One in the hand is worth two in the sister
Hey brothers and sisters! Welcome back to Destructoid Community Interviews with your ever-jittery host Chris Moyse. It’s been a month or so since our last foray into the heads of one of our beloved community friends, but, y’know I did like, eight interviews in ten weeks. It was unrealistic to keep that speed up forever. There’s still a lot of folk on the to-do list, so let’s get things underway and chop a name off of it right now!
Turn that anime frown upside down, because, with an avatar more iconic than an Ubisoft protagonist’s hat, it’s Hypno Coffin!
OL: We already know you have the greatest avatar on the website, but please explain to your dedicated fanbase: Who the fuck is Hypno Coffin?
Hypno: Good lord, asking existential questions right off the bat! Well, I’m a 19-year-old education major with a passion for games, music, art, and a truckload of other shit not worth mentioning. I suppose since it’s the first two minutes of this interview I’ll leave it at that for now, but expect my gooey and nightmarish insides to be revealed more explicitly later on.
OL: I look forward to crawling through your goo, Hypno. Lets jump right in with teh vidyagamez. What is it that keeps you playing?
Hypno: As a whole, I think it really has to do with the fact that games as a medium allow for truly unique experiences that no other medium can provide. The interesting thing is that despite how many games I play, and how much I enjoy them, I rarely finish any of them. I’ll attribute some of that to my ADD, and some of it to that fact that some games are just too damn long. However, when a game really resonates with me it’s like snorting crack. Sleep and responsibilities be damned.
OL: What’s one of your earliest memories of uncontrollably addictive gamecrack?
Hypno: Oh, that’s an easy one: Pokemon FireRed.
OL: 2004! You’re such a young pup.
Hypno: What can I say? That’s just how the cards were laid out for me. I guess Pokemon in general really encapsulates my childhood. I couldn’t be arsed to do anything else other than play Pokemon, watch the show, collect the cards and all the other merch. If it had Pokemon in the name, I had to have it.
OL: Do you still play Pokemon games today?
Hypno: I do! I’d be lying if I said that I was fully happy with them, though. There just hasn’t been enough evolution to the basic setup thus far. In 2017, we’re still for all intents and purposes getting the same games from over a decade ago, just with fresh visuals. I’d love for the Pokemon Company to pursue more projects like Pokemon Colosseum or XD: Gale of Darkness.
OL: We do have Gothitelle now though!
Hypno: Eugh, Gen 5! The only games in the main series I skipped entirely were Black/White 2. They were just really disappointing to me in terms of monster designs and turned me away from the series until X and Y.
OL: So, what other games have stood out as defining memories to you? Games that essentially chapter a book I like to call “Hypno Coffin’s history of video games even though he’s not even 20-years-old yet.”
Hypno: I might as well use this opportunity to get something off of my chest: I was the epitome of the Xbox Live CoD flamer for the majority of my time in middle school. Those are dark times. Regardless, the point remaining that CoD, Halo, and Battlefield consumed me for a good while.
OL: You were a COD Flamer?!? the whole “screaming death threats into the headset” shtick? I’m (slightly) shocked!
Hypno: Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s fair to say that I was toxic. I’d say that it was probably the result of the fact that my dad was pretty strict with the internet, so Xbox Live was my first taste of online “freedom” and I let it go to my head…or we could just say that I was 11, and all 11-year-olds suck.
Once I got to high school though, I switched to PC gaming, and that’s where things changed for me as I was introduced to games such as Bastion, Terraria, and League of Legends.
Bastion is my favorite game of all time, hands down. Terraria helped foster a great friendship of mine. League of Legends is, well, like a cancerous tumor that I can’t seem to get rid of.
OL: Bastion is one of only a handful of games made by indie studio Supergiant, of which you are a dedicated follower. What is it about that studio that appeals to you?
Hypno: It’s how genuine they are, with their games, and in themselves. They formed the studio as a group of friends looking to make a great game, and to this day they are reluctant to bring on new team members because they’re perfectly happy just staying as that original group of friends, making games together and having a blast.
OL: What impact did Bastion have on you in order to secure your “Greatest of All Time” award?
Hypno: 2011 was, all things considered, one of the worst years of my life. It was the height of my depression, my grades were poor, I was losing friends, my relationship with my father was at an all-time low. During this very emotional time, Bastion came into my world and, for a lack of better words, it changed my life. Starting up that game for the first time, hearing Logan Cunningham’s gravely-yet-smooth voice begin to narrate the events of the game, coupled with the gorgeous environments, the captivating OST; It had been years since anything, let alone a game, had evoked such emotion from me.
Some of the events of the story left me in tears, while others left me with a smile on my face. It wasn’t until the release of The Stranger’s DLC in that I had a complete shift. A single line from that DLC helped me to change my outlook on life: “K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up, since there’s nothin’ a kid can’t do.”
At that time, the expectations upon me were so forcefully rammed down my throat that I had forgotten how to enjoy life. As cliche as it sounds, simply hearing that line of dialogue helped me to realize that I was being dealt a shitty hand, and it was up to me to reject the cards I had been given. So, that’s exactly what I did. Whilst I still haven’t reached a place where I can comfortably say I’m happy or content, I’m doing exponentially better than I was all those years ago, and I have Bastion to thank for helping me to get to where I am right now.
OL: I think everyone has a game that steps outside the lines of just “I really enjoyed playing it” and actually give influence or meaning to certain events in their lives. I’m glad you found yours and I hope it continues to positively influence you in the future.
Though I don’t play LoL myself, everyone I’ve spoken to who does has a similar stance as yourself. That the game is like a “burden” to them and, although they don’t stop playing it, they don’t speak of it in positive tones. What’s the boggle?
Hypno: First and foremost, LoL‘s free to play, which means that everyone and their mother has access to the game, so you’re corralling in people of all backgrounds. Then you’re essentially locked into a room with nine other people for a minimum of twenty minutes. Sometimes games go really poorly, really quickly. Then the despair sits in that you’re going to have to play in a losing game. Nobody wants to take the blame for playing badly, so a shitstorm starts up, everyone blames everyone else and it just degenerates from there. It’s difficult to explain with brevity haha.
OL: “A must-play. 9/10” – Hypno Coffin
OL: Well, if you want to talk more positive gaming communities, you are part of the greatest on the net (after Overwatch Rule 34 artists). It is of course, Destructoid. You’ve only been here a couple of years, but you are very much a recognizable fixture. What do you see as your “role” in our humble family?
Hypno: In terms of a role, I’ve truly got no idea. I told a story about a person I know who slept with their sister, and it ended up turning into the classic, “I’m actually talking about myself,” joke. So I got the “sister-fucker” label, and ended up just running with it.
OL: I like the idea of casually running with such a horrifying label!
Hypno: Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do! I was eager to become noticed in the community back then, like a kid trying to fit into a group. I was never unpopular per se, but I’ve always been very reserved in public, most notably in school. I was just a quiet kid that never talked to new people. In many ways I’m still like that, but I digress.
The prospect of a community full of goofy gamers was really enticing to me, but it was daunting to dip my feet in the water, so I jumped the opportunity I had to make a foothold -the foothold of sister-fucking.
OL: So do you feel that the Dtoid community allows you to open up a little more than your normally reserved nature allows you to?
Hypno: Oh yeah, for sure. It’s been life changing in some ways, mostly in that Dtoid allowed me to meet Malthor, who is easily the best friend I’ve ever had.
OL: That’s so nice, how wonderful for you to have made such a connection here. I know I’ve met some people I consider genuine friends, even though I may never meet them face-to-face. What’s the connection you and Malthor have?
Hypno: For lack of a better way to phrase it, it’s like we were destined to be friends, our personalities just mesh together perfectly. We started talking to each other in PM’s around July last year, and since then there has only been a single day where the two of us didn’t talk at all. It’s really hard to put into words, I guess.
OL: Nah, I getcha. It’s made my day to hear you’ve made such a meaningful friendship within the community. There’s a lot of cool people hear to chat with, would you like to give a shoutout to anyone else?
Hypno: Sure, though I wanna make note that if I don’t mention you specifically, it doesn’t mean that I think your lips are any less kissable. I’ll toss one out to Mike Martin, my internet dad. We’ve not talked much one on one, and sadly he’s not been around much as of late, but he’s a truly great guy who deserves only the best.
Of course I have to shoutout Amna Umen, my New Jersey native partner-in-crime, who’s always there to talk when I need to.
Oh, and I can’t forget Robo Panda Z. Robotic Pandas are endangered, so we have to keep a close eye on her.
OL: Of course, we must make mention of your arch rival: The one and only Torchman.
Hypno: Torchman is the enemy of mankind, not just myself. We can’t keep letting that goddamn Canadian robot-fucker get away with his crimes.
OL: What if he did nothing wrong, like Griffith?
Hypno: It’s just not possible, not even worth considering. Though there is one man who is even more sinister: Motherfucking Gaj.
OL: Is Gaj your final boss?
Hypno: Gaj is like the last turd in the toilet that refuses to flush. Giving him any more credit than that is undeserved.
OL: THE VIEWS OF HYPNO COFFIN DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF OROCHILEONA COMMUNITY INTERVIEWS INC.
OL: When away from all the screens of the world, what do you do with your days?
Hypno: I’ll be totally honest with you, nothing noteworthy. I enjoy taking walks in the park, I go to a few concerts a year, and I go to see a movie every couple of weeks with a friend. That’s about it. Oh, and college, if that counts.
OL: Ehh, sounds to me like you’re doing enough. As long as you’re having good times and enjoying the company of like-minded friends, that’s more than enough. You mentioned that you were still on the education superhighway. What is your major in?
OL: Oh! Actually in the subject of Education? I misinterpreted.
Hypno: I started out in Game Design, but after a year of that I realized it just wasn’t for me. Experiencing games is what I enjoy, not making them. Education had always been in the back of my mind, so I figured I’d give it a shot and I’m actually enjoying it quite a bit thus far.
OL: So it took a few different turns but at least you seem to have found your niche. What would you like to educate people in? (other than the dangers of Gen V Pokemon)
Hypno: I always enjoyed History the most when I was in my primary education, so I figure I might as well pursue that. I feel that history, as a subject, is criminally neglected in (American) schools, so if I can address that, even in my own classroom, it’d be a cool thing to do.
OL: That’s a commendable choice. History is a lesson that’s important now more than ever. I feel we live in a world of misinformation and a helluva lot of whitewashing about the past. It’s really important that we have civilization’s legacy well-documented before the history of the world just becomes what you read on Wikipedia.
Hypno: While that’s certainly true, it’s equally prevalent to see individuals ignore or deny certain aspects of history in order to form a counter-cultural narrative that is just as inaccurate and biased as the Westernized version of events.
It seems to me that there is an overall lack of historical comprehension. I shit you not, in my American History class, my professor made a distinct point of explaining to that class that slavery did not originate in the West, and that it in fact existed as far back as the first civilizations in Mesopotamia. I thought it was strange that he would state something so obvious, but from the remarks my classmates made, it was apparent that this was new information to some of them.
Essentially, some of these students were under the impression that Americans created slavery. Imagine how that misconception could skew their perception of the world around them. Without a proper understanding of history, it’s not possible to understand the present.
OL: As a historian, it’ll be your duty to sift through all of the hearsay to present the best factual interpretation of events possible. A pretty mammoth task, but I think you’re up to it. I wish you lots of luck for the rest of your course and beyond.
OL: Tell us a bit about your relationship with the batshit-insane-sexy-cartoons that some people label “Anime.” We know Pokemon was an early influence to you, but where did things go from there?
Hypno: I didn’t really have many influences for a good chunk of time after elementary school. I genetically have depression and an anxiety disorder, but they never were a part of my life until I was about 9 or 10. When I was small, my parents, teachers, and other family members all told me ad-nauseam that I was, “so smart,” and that they had, “big expectations for me.” As a kid it was this enormous weight on my shoulders that everyone had these grandiose dreams for me.
By the time I was in 4th grade, my dad started emphasizing the fact that I would be going to college, but I was beginning to lose interest. A lot of the things I enjoyed just weren’t fun anymore, and I had no motivation to do my schoolwork. Long story short, I got an “F” on a particular test, and rather than asking what went wrong my dad just tore into me, emphasizing what a failure I was and how I’d ruined all these expectations. It really fucked me up.
I’ve been in therapy since I was 10, for a myriad of reasons, but in middle school I just wanted out, and tried to off myself. As you can see, that didn’t pan out. I was in a perpetual state of sadness. But thankfully over the ensuing years I’ve learned to battle my depression.. and ya know…I dunno how I got talking about this.
Welcome to ADD.
OL: Hey, It’s absolutely fine brother, I understand. For whatever it’s worth, that’s a uncannily familiar story for me, even the time-frames match up, so you’re at least in the company of someone who can sympathize with what you’re going through. How are you feeling these days? Do you feel that therapy has helped you?
Hypno: After all this time in therapy, I’ve been able to largely control my depression to a point where it doesn’t cripple my life the way it used to, but it came with a trade off: I’ve obtained such an in-depth, comprehensive understanding of my own mind and the way that it works, that I find myself caught in a struggle between rationality and emotion.
For example, I’m generally able to identify the source of any given bout of anxiety or depression. Because of this, logically, I feel that I should be able to overcome it; yet my emotions don’t comply. So I end up in this limbo of knowing exactly what is causing the grief, understanding that the cause of the grief is irrational, but being wholly unable to do a damn thing about it.
It goes back to that saying, “Ignorance is bliss,” I guess. I almost wish that I didn’t understand myself as well as I do so that I could just be flat-out depressed, instead of waging a war inside of my find trying to trump my emotions with rationale. At the end of the day though, I do think therapy has helped me considering I’ve made it this far.
In terms of how I’m feeling, as sad as it sounds, I’ve just become accustomed to being depressed. At least having a baseline of being sad allows for games to really cheer me up on a regular basis, gotta look at the bright side, haha.
OL: I’ve been suffering with depression for the best part of about twenty years now. I don’t know if this at the very least brings you some modicum of familiarity, but the way you describe your condition is borderline identical to my own.
Like yourself, I have my habits, causes, and recognition down to a tee; but despite this, I am unable to stop it from happening. I refer to it as, “Third Person Awareness.” I can watch myself slipping, know what triggered it, know that the situation might not warrant such a reaction, then just kinda sit there helplessly and watch myself curl up into a mess. I know exactly what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and that I possibly don’t have to do it. But I can’t stop it.
Awareness and depression are a brutal mix, being unable to fully understand all elements of yourself, your brain and your illness but to just watch it unfold inside you is a frustrating, heartbreaking cross to bear. I at least wanted you to hear from someone who understands what you are describing, as I know that discussing the details of such conditions can feel like you’re speaking in foreign tongue.
I have no choice but to fight my depression daily. Nearly twenty years later I still am, and I’m tired. SO tired. But I have things to bury myself in. I have talents and interests. This is often all we have as defense. The walk in park, the trip to the cinema, right? We’ve made it this far, and we’ll continue on. It may get better, it may not, but we’ll be ok.
Hypno: It’s always a breath of fresh air to have someone actually understand what I’m saying when it comes to this part of my life. Those that don’t experience it are sometimes left entirely confused when you attempt to explain it to them. That said, as nice as it is to have someone understand, it’s also incredibly painful because I wouldn’t wish my mental illness on my worst enemy, let alone a friend.
It’s no problem at all to share this story. Though I was worried I had gotten too real for the sake of the interview, haha.
OL: Hypno, what’s your favourite anime?
Hypno: If we’re talking favorite in terms of pure unadulterated enjoyment, Kill la Kill.
OL: A popular choice! I still haven’t seen it.
Hypno: It’s certainly not for everyone, that’s for sure. I think your expectations and mood going into the show greatly effect how you’ll look at it. However, being an anime snob I’m contractually obligated to toss in my favorite in terms of quality, which would be The Tatami Galaxy.
OL: That’s outside my admittedly tiny sphere of reference, what is it?
Hypno: Oh boy. At its very core, it’s about a college student trying to obtain the “Hollywood” college life that’s shown in films and television but it’s told in a very unconventional manner – it has speeding fast dialogue, a unique visual presentation, and is unafraid to be different.
OL: But does it contain any toothbrushing sequences that will give me a surprise hard-on?
Hypno: There are no toothbrush scenes as far as memory serves, but there is a rock climbing wall with breasts instead of grips. So, if you’re into that…?
OL: I don’t think so. But then again, I didn’t know I was into incestuous teeth-brushing either.
Hypno: I think if anyone knew they were into that beforehand it would raise some pretty big questions.
Currently I’m just watching the new season of Boku no Hero Academia, although I’m a little behind on it as of right now, in addition to watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure with Malthor. I’ve seen it already, but I’m going through it with him since he hadn’t.
OL: Jeez, if you like Malthor so much why don’t you marry him?
Hypno: If he was of the opposite sex, I probably would, haha!
OL: Well, whilst I go and prepare a disgustingly garish cake for a ceremony that isn’t gonna happen. You can regale us with answers to the Final Five:
OL: Who is a famous person you admire?
Hypno: Tomas Kalnoky, the lead vocalist and guitarist for Streetlight Manifesto, and his side project Toh Kay. His music in all seriousness changed my life, helped me look at things from a less…resentful standpoint.
OL: If all crime was made legal for one hour, how would you spend that hour?
Hypno: Hide in my basement with my cats and a weapon. I don’t want any part of that.
OL: Damn, I thought you’d say sister-fucking.
OL: What one unrealized project would you love to see come to fruition?
Hypno: I’d love to see another Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution album.
OL: Are you in love?
Hypno: I’d probably say that I love Malthor. In a strictly platonic fashion though, Panda. Don’t get any ideas.
OL: What the best thing you can do with your hands?
OL: Its like a fucking spiderweb! Can you do that knife trick? Must be real easy.
Hypno: Haha! yeah its not too much of a hassle!
OL: Going forward, what are your hopes and dreams? What would you like to see, for yourself or others?
Hypno: All I want is to reach a point in my life where I can be happy again, and to hopefully have a family of my own to share that happiness with.
OL: Well, I hope you achieve all that you wish for. You’re a swell guy, wise in your youth and tuned in to what you want for yourself. Whilst I can’t speak for everything you’ve been told in the past. I know your dad was wrong in one particular instance: You aren’t a let-down, Hypno, and you haven’t ‘ruined any “expectations.” You’re smart, funny as fuck, and a great conversationalist, somebody I’d love to get together with for drinks/sex.
You’re an essential and much-loved part of the Dtoid family. On a personal level, you are one of my favorite members of the community.
Hypno: Thanks a million dude. The same goes to you. I had a great time doing this, thanks for giving me the opportunity!
OL: The final words are yours, so grasp the mic:
Hypno: Well, I guess I can really sum things up in two words: Thank you. Thank you all so much for welcoming me into this depraved dungeon of perversion, entertainment, and sometimes even video games! Through this community I was able to meet a ton of great people, and I’m sure that I’ll encounter plenty more over my stay here. Keep on being saucy. Except for you Gaj. You can go soak your head.