When we last left our intrepid heroes they were decrying multiple reboots of Frank Castle and discussing the benefits of studying strangers. Will Occams find enough teeth to build his weapon of mass destruction? Will Orochileona keep the word count under 3000? And will all the 'guaranteed' Switch pre-orders be filled on launch day? Find out the answers to none of these questions, right now!
OL: Let's talk about vidyagamez. As I genuinely think gaming is one of the topics you ironically broach the least on Dtoid. How long have you been gaming? Where are you with gaming today?
Occams: I'm not as opinionated about gaming as I used to be. Very much a live and let live kinda fella. I had a Nintendo waaaaay back in the day so it's been 30 years now. Today, I'm mainly on my PS4 and I look at gaming in the same way I look at movies and music. It can inspire, engage, make you think/react and let you down. It's another creative expression to me, all really fascinating. I still have my Super Nintendo, that's my favorite system. I didn't have a lot of friends growing up so games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy III were companions to me on weekends.
OL: I think we're strongly aligned on this. I make minor complaints on occasion, but I'd never enter into an argument about gaming. We've both been playing about the same amount of time. Do you think the link between gaming and our zen-like tranquility *cough* comes from having been around the media for so long, and thus experiencing both the good times and the bad?
Occams: Oh absolutely. We've been doing this long enough to have perspective. That's really crucial. You can see more of the horizon.
OL: Do you have a favourite game of all time, seeing as you've been around for ALL THE GAMES.
Occams: Final Fantasy III. Easily. The first game where I noticed the soundtrack was affecting me in a positive way and the first game where I cried at the ending.
OL: Sound choice. The first game I ever imported. like, £100 or something
Occams: Worth it. I still have the guide from Nintendo.
OL: Send it to me. I'm stuck and the Nintendo Hotline just keeps ringing off.
What would you like to see from videogames in 2017?
Occams: I'd like to see more innovation with narrative focus in gaming. We get prettier water/fire/setpieces every year. I'd like to see more memorable characters, dealing with adult issues. I feel like indie games are really doing some amazing stuff with narrative. I'm being a bit idealistic, but I'm good at dreaming. As for gamers, I'd like to see less derision. 'PC vs Console' bullshit is so stale. We are all in this medium together, right? Games are awesome and this shit is straight up science magic. Let's embrace that together.
OL: One last question on the arts. You are obviously an aficiando of creativity in all its many guises, who are some of your favourite artists, from whatever field?
Occams: Music-wise, my favorite hands down is Jimi Hendrix. If you like hip-hop, Danny Brown's new album Atrocity Exhibition is a sonic hammer shattering plates on the sunrise of your happiest day.
Shirley Jackson for short stories, she makes the mundane so terrifying. Oh, and Margaret Atwood. Handmaid's Tale is required in my waking world.
As for art, the architecture of Antonio Gaudi makes me so happy and amazed. Also, Faberge eggs. I fucking adore everything from the house of Faberge.
OL: I thought we'd combine your love of movies with your love of Malls. I'm gonna namecheck a few awesome films set in the neon capitalist nightmare that is The Mall, and I'd like to get your thoughts on each:
OL: First up, of course, is Mallrats (1995)
Occams: Boy, I thought Kevin Smith was clever when I was younger. I remember this one most for Joey Lauren Adams being topless. Thank God for the 'Pause' function.
OL: Next is the greatest shopping-based bust-up in movie history. It's Police Story (1985)
Occams: Never has vertical space work been used so effectively in a mall. It made it seem more like a jungle gym.
OL: Never rely on a dork with a helicopter, warns Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Occams: That mall had a gun shop, I loved that. Also, commercialism is bad. It's a classic, if a little heavy-handed.
OL: And finally, rampaging robots and exploding-head teens. It's Chopping Mall (1986)
Occams: Thanks, USA Up All Night. One of the better horror movies from this era. It really makes you consider the mall 'after-hours'. So much open space and shadow.
OL: 2017 has begun, hopes are cautiously optimistic. What are your dreams this time around, Occams?
Occams: Like every year, I try to be the best Occams I can be, and I hope folks can be kinder to one another. 2016 was so rough in so many ways and I think if we can treat each other with a little bit of patience and understanding then 2017 can be something we don't hate. Also, a new Shadow Hearts game.
OL: Final Five: Do you believe in Ghosts/Spirits?
Occams: No. I'd like the supernatural to be real. I like the idea of that but I think the closest thing we get is whats in our head.
OL: What was your favourite TV show as a child
Occams: Fraggle Rock. I have it on dvd now. My nephews and nieces watched it as children. The circle completes itself.
OL: What is your favourite album of all time?
Occams: Goddamn this question. Hmmmm...so tough. I would have to go with Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold as Love. I have a tattoo of his name on my arm to commemorate my respect for what he gave the world. That album blew me away as a child and it has only grown in power in my heart and head over the years.
OL: Is there a particular time period you would love to visit, if possible? Your safety is guaranteed.
Occams: Paris in the 1920's. Music, art, literature, fashion, romance. It was being devoured as quickly as it could be made.
OL: Such an incredible and sad time. But what did survive, absolutely breathtaking.
Occams: Yeah. I feel like being there would be raw emotional magic.
OL: Bringing us neatly to question 5: Are you in love?
Occams: Oh yes. I have a partner in life that I cherish first and foremost. Beyond that, I am in love with the community here, with nature, music and art. It all fills my heart up to the point of bursting. That all sounds rather Transcendentalist. Some Walt Whitman shit. Ha, so be it.
OL: Well, The feeling is apparently mutual Occams. #Occamstoid was mindblowing, such an outpouring of love and respect for you and the work you do here, from almost everybody in the community. Hand on heart, I believe every bit of it was deserved. Sorry to put you on the spot emotionally, but how did that day make you feel?
Occams: It made me tear up a little. That was a genuine human moment and I felt it hard. Also, I felt awkward (remember I'm the guy who helps you thrive, I'm not the guy though) and a little sad. Kind of a reflex of mine is sadness. Lord knows we all deal with our own personal shit and I'm no different. I don't do well with being acknowledged. I almost feel like I failed somehow if I'm noticed? Wow. That's kind of deep. What those kind words told me was that I am right where I should be and I wouldn't trade all the teeth in all of your skulls to be anywhere else.
OL: I barely got any teeth left to give you, mang
I can relate to what you're saying, I get extremely melancholy when faced with praise. Everyone's comments were wonderful though, I think it was Dreamweaver who said something along the lines of 'Occams is Destructoid' It was a show of genuine respect from a community you work dang hard for. You have also shown me, personally, undying support. I am a genuine mess of a man, a consistent underachiever, and your help means the world to me. So, on behalf of myself and many Dtoiders; Thanks for simply being 'the best Occams you can be'. Here's to the next ten years, brother.
Occams: Oh, bless your eyes buddy. That's so damn kind. The kindness here it just.. it makes me believe in people. That's hard to do, ya know? So thank you. You, everyone in the community, just.. thanks. You gave me a home and all I ever want is for folks here to feel like this place is their home as well.
OL: The final words are yours, so grasp the mic:
Be patient and kind, here and in the waking world. Try something new; new food, new music, new literature, anything. Jerk off with an underhand grip for the dudes or if you are a lady slap-bass the holy hell out of your clit. Expand who you are and how you see the world. Also, no socks and sandals. Lets just put a moratorium on that. We can end socks and sandals in our lifetime if we all work together.