Community

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The community is a self-supporting network of people that have banded together to make the Super Smash Bros. scene what it has become today. Most major tournaments are arranged by members of the community, and are sometimes supported and advertised by organizations such as EVO. Some significant sections of the community include Smashboards, GameFAQs, Smash-Mex, Nintendo Dojo, the Smash modding community[1], Global Smasher Compendium (formerly), and SmashWiki itself.

The history of the smash community spans about 14 years, mostly beginning with the creation of Smashboards which has become a major intersection for playing and discussing the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Some milestones include Melee's inclusion in professional tournament circuits such as MLG in 2006 and again at EVO in 2007[2], the creation of the Global Smasher Compendium (now discontinued), a successful petition for Melee to be broadcast at EVO[3], and the first unofficial community census in 2013.

In recent years the community has participated in the official franchise domain. Many members submitted Target Smash! and Home-Run Contest high scores as well user-generated content to the Brawl Smash Bros. Dojo!! while it was still being updated. The community is also partly responsible for some of the changes seen in newer Smash Bros. titles such as the inclusion of the third party characters Sonic in Brawl and Mega Man in Smash 4 by submitting requests and participating in polls.

Demographics[edit]

On 20 June 2013, Smashboards member GreatGonzales began an unofficial open census of the Super Smash Bros. community that took place across several community websites including Smashboards, GameFAQs, Kitty Corp Meow Mix and All is Brawl. The census was closed on 12 August with 733 people having responded to the census. The census admittedly has some flaws, such as only being available in English, its unofficial and open nature (making it more of a survey), and posing questions with a relatively restricted answer list.

Results from the census suggests that the community appears to be male-dominated with about 25 males to every 1 female, and that most community members are between the ages of 18 and 24. Most of the responses are from people who live in North America (~85% of responses) and Europe (~10% of responses), with the remaining 5% of responses roughly divided between the remaining continents and Central America, except for Africa with remarkably little participation.

Regarding preference towards the first three Smash games, the community tends to favor Melee the most, Brawl the second most, and then Smash 64 the least. The census also suggests that competitive players tend to favor gameplay closer to Melee and casual players tend to favor gameplay closer to Brawl.

Data was also collected on the character preferences of respondents. The census found that in general character usage mostly correlates with higher character tiers. The strongest character usage to tier placement correlation is found in Melee where characters in the top half of the tier list are used nearly 85% of the time; However, the census suggests that casual players use the same characters just as much as tournament players, in almost the exact same proportions.

One finding of the census was that 20% of respondents have no plan to purchase Super Smash Bros. 4. After analysis, the census found that an overwhelming majority of the respondents who do not plan to purchase Super Smash Bros. 4 consider Melee to be their favorite game. However, the group least likely to purchase Smash 4 was found to be those who favor Smash 64 - 50% having no plan to purchase.[4]

Abuses against community websites[edit]

On 4 May 2011 Smashboards had its index page replaced by an automated script that exploited vBulletin software. A replacement page with a looping video and an announcement that the site had been hacked was the only consequence.[5]

Widespread DDoS attack in 2013[edit]

On August 15, 2013, All is Brawl came under a sustained distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack). Other sections from the "All is" network were affected as well. The following day, Smashboards suffered an intrusive attack that led to a reset that lost the forum roughly 10 hours of data. On August 25, Smashboards went down, initially reporting that it was experiencing server issues[6] and later confirmed that the site was also under a sustained DDoS attack[7]. It is unknown if the Smashboards intrusion on August 15 is related to its DDoS attack on August 25. On August 27, the Project M website became the third site to go down as a result of a DDoS attack. For unknown reasons SSBWiki was spared throughout the ordeal.

All three sites remained mostly unresponsive until August 28, when Smashboards briefly went back up before trying the CloudFlare anti-DDoS service. AlphaZealot reported that owners from each site were working together to find a solution. [8] Project M webmaster Warchamp7 later told video game blog site Kotaku that "the only viable solution to the problem at this moment is expensive and not something we can easily pursue," but added there were plans to mitigate the attacks if they continued[9].

By September 2013, all three sites are back up again.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^  The Kitty Corp Meow Mix Forums
  2. ^  Super Smash Bros. Melee at Evolution 2007
  3. ^  Update: Smash is Back!! Changes to the Evo 2013 Schedule
  4. ^  BEHOLD THE POWER OF DATA - Smash Census Results! (Direct link to census results here)
  5. ^  Smashboards was hacked
  6. ^  Smashboards' Facebook announcement on server issues
  7. ^  Smashboards' Facebook announcement acknowledging a DDoS attack
  8. ^  The Great Smash DDoS of 2013 by AlphaZealot on Reddit
  9. ^  Top Smash Bros. Fan Sites Knocked Offline, Hackers Blamed on Kotaku, 28 August 2013
  10. ^  AlphaZealot comment on webhosting reddit