It’s been a full year of running CCH (Chris’ Club House) for me now. I had a nice long walk through the park yesterday listening to one of my favourite albums- Niandra LaDes and Usually Just A T-Shirt, and having a long think about it.
I remember the day Chris came over to my house to talk about passing the responsibility over to me. I came down in my red marshmallow t-shirt and we had a serious talk about it. He chose me because a. I lived close to the Collingwood Library, b. I had Fridays off, and c. he felt that I had the passion to keep it going, and that he could trust me.
I remember thinking at that time that I had the utmost respect for Chris, that I was really sad to see him retire (he has since come back), that mostly I didn’t want to let Chris down, and that I can’t let this great community event that he founded fall by the wayside.
2011 was a year of growth for the community, and also for me personally. I learned a lot about being an organiser and participated way more in the organisational part of things than I did last year. Part of the reason why I volunteered to run Marvel at BAM was because every time at CCH when Ali would be running the tournament and have to put the brackets down because he had to go play a match, I would look at the thing and really want to pick it up and keep the ball going, but I couldn’t because I had no idea how to run brackets!
It’s not rocket science I know, but I’m the type of guy that won’t want to pick up something unless I know exactly what the hell I’m doing first. That’s why I’m also reluctant to play new games without first putting my training room time in too. Call me fussy or whatever.
But in any case now I feel that I can pick up the brackets whenever there is a lull, and I feel way more competent/actually useful now. I am bracket noob.
Now I don’t know why, but I’ve always tried to keep my CCH organisational stuff away from my blog. Not sure why. Maybe a business and pleasure don’t mix kind of thing?
So this is a first for me, talking about it here. So first I’ll try to recap my first year in charge, and then go into a new segment I’m trying out which is also borne from my tournament organisation experiences; What Grinds My Gears.
CCH 2011 Recap
So a year later, I would grade my overall performance a C+. For a variety of reasons.
One thing that I wanted to do right was to keep the scheduling as consistent as possible.
Come hell or high water, I always tried to keep CCH on the second and fourth Friday of the month. I always felt that having a consistent schedule is really necessary to build up a regular attendance. Especially this year with Melbourne’s crazy tournament schedule being all over the place, I wanted to keep CCH’s scheduling rock solid.
I always base it off Couchwarriors also being very consistently on the first weekend of the month (though this year they’ve have venue scheduling problems as well), and work off that. The other thing I try to do is post up the Ozhadou/Shadowloo thread on the same day- the Monday before CCH Friday, and have two months of advance dates posted on the threads, so people know the confirmed dates way in advance.
I’ve got my little calendar going and stuff, and trying to book next year’s dates…if only the library would be a little quicker in their response time.
So I think I’m kind of satisfied with my performance in that part of the job. But people still come up and ask me all the time if CCH is running! So if people would like things done differently, please let me know!
But I think I’ve done poorly in other areas. Especially in situations as Cartman would say; when I should really try to exert more of my authoritah.
But I believe CCH is and should be a community event. And it should be less of what one person or group wants, and more of what everybody wants. And when it comes to policy changes I will make it a point to talk to every CCH regular to get a general opinion before I make any changes.
This year thankfully opening up has not been a problem so far. The big problem for me was I started working full-time on Friday. Since I get off at 5:30, I really have to haul ass to get to the library before six to get the keys.
Even though generally if I make it to the train on time I get there 5:40ish, I know full well that any train delay or mishap (and they happen too damn often in Melbourne) can mean that I’m well and truly fucked.
Luckily, I’m blessed with two stalwart fail-safes: Burnout and Vitriol. Lord Vitriol (Andrew) doesn’t work on Fridays, so I can summon his reliable presence early to CCH if I sense any problems on my end early.
And Burnout, the Korean shampoo star, is always there like half an hour early. So many times I have run from the train station, my bag jumping all over my bag and panting like the out of shape asshole I am, all the way to the library- only to discover Burnout already calmly sitting under the tree doing something on his laptop and looking over serenely like an owl. Doh.
Should have just called Kevin.
But lockup has been a big problem. To the point where the library has complained several times about the condition the room has been left in.
I take full responsibility for that, because I have left early at times, and given the key to the other people that stayed late to lock up. Which was bad decision making on my part.
I am not blaming anybody, the key is my responsibility, and the name is booked under my name so I will make sure that from now on only members of the trusted Fellowship of the Key (Ali, Andrew, Syntax, Burnout) may be trusted to lock up CCH, and if the last remaining Key Holder may choose to leave at 1130 PM to catch the last train, then that’s when CCH will close shop.
To lose this venue over something so stupid would be a criminal waste, and would eternally dishonor the name of the Founder, Chris M.F. Dang.
The second thing is a little drama that happened recently.
I’m not going to talk about it too much, save to say that Andrew, myself, and ALI (you’re not going anywhere buddy) are going to sit down and discuss CCH policy for next year when I get back from Singapore. I’ve started talking to people and getting a general idea of people’s opinions and getting a lot of good ideas/suggestions to boot.
We’re going to work things through democratically and give the community the community event that they want.
One thing I will say; I personally have had problems before with how Ali does things. But that’s okay. I talk to him about it, and he talks to me about it if he has a problem with how I do things. Nobody’s perfect. God knows I’ve made so many mistakes myself. And communication is key to any collaboration.
But I always know that his and the Shadowloo guys’ hearts have always been in the right place. And you can question the way they do things. That’s all right. Have a rational discussion with them about it. But don’t question that their heart is in the wrong place, that they’re not doing it for the community.
That’s all I gotta say about it.
So about next year, come and talk to me if you have something to share or talk about.
It’s interesting how different people have different perspectives. For example I always talk to guys like Andrew and Spoony about CCH. And they know exactly who contributes what, bringing gear and setups and whatnot.
And I recently talked to Somniac, a top player. He generally comes late, and when I talked to him, he didn’t have a clear idea of who was bringing what. And that’s okay. He comes from a “top player” state of mind, and had other great ideas to contribute. It just made me realise I generally talk more about this kind of stuff with people with a more “community centred” state of mind. Again, sweeping, sweeping generalisations. But it’s interesting to see the different perspectives, and realize that I need to get more feedback from different kind of people.
What Grinds My Gears
This is a new segment I’m trying out. I have actually had this ready to go for quite some time now. But I was hesitant to post it because, well, my personal policy is to stay out of any drama, much less create it.
But as I’ve said before, part of the whole organizational experience I’ve had this year was to experience the bad side of things. The crappy side of things. The things Ali and Loki have to deal with long after all of us- the players, leave to go eat and have fun and talk shit.
This is not aimed at anyone specifically, but I just want to have a go at this and see if I make sense.
About what grinds my gears.
1. Not many sticks today hey mate?
Fighting game player rocks up to event in his car. Brings no gear of his own.
Looks around and says “Not many sticks/setups today hey mate?”
To which I have to say; bring your own fucking stick.
I understand that people come from work, come from social things or whatever, and don’t bring anything. That’s completely fine.
Just don’t have the big rusted brass balls to complain about it if you do.
2. The trash can is so far…so far….
How many times after CCH do I have to watch guys like Ali stoop over and throw away other people’s stinking trash? Like he was their mother or something?
Do you think Ali takes so much steroids and does so much gym time just so that he has the muscles to throw away your garbage??? That’s a pretty roided up Mom if you ask me.
Every time without fail after CCH I look outside to see pizza boxes, food wrappers and bottles on the bench outside underneath the tree. On the tables inside. Even in the fucking toilet.
Do you think the dingy Collingwood library has the dough to afford magical cleaning fairies that descend from the heavens to throw away your trash for you?
Dude, the trash can is literally two metres away. Clean up after yourself.
I sit there all the time and I’ve seen many, many people finish their food, and then go play. Leaving their trash there. Why can’t you take four steps to the right and simply dump your trash before you go on playing? Is the dude you’re FT5ing gonna pick up for you if he loses?
3. Dude, your stick is fimble.
I’ve had this complaint directed to me plenty over the recent months.
To which I should reply; why the fuck do you think it’s fimble??
Because I’ve brought my stick to every event and major I’ve attended for years. People banged on my stick at BAM and SS for hours on end.
Do you think it might get a little worn down?
I know people don’t bring their sticks to events because of this very reason. They are afraid mashers will damage their stick.
That’s completely fine; no one can force you to bring your stick. That’s your own prerogative.
Just stop yourself and think before you complain about the community sticks being shit if you don’t bring yours.
Another point to consider before complaining; I’ve, recently due to all the complaints, bought a new JLF and replaced the one in my stick.
You know who has to pay for it?
Am I still going to bring it to events to get worn down?
Not trying to toot my own horn here. But complainers really grind my gears.
But in the future, perhaps some of the funds from CCH venue fees can go into a “community gear fund” which might not get big enough to afford actual sticks, but could be a funds pool for anyone who brings gear to this event to draw from to buy JLFs, buttons, and what not to repair their damaged stuff. (Somniac’s suggestion.)
4. My car is too small for my Xbox.
Okay, I’m not trying to point fingers here.
But don’t you think it’s funny that most of the regular setups at CCH are brought by people who don’t drive? (By regular I mean people who bring their setups every time they show up, not once in two months.)
Me, Burnout/Spoony, Andrew. The other regular setups are brought by Ali and crew who drive. (Carbuncle has also become a regular recently. Chris Ho brings an entire setup with two sticks all by himself on foot. What a boss.) That’s 3 out of the 4 regular setups.
Again, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but if I can lug my setup on my back on foot to work and to CCH, and if three other guys can lug setups to CCH via foot, tram and train, why can’t people who drive throw an Xbox into their backseat?
It’s a pity we can’t store gear at Collingwood. But I have to be completely honest and say that I’ve never much felt like buying a car until I started lugging shit around for Street Fighter events!
5. Man, CCH ends so early. I only played for two hours.
CCH starts at six PM. I know that it may be tough to get there right away after work, through rush hour traffic or what not. But if you get there at seven, and CCH generally closes at midnight or later, you get at least five, six hours of play.
Don’t rock up at nine or ten and complain about lack of playing time. That’s on you to show up earlier, not on the organizers to stay late to accommodate your sleeping schedule.
Alright, that’s enough vitriol for now. I’ve said my piece, and that’s enough of being an asshole for me.
Let me reiterate yet again, I’m not pointing fingers at anybody. Just remember that this is a community. Nobody is paying anybody for this shit; we all do this out of our spare time and love for the community.
So a little consideration for others and common sense will go a long way.
Have a happy holidays everybody, I’ll see you guys when I get back.
Well done Muttons. Fantastic write-up.
Thanks Bugs 🙂
As one of the people who has bitched about both number and quality of sticks, I apologise.
CCH is one of my favorite things to attend, and I really appreciate the work you put into it, Muttons.
Well what I appreciate is you trying to be one of the voices of sanity in our community Kyle. I should have stood up for you, and I feel bad for being a coward. Thanks man for the kind words.
I think you’ve done a great job with CCH Muttons, I can’t always make it but I think the event fills a niche in the community and helps to keep everyone interested and excited about the scene.
I totally agree with you on every point of what grinds your gears though. XD
Cheers Loki. I know that you of all people would definitely know all about those things that I mentioned 😛
Boss write up. This is especially why I have absolutely no sympathy to people who rock up with more of an intention to COMPLAIN rather than to play games with fellow gamers in CCH. Now muttons have voiced out what pushes his buttons (lol pun not intended), people just need to respect a little and appreciate what the fellowship of CCH has contributed for the melb FGC. IT IS YOU WHO IS RESPONSIBLE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME IN THESE EVENTS.
Man people should REALLY be bringing their own sticks by now. Big bold message at the top of every meetup thread until it’s 2nd nature imo.
To be fair Matt, quite a lot of people do bring their sticks these days. I guess it’s more about people bitching about things that really irritates me.
I like it!
Muttons, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about CCH. You’ve done a huge service to the community and each of the points you raised is utterly valid.
We can’t grow if we don’t give each other feedback, so I appreciate your insight into the challenges of supporting events like CCH. You are right that there are many opportunities for improving the experience for organisers and attendees alike, but let me just say that you and the team have done an incredible job keeping the event consistent and fun, and I have no doubt most of the community feels the same.
Folks, kindly note – being able to come to a venue on a regular basis to play competitively and casually is a privilege, not an entitlement. Take responsibility for the things that affect your gaming experience. Not enough setups? Bring your own. Sticks not good enough? Bring your own. Don’t like the screens? Bring your own. Complaints of that nature don’t square well with anybody who makes the effort to contribute.
I look forward to CCH continuing in the new year.
Cheers Matt. I agree that two-way feedback is going to be important, and I feel I should be more proactive in that regard.
Also, thank you very much for being one of the regular setup bringers, that really helps us out a lot!
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Muttons! Never would have picked you as an early Frusciante fan. I love that song and that album, though I think To Record Water is my favourite of his.
I’ve been a longtime fan of his stuff, it’s pretty cool to find out that you are too! I love To Record Water so much as well, it’s really hard for me to choose between the two. I guess it’s just that I’ve been listening to Niandres more recently, really digging the music.