I think this blog project will give me a rare opportunity to analyze something video game related within an academic context. I have been trying to decide whether to focus on a community site devoted to a single game or a site devoted to an entire genre. In the end, I decided that a site devoted to an entire genre should give me greater variety, more content to analyze. I have therefore chosen a website devoted to the fighting game genre: http://www.shoryuken.com
As a genre, fighting games can trace their origins all the way back to the debut of Street Fighter in 1987. Depending on whom you ask, however, the genre proper did not emerge until the release in 1991 of Street Fighter's sequel, the immensely popular and influential Street Fighter II. This game established many of the conventions that continue to define the genre to this day. Currently, the Street Fighter franchise is in its fourth iteration (though this is misleading because there are multiple versions of each sequel).
The community aspect of Shoryuken.com is most apparent in its forums section. The site has many members and many discussion boards devoted to a wide variety of games other than Street Fighter. Because fighting games tend to have a strong tournament community, members constantly post tips and strategies related to specific characters in the game. Fighting game sessions can get very competitive and players have much knowledge when it comes to increasing their probability of winning. I would say this strategies-sharing component is the primary purpose of the forum.