Hey gang! This is the REALLY late latest addition to a multi-part series about my love of fighting games. It covers my humble beginnings as a child, my obsession as a teenager, and how I became the Canadian champion as an adult. Go here to read Part 1, then go here for Part 2, then go here for Part 3, and come back when you’re done for Part 4. There may be a Part 5 someday, so subscribe to my RSS feed or Twitter Page or Facebook Page to get updated when it gets published. For now, read on to discover why I love Tekken so much.

The year was 2003. I had friends, and I played lots of Tekken. It was good. My best friend Adam noticed that Canadian Tekken players didn’t have a place to congregate, so he created TekkenCanada, our very own website.

Like magic, the scene exploded. All of a sudden, we were in touch with people all over Canada. Nearly every major city had a group of 10-15 players, and we knew them all. I began travelling to Toronto regularly for tournaments, and met players from the USA who came up as well. Slowly, Tekken moved from being just a game I played to a community I was a part of. And it was glorious.

We used to play all the time. I’d show up at someone’s house on Friday around 5pm, and we’d play all the way through til Sunday night. Weeknights when I didn’t have class, I’d be on a bus somewhere to get some games in. When I wasn’t playing, I was thinking about the game, and devising new strategies and combos in my mind, that I would test as soon as I got near a console.

However, despite this obsession with the Tekken game itself, I never actually played alone: fighting games are no fun without someone to pit yourself against. When I look back on these years, I realize there’s one super important aspect of Tekken that players often forget: the relationships.

You can customize Tekken characters to make em look like everyone’s fav Italian.

When I Was Just A Little Tekken Player…

When I first moved to Montreal, I didn’t have much money. The first three years of university, I worked and saved and played a lot of videogames simply because I couldn’t afford to go out much. So when Tekken 4 came out on PS2, I couldn’t afford it: $70 was a luxury at the time.

If I had saved all of the money I spent at the arcade, I would’ve been able to buy it, but that meant not playing for weeks. It was too much to give up, as I had nothing else that made me happy at the time.

Instead, I fantasized about buying it, but never did. Then one morning, my brother walked into my room and woke me up. We’d been fighting a lot back then, and I was wondering how big of a fuckup I’d committed that he’d actually wake me up to berate me.

“Hey Rambo,” he said. “Wake up. I know you want the new Tekken game, and I’ve got some extra cash from my work. Here’s $100. Go buy it and have fun.”

I looked at him, completely stunned, then got up and gave him a hug. When he left, I sat in my bed for a bit, and stared at the bill in my hand, touched by his generosity. See, he loved to go out and party. In a way, that was his Tekken, the thing he loved to do the most.

We were both strapped for cash at the time, which meant he had given up a large chunk of his happiness for me. When the thought struck me, I couldn’t help but cry. I really love my older brother.

When the tears were dry, I promised myself I’d be a better brother, and went out to buy the game, beaming.

Other Tales of Tekken

There are all kinds of touching stories that come to mind when I think of how much I appreciate the Tekken players.

For instance, when I moved to Toronto with 5 day’s notice last year, I sent out a message to all my friends on Facebook who lived there, to see who could put me up for a few days. The only people that responded with offers were Tekken players.

That says a lot about how much we care in our community. I ended up staying at my buddy Jon’s house, and although I thanked him profusely, I don’t think he really knows how much I appreciate his help.

There was also the time Adam, Bryan and I went out all night to party, then went to the arcade and won the top spots of a tournament without any sleep. Bryan was in a life threatening accident a few years later, and all the Tekken players were there to support him. Tekken players care.

There is my friend Etienne, whom I first met when he joined our online forums. We agreed to meet on a street corner, then we’d go play. I waited at the corner for ten minutes, trying to spot the geeky gamer I thought he was. I didn’t realize that the scary guy across the street from me, with the topknot, shaved head, wifebeater and heavily tattooed arms, was actually him. Etienne turned out to be one of the nicest, most sensitive players I’ve ever met. Tekken taught me not to judge people based on their appearances.

There is Renato, who moved here from Brazil, whom I met one night at a gathering. Two years later, and he’s basically my brother, doing our laundry together as he teaches me about self-respect, being a responsible adult, and Street Fighter. Tekken gave me family.

And many more. So maybe this post isn’t really about why I love Tekken, but rather why I love the people Tekken gave me.


This week, something awesome happened: I didn’t go out, I didn’t meet girls, and I didn’t think of any deep relationship stuff. I spent it like a true geek, just like when I was a teenager.

The reason?

On Tuesday, September 11th, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was released. It’s the newest Tekken, and definitely my favorite one to date. I spent nearly every free moment this week playing Tekken with friends, and getting back to my roots. Over the weekend, I played Tekken from Friday 6:30pm til Sunday evening. I was surrounded by friends, old and new, and had a blast.

The Tekken players that couldn’t make it this weekend will be here for the next gathering, new players are showing up on a regular basis, and the community we founded ten years ago is still going strong.

I hope it never ends.

11 comments add your comment

  1. Haha it’s cute that you gave your big bro a hug for Tekken4, good times :p
    This is a heart touching story, very true I made some of best buddies through tekken, although I have many friends, I feel having similar interest can truly build long lasting relationships. People come and go but tekken is always there to bring ppl together 🙂

  2. Just googled “why I love tekken” and up pops this web page. I read the first parts and this and can say I can totally relate. I just was trying to motivate myself to accomplish some programming/scripting tasks for work and got to thinking how boring nd yawn worthy these things can be. I wrote in my journal how much fun I used to have playing tekken to see if Icahn use it to motivate me through these task. And unfortunately there’s boring stuff in life and then there’s tekken you can substitute one for the other. So many things you said I can Relate to from street fighter to street fighter II turbo I had two street fighters for my snes well I just wanted to say thanks for the article I old go on and on b t I won’t

    • Hey man, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Tekken has always been a constant force in my life, and has yet to let me down.

  3. cool article man, I have a few close friends with whom I spent ab 2 days a week at someone’s home, besides things like smoking, drinking and other fun things, we play tt2, but the only 2 ppl that are in love with the game are my two brothers, my friends like to play a few matches, but they are mostly smashers so they usually get bored after a while. But with my brothers we can play all evening together with 100% devotion and fun, I love these evenings. Funny thing – my elder brother is a rather poor player(but much better then my friends) but he got good reflexes, he puts a lot of hard work to win a game without good basic knowledge(ex.don’t sidestep), on the other hand, my younger brother plays good, we are at the same level. I think he is better than me, but he has no ps3, so he can’t practice at home(I’m from Poland, so we have no arcade scene). To sum up, I love playing with both my brothers. We have some problems among us, but when we play Tekken everything is cool.

    Greeting from Poland(yes, we love tekken here! 🙂

    • That’s a great story. It warms my heart to hear people talk about Tekken and videogames as a positive thing that brings family and friends together.

      We don’t have an arcade scene here either, so I understand how important it is to play at someone’s house with friends.

      Thanks for sharing man, I really appreciate it.

  4. Nice story and thanks for sharing bro, I dunno if you can recall who I am but here goes. We know eachother on the TZ ttt forums, and also via mutual friends, Matt aka AnimalATTACKTics and Bryan aka The Smoking Devil.
    I still got the original ttt tourney VHS tape of u guys playing when my boy Matt visited Canada he left from my house in Boston. So I TOTALLY CAN RELATE TO HOW TEKKEN IS A FAMILY ! Bryan and I never met but when I heard of his accident it hurt me as if it was my own brother that got hurt, Matt also shared stories of how much if a good time he had with y’all.

    Hit me up on Facebook bro ask Bryan about me ODV. I also enjoyed your other Tekken related article keep them coming.

    • Hey dude, I totally remember you! In fact, I still have a couple of rips from the matches you gave us all those years ago 😀

  5. Oh I forgot to mention or add that I am the person that converted the VHS tape of that tourney into a DVD for you guys and then mailed it to y’all. Tekken is a game that united total strangers. Tekken puts aside race or any differences in beliefs at least that has been my experience.

  6. Wow that’s cool is there a way I can get in contact with u bro ? I just was in a text message convo with AnimalAttacktics and we both agree about the passion for the game.
    I actually turned on my system after I read ur article and played some Tekken 🙂

  7. Man people spend their lives get young married grow old and they struggle to death

    but we Tekken Players ( Me, You and All of us ) we live our life because we know few things that only tekken can give us and not ( its very deep thought )
    only people who love tekken will understand
    I.E tekken can never betray us like in real life people do and you know the rest


    you have my Respect brother

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