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Destructoid Community Interviews: Dango

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What does the fox say

Hello folks of world, Orochileona here, back once again with the ill behavior to bring you the next in the series of Community Interviews. You know the routine by now: grab a coffee, take a seat, and enjoy as we go through the looking glass of one member of Destructoid's lovable rogue's gallery. As always, your ongoing support keeps this train a'rollin, so thank you.

Today, we chat with Dtoid's psycho fox beyond compare: It's yer boy Dango!



OL: Welcome to your Community Interview, good brother! Let's get the important stuff out of the way: Who the fuck is Dango?

Dango: Dango is a Danish dude with a desire for danger and d-.. uh... this isn't working, whatever. Hello! I'm a friendly guy who likes action games, trance music and meeting cool and interesting people online. I've been with Destructoid since 2011, and have since then tried my best to make a positive mark on the community via my blogs (such as the gif-heavy Boss Blogs) and silly posts. I've had a lot of fun here, and the place has grown on me like the world's most friendly and loving alien parasite. I also like alliteration, but it doesn't always work.

OL: Indeed, you have been here for some time now, part of the furniture, you could say. How do you think Dtoid's band of miscreants see you?

Dango: That's an interesting question, because it's something I think about a lot, but it has to vary from person to person, right? Especially since a lot of our currently active members are fairly new, so some probably see me as much more of an "oldie" than I really am. I do think I have made an impact, but it's difficult to tell how much. I can certainly say that I would like people to see me and think "Hey, it's good old Dango doing his thing again, that's fun."

I prefer being associated with good times, someone who contrasts with the negativity you often find on the internet. I do complain and get sassy at times, but it's not how I carry myself in general. I'm here to have a good time more than anything else. Talk about videoized games. Make fart and genital jokes.

OL: Hmm. That's basically all anyone could ask for I think, I certainly enjoy having your sassy ass around. I think your name/avatar combo is one of the most recognizable within the community. What are the origins of your Dtoid identity?

Dango: The name is really hard to explain. It goes all the way back to my childhood, so it's a little fuzzy. I think it was a character I made up, named "Dalango" or something weird like that. I was a weird kid.

The fox is from Oglaf, an amazing and super-dirty webcomic that I absolutely adore. I've even gotten other members (like TheAngriestCarp) addicted to it, which is nice. If explicit, absurdist, sex-comedy doesn't put you off, it's definitely recommended. Oglaft's not something that's ever gonna be a mega-hit, so I thought it was fitting to represent it with my avatar. It has gotten people curious, because of the fox, in particular, is such a great, funny design, so I've managed to help spread its popularity. 

OL: These interviews have proved good outlets for spreading the word on stuff you're passionate about that may be under the radar. I can think of several members who likely started googling the second they read 'super-dirty webcomic.'

Dango: Parismio does something similar, I think the comic is called Lumberjanes (or similar). Avatars can be an effective way to spread the popularity of good things, so it's nice to be part of that. It also helps that the avatar and my name weirdly 'fit' each other, almost to the point where Dango could be the fox's name, haha.



OL: Since you first jumped on board the good ship Dtoid, what do you think are some of the most positive and negative changes you've seen over the years?

Dango: Never been much for the formula where your ability to give Likes is tied to your followers. It's not a big deal, but I do wonder why it's there. Seems to give new members 'less of a voice' than our established personalities. Not everyone's a charisma machine like Wes, who gains loads of followers as soon as people see his great hair and amazingly clean toilet bowl. Some members might take it slow, and I feel that a more communi- uh, I mean, a more equal system, would benefit these people.

I guess the cyber-elephant in the digital room here is the long-running (non-sexual?) tension between certain members and writers, which strongly affected a previous interview. I won't comment too much on that because I honestly don't fully understand it. I just hope people will eventually find some kind of resolution.

OL: We are a huge body of people, discussing topics we're passionate about on the internet. Not everyone can get along (just like in real life) and the easily misunderstood anonymity of the net can cause additional issues. I still think we are one of the tightest communities going, and our interpersonal issues are very much the exception, rather than the norm, fortunately.

Dango: As for positive changes, the addition of Qposts is a major one. Absolutely changed the way we communicate on Destructoid, and made the site even more addictive and welcoming than ever before. Great idea, great execution!

OL: People forget that QPosts had a rough start when they first launched, I think they were almost canned. Now, I couldn't possibly imagine the site without them, It's the nervous system of our equally nervous community's communications.

You must've made a ton of good buddies at Dtoid in your five years here. Anyone you particularly connect with? or you'd like to give the obligatory shout-out to?

Dango: I've already written blogs of appreciation for several members, so there will be some repetition. I'll try to avoid the writing staff because the list would just go on. I don't think LuckRequired has been on here for quite a while, but I really got along with that guy. Played a bunch of good old games with him. Zer0t0nin is very cool and down to earth. SpielerDad's blogs and posts are a total joy. Everything FlanxLycanth says is wonderful. SrChurros, ZombZ, and Weslikestacos are like a trio of greatness, they all work off each other brilliantly, they've made lots of great comment threads. 

Carp's a funny guy. Robo Panda Z has done a lot for the community, being the reason that many of us play together. Sarah Jane Farron is so likable that she doesn't even need a goofy username. Imagine that! Fuzunga is Fuzunga, everything about him is gold. Then there's Occams, Mike, and Andy, everyone loves those guys! Oh god, I tried to prevent it, but the list goes on!

OL: So many great names and personalities. People always find that a difficult question to answer. They just wanna call out everybody and don't wanna leave people out, which is a testament to the huge, wonderful, backwoods family we have here.

Dango: Also you, of course! :)

OL: Aww, thank you.



OLIt's time to go on a pilgrimage for religious followers, Dango. Testify to the masses about the church of #Trancetoid

Dango: I will admit, it's just my cheeky response to the vastly more popular #Metaltoid (Only mine's got alliteration, and this time it works!). I don't know what it is about metal and video games that make for such a massive overlap in interest, but it's interesting. I like #Metaltoid, but I don't feel like I can bring much to the table compared to others. AC/DC probably doesn't even count.

OL: The overlap comes from The Unholy Trinity of Metal, Video Games and DC Comics. The altar of which is worshiped at by dudes in black sporting Joker tattoos.

Dango: With Trance, I feel like I can actually expose people to something they haven't heard before, so I just went with it. Trance is something I've been into since around 2012. I think the song that "converted" me to this church was "Icarus" by Ralphie B. It appeals to me because of how "pure" the sound is. It's like magic in music form.

I think my favorite artist these days is James Dymond, especially the track "Siren's Song," which I feel perfectly captures how Trance can take you on a journey. I believe the subgenre he does most is 'Uplifting trance,' which is exactly what it sounds like. It makes you feel better, has a very positive sound to it. I like that a lot.

OL: Trance blew up in my youth (the early '90s) when a lot of electronic music styles just got hugely popular. I wasn't into those scenes myself, but Trance, Dance, Rave and Techno was huge during my schooldays.

A lot of people consider the first country to really birth the scene was Germany, who're obviously neighbors of yours, so I would suppose that Trance still has a strong presence in Denmark and Central Europe?

Dango: Yeah, in the Netherlands especially. Some big names are from there, most notably Armin van Buuren, who's doing a lot to keep the genre alive. Not that I personally believe it's "dying," but you'd be surprised how much doom and gloom there is in the community about whether or not the scene is "dead." Kinda reminds me of the gaming community actually, how 'bout that?

OL: If someone wanted to get a handle on the modern Trance scene, namedrop a couple of albums that they should check out for a good introduction.

Dango: It's a small pool to choose from compared to most genres, but A State of Trance is a yearly album series containing tracks from various artists. They're all mixed to flow seamlessly from one track to the next (at least the 2013 edition is) which is really cool! So if you're serious about getting into trance, that's probably the best place to start looking.

OL: You heard the testimony of the Rev. Dango youse kids, so get out there and keep the scene alive!



OL: Let's talk about those Videoised Games you like. How long have you been gaming? How did you get started?

Dango: Oh man, it's been part of my life since forever. I started with old DOS games like Commander Keen. Once I got a Game Boy (with Super Mario Land 2) that was probably the point of no return. I've still got it, it's one of those transparent ones where you can see all the tech inside. That was the coolest thing. I used to go on trips with my parents and their friends, and their kids all had Game Boys, but we all had different games, so we'd always borrow from each other. Magical times!

OL:  That Game Boy scene was absolutely huge. I remember people customizing their consoles with paint, stickers, fur, googly-eyes and all that shit.

Dango: Haha, yeah, I think I knew some kids who did that. I remember when I got my PlayStation, it was insane. Suddenly, the games were bigger and much more detailed. They had colors and voice acting and everything was on a big-ass TV screen. I played Oddworld on it, and that was unbelievable. It was like watching a movie. The game scared me too, and I didn't get that far, but it was a mindblowing experience.

OL: For me, it was Resident Evil, that was the game that made me, having lived through garbage like the 3DO and Jaguar, Resi legit made me go 'Fuck. This really is a new era for video games.' Hilariously, that game is clunky as hell today and the acting was always abysmal. It's funny how quickly tech develops since the PS1's release.

Dango: Yeah, that era has some ugliness, but it was such a leap forward then that we didn't even care. Jumping Flash is a fun example. It's nothing impressive today, but in 1995 it was amazing being able to jump around like that in 3D. Mario 64 pretty much started a revolution. Such an exciting time to think back on.

OL: Your profile page lists a real mix of gaming genres when it comes to your favorite games (including two of my all-time faves, Arkham and Pac-Man DX) Despite this very eclectic list, would you say you do have a favorite gaming genre?

Dango: Platformers, definitely. It's the thrill of movement that got me into games in the first place, and here's an entire genre dedicated to that. You can do things in platformers that you wouldn't even dream of doing in real life. There's something liberating about that, and some of them make movement into an art form. Long jumping in Mario, strafe jumping in Ratchet & Clank, the bash move in Ori and the Blind Forest. Even in Arkham City, you got the gliding. That kind of stuff is my jam!

Other than that, action games in general. I love shooters, racing games, beat-'em-ups, stealth games. I love exploration too, as long as the environment is interesting. I also think there should be just about equal room for arcadey games and more complex/story heavy games, because I like switching between them. Same thing with multiplayer/single-player games. Both have plenty of value in their own ways.

OL: It's great to hear such openness in your views on genres, and gaming generally. We have a wealth of games and hardware to choose from, and whatever their style, build, player base, delivery method, gimmicks etc. They can all be handled well, in the right hands, and deliver us good times. 



OL: So, would it be too much to ask you to nail down your favorite game of all time?

Dango: I'm sticking to Ape Escape for now, probably forever. It's a game I've gushed a lot about in the past, and I genuinely think it's the most fun I've had in a game. You run around and catch evil monkeys, monkeys that ride sharks, throw bombs and fly UFOs. That's hilarious. The game's so well executed and pleasant, even with its quirky controls, that I can't bring myself to put anything else above it. It just constantly feels like the right answer, whenever the question is asked. A simple game for a simple man.

OL: Great choice. It's a very unique game. Didn't it also have a pioneering mechanic involving the controller?

Dango: First to require two sticks. One for movement, one for the gadget. It's unusual, but it works. Thank fuck for the Camera Reset button though, haha.

OL: So, looking back on your storied days of gaming, from MS-DOS to today, what are your favorite, and least favorite, advancements from then until now?

Dango: Widescreen and HD are definitely welcome changes. It's cool how detailed game worlds have become. Production value isn't everything, but when it's applied to a game that's already great, it can elevate the experience. Online play is huge too, means I get to play with all you guys! As for something I dislike, I think pre-order bonuses and ideas that make the worst of the DLC concept. Everything that's cool about DLC comes from the promise that games can be improved and expanded after release, but having DLC before release is just purposefully cut content. Lots of people have pointed this out, and it's rarely a huge issue, but it is a bummer.

That said, I generally think there's been more positive advancements than negative ones. There's more potential for great ideas than ever before.

OL: Definitely, we, unfortunately, have to take the rough with the smooth, but the smooth is delicious, like fine chocolate.



OL: Your love of gaming and trance music is something that is quite well established on Dtoid. What lesser known skills and interests do you have?

Dango: I currently study web development, which means I'm learning exciting (not really) stuff like PHP and MySQL. It's a very technical direction compared to my previous studies, which I think is good because that's where I feel I need to get stronger. Hopefully, this will open some doors for me in the near future.

OL: What are you hoping to do once you qualify in your studies. Do you have a dream career or company you'd love to work with?

Dango: Well, games would be ace, but I feel anything creative would be pretty satisfying. I'd like to be able to entertain and tell stories, and there are so many ways to do that these days. Not sure about companies. I guess it's all gonna be Disney and Google soon anyway.

OL: Haha, maybe. In that case, I'd go, Disney, at least you might end up involved in a Marvel movie.

Dango: That would be pretty amazing, that or Star Wars.

OL: Exciting prospects, I wish you the best of luck. You've chosen to train in skills that have a strong future, so I'm sure you'll transition into something very secure and rewarding. 



OL: What do you like to do when not studying? Do you have any surprising talents?


Dango: I love grilling, which is something I have in common with my dad. We'll often get together and grill even during the winter. That's right, even God can't stop our quality time! Otherwise, most of my interests can be found in my past blogs. There haven't been quite as many exciting developments in my life as I'd wished, but I guess that's something we all struggle with to a degree

OL: I need to hear more about 'Grilling' as an interest. Is that a cultural thing, or just a niche to yourself?

Dango: I guess it's always been a part of my environment. I love me some ribs, I've made my own barbecue sauce for them once or twice, maybe I'll get back to experimenting with that. It's relaxing. Don't use too much garlic though, don't repeat my mistake!

OL: Sounds like a lot of fun, I love experimenting with food, and I adore ribs! Maybe I should fly in over Summer. You can show me your mad skillz and I can gorge upon meat.

Dango: I'd have to try to impress you though, not sure that would end well, haha!

OL: So you heard right, readers, We're all invited to Dango's this Summer for ribs! See y'allthere! Wait! I got it! You could create Star Wars themed Barbecue Sauce! put your skills together!

Dango: I've seen Star Wars oranges, so that might already be a thing.



OL: All this talk of food has made me real hungry, so before I head off to eat meat, let's tackle the Final Five: When the apocalypse comes, what will be the one thing that survives?
Dango: The little bit of hair that grows on toes, can't kill that.

OL: If you were to speedrun a game for charity, which would you choose?
Dango: Super Meat Boy. It wouldn't be a good run, but the entertainment value of my failure would bring people in. You can fail fast in that game, it's perfect!

OL: Are you REALLY allergic to Catgirls?
Dango: Haha, nah, just wanted to make a Cheers reference. It's from when Sam says he's allergic to cat stories, which is such a solid joke!

OL: In what field can we consider you a genius?
Dango: Faking it till you make it, I guess..

OL: Dango, Dango, Have you always been alone? Dango, Dango, Have you never loved again?
Dango: My D is not silent.. Wait, I should rephrase that.

OL: 2017 is now well underway. What are your hopes and wishes, both for yourself and others, as the year progresses?

Dango: I'm hoping to see the beginning of some kind of career for myself. That Destructoid keeps growing with me, bringing more wonderful people together to mash buttons in perfect harmony. I hope the world becomes a bit more stable as time goes on, that everyone becomes wiser and more compassionate and finds their own place in the world.

OL: Classy comments.

Dango, thanks for chatting with me, I have loved getting to know you a little better. Its always great to learn more about Dtoid's long-time reprobates. It's members such as yourself who're the backbone of the community: friendly, welcoming, and opinionated, respectful of gaming's past whilst not being insta-critical of new ideas. You deserve a spot in the Destructoid Community Hall of Fame... Umm... once I build it.

Dango: Thanks man, that is some overwhelming praise! Looking forward to the Hall of Fame!

OL: I'm looking forward to your Hall of Ribs. The last words are yours, so grasp the mic:

Dango: Hey, Destructoid, keep being you. Keep keeping it real until reality can barely keep up. I don't know what that means, but it sounded nice in my head. It's been kickass so far, and I'm looking forward to everything else this place has to offer!

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