Analysis: The Three Types of Fighting Gamers (Laugh’s Theory)
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Analysis: The Three Types of Fighting Gamers (Laugh’s Theory)

September 6, 2019

As illustrated in the previous video, a fighting game’s replay value comes from
having human opponents to play against. While some of the best games ever made have been
single-player only, nothing can match the depth and challenge
of overcoming a sentient being with the same desire to come out on top. The human aspect is what makes coming up with
a winning strategy so complicated, and it’s why traditional game guides are more likely
to have things like combos and setups, as opposed to a section on how to frustrate
your opponent. Luckily we have some great resources on fighting game
theory, like’s “Footsies Handbook”, Seth Killian’s vitriolic “Domination 101” series, and now the self-help bestseller,
“Simplifying Street Fighter” by Gootecks. While I love combo videos and watching Poongko get
angry, I wanted to know more about the game’s theory. Korean OG veteran and Evo champ Ryan Han,
aka Laugh, was kind enough to let me, and by extension you,
in on one of his theories. He feels that there are three archetypes of fighting game
players, and most players exhibit varying degrees of each one,
kind of like a radar chart. The three attributes we’re talking about are the Brains,
the Heart, and the Body. All this is pretty abstract, so I’ll elaborate. “The Brains” refers to the scientific player. This is the lab monster, who is constantly in
training mode finding the best options and answers to particular situations Hitbox and frame data is king, and every move and decision is calculated to provide
the best outcome and the least risk. The brains-based player is the most thrilled to find an
option select that can cover three possibilities in one setup, and aims to have a concrete answer for every moment
of the match. However, because there are virtually infinite scenarios
in a fighting game, it’s not possible to know every situation, and this is where being solely a brainspace player
has its limits. Unfamiliar situations can be downright scary, and the fact that you’re playing a fighting game
and not chess means that you don’t have time to analyze how best
to handle it. But if you’ve really done your lab work, the scientific player has the most consistent and
efficient way of bulldozing their opponents. In contrast, “The Heart” refers to the emotional or
feel-based player. This kind of player likes mindgames, baiting,
conditioning their opponents, and making predictions based on the heat
of the moment. In other words, making reads, also known as
“Yomi” in Japan. It’s about riding that fine line between genius and
foolishness, and somehow coming out as a genius. A feel-based player thrives in the scientific player’s
fear of unfamiliar situations, and will delve into the metagame to get the edge
they need in order to win. For those unfamiliar, the metagame is a game
played outside of the main game that still affects the main game. But none of this matters if you drop your combos
all day long, and this brings us to the final archetype to round out
the theory. This type of player is known as “The Body,” which refers
to players known for their physical capabilities, which in fighting games refers to execution
and reactions. This is actually the most straightforward out of the three, and what people unfamiliar with fighting games might
think is the only thing required to be good at fighting games. Of course, this usually isn’t the case. There are games that are fast-paced and require
serious timing coordination to do well, And we notice that physical players prefer characters that benefit from being able to do difficult links
and combos This kind of required precision is what separates
fighting games from mind sports like chess and poker, and it’s often blamed for being a barrier to new
potential fighting game players. But some of you might be thinking that this theory
is nothing new. But some of you might be thinking that this theory
is nothing new, and you’re absolutely right. The balance between mind, body, and heart has been expressed countless times in fiction before, and one that’s unequivocal about it is the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy – “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas
anymore.” The Cowardly Lion has a brain, but is fearful, the clumsy Scarecrow is brainless, but has a heart, and the Tin Man represents a physical body without
any human organs. But as much fun as it might be to make parallels
between fighting gamers and the Wizard of Oz, how is any of this useful? Well it’s not terribly useful on the surface, but with some thinking and playing Theory Fighter,
you can change the way you approach a match. Just off the top of my head, I might be more wary of
wakeup backdashing against a brainspace player, because they’ll option select everything. When playing a heart-based player, I might resist the urge to jump if it seems like
that’s what they want me to do. As for a body-based player, I might throw less
close-range fireballs when they have Ultra, even in situations where I don’t think they could react. All three attributes are required to be a good
fighting game player, and no one will completely embody one archetype, But in big tournaments with short two-out-of-three sets, it helps to understand your opponent as quickly
as possible, especially when there are hundreds of players
you’ve never heard of, and anything that will help you form a strategy
is going to help you win. – “Yeah, it looks like the winner’s crying.”
– “OOOOHH!! OHH! OHH!” But of course, everyone approaches the game
differently, and this is just a theory, which is why I haven’t named and categorised
any players. But you guys can feel free to do so in the
comments section.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I'm definitely heart. Not much brains, at least with fighting games, and man is the body my biggest weakness. So many times I mess up a combo, misinput, or go in the wrong direction. I don't have fast reaction time or good execution, so I rely on my reads and just what I feel like is going to happen.

  2. Reminds me of this part in the Smash Brothers Documentary
    Except it's cool instead of body.

  3. I'm more of a heart and body player but they are latent abilities. My friends who actually play fighting games have even told me that i should pick up fighting games because i apparently have a lot of potential even though i can't beat them all the time i can still hold my own against them with very little practice and pull off combos that beginners have a lot of trouble pulling off

  4. Of ourse, just like the age old human types of the brawny simple minded warrior type vs the scrawny, brainy intellectual type of human, over the ages, these "types" have combined so often the world over, the average person alive today is technically a hybrid. This applies to these "types" of fighting game players, because though there may be people that are exclusively of one of these suppose three kinds, but many are more than one or part of all three. And more than anything, you forget: people that play fighting games because they themselves are fighters in real life. Regardless of whether a mere wrestler, brawler, brutalizer, warrior, defender, champion, murderer, I have known more people that actuall fight that play fighting games than otherwise. *Shrugs * NEver been to asia though, which would explain my point of view since so few do real things over there anymore. O>o

  5. Type 1)
    Type 2)
    A Tekken 7 player that plays over 30 hours a day (if that’s even possible)
    Type 3)
    that one guy that quits when he gets perfected in the first match

  6. Mind: Knee
    Heart: JDCR/Majin
    Body: I can only think of TMM. 5 execution. Just pure execution, slight read and fundamentals

  7. I don’t know what I am. I don’t go for frame data, my tech game is weak, and I don’t go for the meta outside the meta (like salting my opponent). There may be a 4th category. Intuition, maybe?

  8. I totally am a heart player. Most of my competitive friends seem to be mind players while my smash friends seem to be body.

  9. For me, I'm a 2 in all 3 categories. I don't think too much about the options I'm covering, I don't care for mindgames or getting even remotely invested in the game (unless it's super close), and I can't do combos consistently.

  10. You should have called it "The Three Types of Street Fighter Gamers (Shill's Theory)"
    Fuck off you Crapcom dickrider

  11. Brain: Knows your next nove, he/she is calculating everything, preparing his next move. Maybe the easieast to beat if you dont give him/her time to think.
    Heart: Is playing with your mind, forceing you to play as how he/she wants to do. If you can just do one move to escape, he/she is waiting for it and punish you.
    Body: Reacts at everything, is the most complicated and hard to fight, a constant menace during the battle thanks to his/her abilitie to avoid you and approach to you in miliseconds.

    Or that is what i understood.

  12. What does it matter? Its all just button mashing and luck. That's all fighting games have ever been.

  13. Not a big street fighter fan. I feel like there is no real momentum, just a hit and huzzah. I'm more of a FighterZ guy.

  14. I think the better names to call them by would be


    When I think of the brain, I picture more mental mindgames and reads of that sort than memorizing and experimenting with the technicalities of frames and option selects, hence the name I gave it. I changed body to functionality because functionality includes both reaction speed and effectiveness in executing precise inputs, while body just sounds like it only implies quick speed.

    In my system I'd probably be a 2/5/4.

  15. Not even 90 seconds in you dismiss your own title/premise for a video. This, to say nothing of how peculiar it is to claim an "analysis" in but 5 minutes.

  16. My dexterity is like a 14, my strength like a 12 and my intelligence like a 17 so am I evened out or am I just a shitty rogue 😂

  17. Well in a scale from 1/10 of each, i think i am 3/10 brains, 3/10 heart and 5/10 body…

    Having in nind that i would count elite players to have at least one at 10 to consider them wlite players, and casuals to be somewhere between 3 and 5… And non fighting games players who have a natural disposition to a playstyle to have 1 to 2…

  18. I'm more of an emotional player, because I suck at harder combos. Any tips on how to not get so invested that I fall for dumb stuff?

  19. Honestly I feel like these idk what to call them but playstyle stats change as player evolve. Most players I feel like start of as a heart player or a crappy body player because they rely on button mashing and trying to read their opponent at the same time with their button mashing. So like that would make them 0/1/5 but as players evolve they slowly grow mind and body while heart shrinks. But people who grow their body more than the mind probably keep heart, because they go well together. While players who grew mind probably grew body but have very low heart because they know they have the best option and the best way to punish. But idk I'm kind of rambling.

  20. I know it's from 2015, but I just have to say the way you narrate and say all these things is amazing C:

  21. i usually attack and sometime counter attack but some time block too. so what my fighting gamers ability?

  22. I thought there 4
    The combo guy or the one who picks the machine gun puncher

    The guy who picks a super buff guy or a charger like zangief

    The guy who picks the serious character or the protagonist.

    The one who spams and stays in position

  23. Okay so,
    The brain is how well you can lab and learn all the technical aspects of the game like practicing advance combos, tech, and frame data.
    The heart is how good of a player you are when it comes to doing reads and being unpredictable so that you can confuse your opponent.
    The body is how well you can take all the above and actually execute it properly when push comes to shove and you are in a real match.

    At least that is what I got from the video, amazing job btw love the content.

  24. Soooooo
    Body – Juggernaut (Marvel vs. Capcom)
    Brains – Batman (Injustice)
    Heart – Ryu (Street Fighter)

  25. I would like to think I got 10 points.
    Brains: 2
    Heart: 5
    Body: 3
    I'm not really that good at yomi or conditioning my opponent, but if they have some sort of habit, I can catch on extremely fast. However my execution is not consistant enough, and I barely remember any frame data.

  26. Oh my goodness the MAB clip of him playing guitar. I see you are a man of culture. I got to meet that man when I was really young. He was an incredibly nice guy actually listens to people and really cares lol.

  27. I'm 100% a heart player out of these im not really a brains playrler but I do go in and test things out every now and then if i had to describe myself id say
    4/5 heart
    3.5/5 body
    1.5/5 brain

  28. To put it bluntly. I'm a heart and body player.
    I love to do air tatsus so I want you to jump and I do some dumb shit and expect it to work.
    I'm a shitty body player but I can drop a few combos when need be.
    I don't use my brain(debatable) to fight as I know I will lose, I just attempt something.

  29. I'm definitely not a "brain" player because i find training mode boring and i spend a lot of time fighting the cpu instead but not specific scenarios. That's a rather lazy and hedonistic decision on my part. I don't think i a "body" either because my reactions aren't particularly good. And i don't think I'm a feel either. But i think the "feel" archetype does appear occasionally when i play. However my main resource is basically gambling. I usually choose tactics as if i was gambling. I have a rather clear idea of what might work but don't overthink it and take risks. Sometimes too big for my own good. However, overall my gambling seems to work. I think i kinda suck though…

  30. Great video! I would think that in the Wizard of Oz that the lion and the tinman would be the other way around though? Lion represents the physical body, he just doesn’t have the “nerve” to act with it, tinman represents the brain as he is the most intellectual of the bunch but desperately wants to feel, therefore searching for a heart (or soul), and the scarecrow we agree on, which is obvious. Peace!

  31. Simplified 3 types the reactionaries: the ones who wait to counter your attack and unleash counters and basic combos – the spammers: the ones who spam an onslaught of maximum combos damage combos the fun type or randoms: the ones who enjoy the game and wing every match

  32. Yeah, I'm none of these. I only care about unlocking everything and enjoying the game as a game, not a tool for competition. Beating a human opponent or getting beat by a human opponent gives me nothing unless playing with people I know at my house, and then we can make it a drinking game 😛 I guess if you attend tournaments you can get money and prizes for winning, but to get to that level you have to practice constantly like a job while getting no hourly pay. Winning and losing means a lot to a large cross section of the population, but I'd rather be the guy at the super bowl selling hot dogs fans from both sides and making $$ instead n.n

  33. Can someone help me differentiate the heart and body player more? I’m having trouble not seeing them as basically the same thing.

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