This topic has been discussed throughout the history of the fighting game community. I even made a very similar thread on the subject a little while back.
This applies more to the NRS community than any other community, at least in my experience.
The benefit of withholding tech is temporary. The thought process is very simple, and it even makes complete logical sense. If I am going to compete in tournaments, why would I expose all this tech that I put in the work to find and essentially expose people to how they can beat me? Or to put it in another way, let people benefit from MY work in the laboratory.
What players don’t realize is the long term effects sharing EVERYTHING has. The more competitive a player is, the more likely they’re going to stick around. A great way to help ensure people are competent, is to share tech. But not only share tech, but even showing ways around it. If there’s a handful of top players that only share tech with each other, those players are going to be so far ahead of the curve compared to everyone else. To these players, how can this not be a good thing? Well, because your game is going to die out and the only people that will be left playing are you handful of top players. This means less and less tournaments, less and less entrants, less exposure, less hype, less competition, and ultimately, less money.
There’s actually been psychological studies in relation to gaming and winning. It actually shows that if someone isn’t winning at least 30% of the time, they will lose interest. They will lose motivation to improve, they will lose motivation to even play. In my experience, this is absolutely true. I’ve been on both ends. I’ve completely obliterated players, and I’ve been obliterated. I noticed when I’m destroying someone, they slowly stop “trying”. I can always tell when they’re about to stop playing. So, I started sandbagging a little. Letting my opponent win a few more games. And they ended up staying much longer.
Now, I’m not necessarily suggesting you let people beat you. The point I’m making is that if you want your game to thrive for as long as possible, the majority of the players need to be competent. I know the logical response to this would be “well, that’s not my problem or responsibility. They should work harder!”, or something of that nature. But if all you had to do in order to keep YOUR game from dying was to share your technology, your matchup strategies, and just general knowledge of the game with EVERYONE and not just a select few, why would you NOT do it?
Obviously, you can do whatever you want. But this really became clear to me with the release of DBFZ. Everyone was sharing everything anywhere they could, and they STILL are! People were even highly demanding a hub/forum, much like TYM, so that all the tech and knowledge could be archived. There was THAT much tech being shared, there IS that much tech being shared. And guess what? DBFZ is thriving with competition and entry numbers. Of course, the community isn’t perfect. That “withhold tech” mentality still exists, just not as concentrated as it is in smaller communities like ours.
It’s extremely difficult for me to explain the long term benefits of sharing tech. If people don’t immediately see the results, they don’t immediately see the benefits. That’s another psychological effect we humans have, especially in this day and age. We have been conditioned to constantly and consistently have instant gratification. That’s not necessarily anyone’s “fault”, just a product of the times, technology, and how convenient everything has become. It has even been explained as a reason for the higher percentage of unhealthy people we have today than we used to. If people who diet and exercise for a week or two don’t see results, they give up. Because they have been conditioned to not see the long term effects or benefits.
Anyway, I know I’m a nobody who is irrelevant, but I really do think this would help our community. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, honestly for years, it just seems to keep getting worse and worse with each new game. A lot of top players are driven to isolation because of the rabid nature of our community, and that’s another thing we need to address and change. Both sides play a part here. Driving away top players will only ever hurt YOUR game, your skill, the competition, etc. And top players, you being insulated and demanding an echo chamber really isn’t bettering the community. It honestly isn’t even benefiting YOU, at least not in the long run. You NEED the non top players, otherwise your game eventually dies. And the non top players NEED the top players so they can get better more quickly and stay competitive. Otherwise, everyone loses interest, meaning... everyone loses.
Improving the community: Why we MUST share our tech!