2.36: Tekken 7 and Hidden Systems

I watched a video earlier today about a kid from Pakistan (Arslon Ash) who overcame visa issues, sleep deprivation, jetlag, and hunger to win first place in Tekken 7 at EVO Japan. He mowed through all of the world’s best players. If you like a good story and you like Tekken 7 the video is worth watching.

The Unknown Tekken God: How Arslan Ash Overcame Borders and Legends to Win Evo Japan

The piece of the story I want to focus on is that before this event Pakistan wasn’t known for having top tier Tekken 7 players. It was totally unknown on the global scene (to most) until this took place. When you think about how connected video game players are, how prevalent video game streaming and videos are, and diverse the world of video gaming is (it’s EVERYWHERE) this event makes it clear how globally unconnected we still are. Allow me to explain…

Hidden Systems

What’s cool about competition is that when a better system emerges, it’s CLEARLY a better system because it wins. Then cross-pollination happens as people study this new system and they attempt to offensively or defensively merge the new discoveries into their own systems. It’s amazing to me how hard it was for Pakistan to get discovered. Tekken 7 is a relatively simple system and the barrier to entry is relatively flat but it appears that internet speeds aren’t fast or reliable enough to bring the world of Tekken together in a way where best players in the world can compete online.

This reminds me of Nigeria becoming #1 in the world of Scrabble.

These are simple hidden systems (their style of play) inside of games with clearly defined rules that still have to fight to be discovered or recognized. What happens when the rules of the game become open and a part of the system of maintaining number 1 status is suppressing potentially better systems by either changing the rules of the game or creating handicaps for new players?

Free Markets Aren’t Free and Democracies Aren’t Democratic

This is where that chain of thought has brought me. One of the secrets of capitalism and democracy is that they are built on the illusion that they’re respectively based on merit and will of the people. Trying to make a case that these aren’t the best systems are met with “the best system wins!” or “the people decided!” A quote comes to mind…

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

― Buckminster Fuller

A good quote, but it came from a white guy who was born in 1895. Changing reality without a fight is a white guy kind of luxury. If I were to reword it with what’s on my mind now…

“You never change systems by following them. To change a system, build a new one which breaks the rules and devours it from the inside out.”

Casey Abbott Payne

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