Do you remember the days as a kid playing the Street Fighter 2 arcade game? I mean, what kid didn’t!

Every time you would pass an arcade you would see the World Warrior edition flashing away in there. They must have turned up the volume on the Street Fighter 2 machine as all you could hear is “Hadouken” blasting out.

I was about 9 years old when I first got to play the Capcom game on a home console. My stepbrother had a Commodore Amiga 500 at the time and he had the Street Fighter 2 game on it.

I always had to be Ryu as he just looked the part, a typical martial arts icon. The Amiga didn’t come with the best and easy-to-use controllers which made the gameplay quite hard and we would be up in the early hours just trying to beat Vega.

It was my last year in Rudyard Kipling primary school in 1993, the Super Nintendo (SNES) had not long been out and they released limited edition packages that came with a particular game.

I remember coming back to school after the Christmas holidays and a friend came in saying he got the new Street Fighter 2 Turbo Edition for Christmas. The whole classroom was so envious.

It seems that the lovers of original Street Fighter 2 games still enjoy them till this day as a 30th-year anniversary edition had recently been released. It is certainly games like this that start people’s love for martial arts.

Take a look at some gameplay of Street Fighter 2 below:


But, the question is, do fighting games influence children?

I think everything was different 20-30 years ago, as children would like to go out and play rather than stay in all day on the computer. The games back then, as fun as they used to be, were still quite basic, so it was just for a short blast and then it would get boring.

Street Fighter 2 was classed as a beat-em-up game then, rather than a fighting game and the games were more animated and not as advanced as what they are today. This means that it was easy to appreciate it was just a game.

However, there are many concerns in recent years as to the role which games play in the lives of young people.

Playing these computer games never affected anyone I knew of, the furthest it may have got is you may have done a Hadouken in the playground. After all, it’s all fictional.

I have seen a Muay Thai Fighter doing a Hadouken to his opponent in his opening Wai Kru ceremony.

Today’s games do seem much more graphic like Mortal Kombat 11 or Call of Duty but then they do have an 18 rating. This means that they should perhaps be kept away from younger children due to the level of violence contained in these types of games.

Street Fighter is very cleverly made and it wasn’t till I was older that I realised all the characters resembled a different martial art, I just thought you were fighting different guys around the world.

Sagat was a Thai boxer and you can see he has the fighting style and wearing the Muay Thai shorts. He had his signature Muay Thai move the Tiger knee.

Other characters also had different fighting styles too, such as:

  • Ryu
  • Ken Masters
  • E Honda
  • Chun Li
  • Blanka
  • Dhalsim
  • Zangief
  • Guile

The original unplayable bosses

  • Balrog
  • Vega
  • Sagat
  • M. Bison

It seems the games we play as a kid we remember for the rest of our lives as when Nintendo released the new SNES mini it sold out almost immediately. It must have been all the retro fans like myself that wanted to relive that moment.

Do video games cause aggressive behaviour?

This has always been an ongoing dispute between parents and scientists to determine whether or not that they can make children more aggressive. In the very popular game, Grand Theft Auto there is violence and drugs heavily featured throughout.
Chilrdrens.com suggests that:

“It’s hard to establish a clear link between aggressive behavior and video games, but this new study suggests that some young people who play violent video games do demonstrate increased physical aggression over time,” Dr. Westers says. “Used responsibly, video games can be a fun and healthy hobby for children and adults. Parents know their children best and need to work together to establish rules for video games.”

This means that although video game s have some influence over children’s behaviour, they are not as much as a powerful influence as it has been made out in the past.
One of the best ways to ensure that video games are enjoyed, but don’t become a violent influence is to follow some rules with your children. Some of these rules can be:

  • When children can play video games
  • How long they can play the games
  • Making sure that chores and other responsibilities are completed before the games are played
  • Making sure that average reactions to games are taken. for example, no aggressive shouting at losing or even at winning.

Conclusion?

Although video games like Street Fighter 2 have a bit of an influence on children as they may trigger a new passion for martial arts, they are not a massive influence on their behaviour. Children don’t necessarily want to go around hitting others after playing Street Fighter 2. As shown above, I loved video games as a child and they haven’t created a massive influence on how I conduct myself now. Read our article ‘Daniel Knight – The martial arts Sidekick’ Here.

Video games should be enjoyed as they have been since they were invented, however, if games have excessive violence, some rules should take place so that young children are not influenced by them.

Kids Kickboxing set