My first introduction to the world of Street fighter was in 1991 in my old stomping grounds (the upper west side of Manhattan) in a bodega on Broadway between 93rd Street and 94th Street ( it's a "Subway" shop now ) that had Two arcade machines, a broken Neo Geo 4 in 1 Arcade that no one played and GHOULS AND GHOST.
One summer day, I happened to walk into the store to buy a soft drink and noticed a huge crowd of kids waiting for the "arcade guy" that came and collected the quarters regularly to finish installing the new machine.
That Machine... STREET FIGHTER 2.
I didn't give it much thought since it looked like another quarter gobbling Final Fight beat-em up style game, the crowd of kids turned me off and I went on my merry way not realizing that this innocent machine would change my life and lives of those I come in contact with.
One early morning, I found myself in that very store, no kids, with two quarters burning a hole in my palm and I said "fuck it", plunked two bits into the machine and went at it with the "KARATE GUY IN WHITE" vs "THE WRESTLER".
I wasn't too sure what I was doing but I managed to mash my way to a round Three, by now a kid no older than 10 was watching me play and asked if he could join in, I said "sure" thinking that I could breeze through the game with someone else to distract the WRESTLER on one side while I pummel him from the other.
Then I realized "he isn't fighting with me but challenging me....foolish boy I have the KARATE GUY!"
Kid picked the jarhead with the flattop and begins shooting lazers beams at me, round one"PERFECT"....Round Two "PERFECT"..."YOU LOSE" I remember being numb with anger, like someone who had just lost at 3 card monte to a street hustler. That's when I realized that this no mere button masher, this was one on one combat like chess with fireballs.
I was hooked and the rest is history.
This Video goes out to Stephen K, Rich E, Rich G, Robert G, Lou A, Eric "Chung" V, Victor F, Hugo R, Danton C, Anthony "caqi", Tevon G, Raphael R, Larry P, Joey V, Carlos R, EyeSire, True, Rene, Justice, DR.BANES and everyone else who I've beaten in a Street fighter.