While the popularity of fighting games may have waned since its peak in the 1990s, the genre has maintained a persistent following among a hardcore segment of competitors that gather at tournaments and haunts like Next Level Arcade. Inconspicuously nested on a quiet block in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Next Level mainly attracts a diverse crowd of enthusiasts ranging from professional gamers to Wall Street traders.
In August, Ars accompanied photographer and gamer Simon Chetrit to Next Level. Chetrit has been working for several years on a photography project about the fighting game community. Shooting primarily with a large-format 4 5 film camera, Chetrit traversed the country, often staying up until dawn to photograph his subjects at first light.