behave, and asks tournament organizers to become signatories of the code, attempted in the Super Smash Bros community. However, their volunteer effort was ultimately abandoned due to a lack of funding and vast number of cases they were asked to weigh in on in 2020.
While this is a valiant effort, many have raised some concerns. Namely, about the vagueness of language in the code itself, as well as the folks involved. While David “Ultradavid” Graham may be a name that carries some huge weight in the scene. Of the 40 names on the initial signatories, he is perhaps the only A-List name in the FGC. There are no prominent tournament organizers on the list. Many of the folks behind events like CEO, Evo, Combo Breaker, and others are notably missing. Of course, at this stage, it’s more of a proof of concept. They’ll be making efforts to get tournaments to join. With each developer’s code of conduct, it could be challenging to adopt these rules and have a uniform list.
Some in the FGC, notably retired Tekken player Speedkicks and caster Sajam, weighed in on the issue. “The idea of an organized governing body for FGC conduct is such a nuanced issue that it probably introduces more potential problem points than it solves,” Speedkicks said on Twitter. “Introducing an entire system of politics to punish the types of people who already get punished might be the definition of reactionary.”
Sajam largely agreed, adding: “It’s incredibly difficult to do right, and whoever is in involved will catch a lot of flak. It’s a really tough position either way, and I’m not envious of them.”
What Is Against the Code of Conduct?
The FGC Code of Conduct can be violated by following actions, punishable by a ban from future FGC Code of Conduct signee events.
- 3.1.1. Engaging in assault, battery, or physical harassment or abuse.
- 3.1.2. Engaging in physical contact with any other person without their consent.
- 3.1.3. Engaging in malicious bullying, baiting, trolling, or other verbal harassment or abuse that rises to a level beyond commonly accepted FGC trash talking.
- 3.1.4. Using or threatening to use a deadly or dangerous weapon except in reasonable defensive situations.
- 3.1.5. Pestering or stalking any other person or otherwise not respecting any other person’s reasonable desire to be left alone.
- 3.1.6. Taking photographs of or recording any other person without either their consent or Signatory authorization.
- 3.1.7. Engaging in discriminatory or hateful statements or behavior, including any based on race, color, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, sex, sexual or romantic orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, neurodiversity, body size, or any other personal characteristics.
- 3.1.8. Intentionally outing any other person’s sexual orientation, gender, or another identity without their consent.
- 3.1.9. Creating a nuisance or hazard by neglecting personal hygiene, refusing to take appropriate hygienic or medical precautions, or engaging in or encouraging others to commit any hygienically or medically unsafe behavior.
- 3.1.10. Disclosing confidential information or media, doxxing or sharing any personally identifiable information, or violating any other person’s reasonable expectation of privacy.
- 3.1.11. DDOSing, swatting, spreading malware, phishing, hacking into any other person’s accounts, or otherwise scamming any other person.
- 3.1.12. Maliciously abusing power over any other person.
- 3.1.13. Intentionally entering off-limit areas in Signatory Spaces.
- 3.1.14. Intentionally, recklessly, or negligently damaging, tampering with, or interfering with any Signatory Space or venue property or platform, tournament equipment, network connectivity, or any other person’s equipment or possessions.
- 3.1.15. Engaging in fraud, impersonation, intentional hiding of one’s identity, or defamatory statements or behavior.
- 3.1.16. Tampering with a tournament, fixing any match or bracket, colluding, entering multiple times in a single tournament, substituting or being substituted for any other player mid-tournament or without good faith permission from the organizer, using disallowed game code exploits, or any other unsportsmanlike conduct or violations of commonly accepted FGC tournament etiquette.
- 3.1.17. Stealing, misappropriating, mishandling, or misrepresenting the amounts or uses of entry fees, prize pots, hotel or other lodging fees, viewer or other donations, or any other person’s money
- 3.1.18. Intentionally causing fear or distress in any other person.
- 3.1.19. Engaging in any illegal activity or unauthorized infringement of any other person’s rights.
- 3.1.20. Engaging in any violations while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- 3.1.21. Failing to abide by any applicable Third Party Rules.
- 3.1.22. Advocating for, encouraging, being an accomplice to, or threatening to engage in any potential violations.
- 3.1.23. Evading or attempting to evade any disciplinary action taken under this Code of Conduct.
It remains to be seen if any of the major tournaments in the FGC or developers therein will adopt the policies listed above. The language contained is relatively vague and would override some policies maintained by various developers and tournaments that exist now. They could quickly also run into the same issue that the Smash Code of Conduct panel ran into, with a lack of funding and insufficient manpower to make changes and enforce the rules, especially without universal adoption by the TOs. Until that happens, this is mostly a toothless effort and one that will make adoption at least a bit unappealing to most players.