With a new game on the horizon for smash players one question that is on everyone’s mind is “What character am I going to play?”. While most people engage with this question more for the fun of mulling over a characters potential strength in a new meta, I think one aspect of playing a character is often overlooked or ignored more than it should be and that’s the social value of the character’s playstyle.
While most smashers are competitive in mindset, Smash is primarily a social game that people play for fun, and yes I’m talking about tournament players not just casuals. Players go to tournaments to interact with new people, make friends, hang out and have fun. Playing to win is just the way that those players like to have fun, but ACTUALLY winning is secondary to the social interaction for a vast majority of them. So if the social aspect is vitally important to these players it would behoove them to play a character that can facilitate having fun games with friends and increasing their interactions with others.
Now bear with me on this, but what I’m saying is that playing characters that most people hate playing against is COUNTER to a persons want of social interaction because people will actively dislike playing with them.
Now before you get mad here are some caveats: I’m not saying that players should be shamed if they play unfun characters. Defining what is fun is tough, and is different for different players as well. However there are certain playstyles and characters who will receive more than usual disdain and playing one of these characters can hinder a persons social interactions. Ice Climbers in Melee is the classic example. If Smash is a social game for you then showing up to the smashfest as an ICs main is probably going to be a little shitty because lots of people just won’t want to play with you.
I was a Dedede main in brawl and I can tell you that people just didn’t want to play against me. Dedede destroys low tiers, requires that you play campy against him, and heavily punishes small mistakes. Not fun! Also the character was very underrepresented in tournament play so having practice against him wasn’t very useful.
So take a second when playing Ultimate to evaluate why you play the game when you pick your character, and I wish you luck in having tons of fun games!