John Phipps (Host of Super Deformed Gamescast)
John Phipps is the creator and co-host of Super Deformed Gamescast, a gaming podcast that focuses on fostering an inclusive, progressive environment. He is also an advocate for individuals dealing with mental illness, serving as a streaming ambassador for TakeThis.org and volunteering his time at the Hope Booth during the PAX gaming convention. John also hosts a podcast called Support Class which is aimed at those dealing with numerous forms of mental illness.
John has also been featured on Polygon where he wrote about both the supposed connection between video games and real world violence, and his time overseas in both Iraq and Afghanistan (he is a proud combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps). Most recently he made an appearance co-hosting Kinda Funny Games Daily with Greg Miller, and you can also usually find him on Twitter where he spends a great deal of time talking about Dark Souls and punching bigotry and intolerance in the face (metaphorically speaking of course).
What is the first video game that you remember playing?
“Burgertime on Intellivision, if I’m being literal. I was like…..four? It was 1984 and I have only the most fleeting memory of it, however. The first game I truly REMEMBER playing and absorbing was The Legend of Zelda in 1987. That’s the game that first ensnared my imagination and set me on the path I’ve tread ever since.”
What are your favorite games of all time?
“Man, what a question. For many people, myself included, these sort of lists change on the daily. After all, I think part of the reason we love a thing is not just due to the thing itself, but the CIRCUMSTANCES in our lives when we experienced it. Having said, there’s a shortlist of my favorites that will remain forever unchanged: FFVI, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, BotW, A Link to the Past, TLoU, and Super Mario Odyssey.”
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
“Exercise is a big part of my life, especially since enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. And at 38 years old, it becomes more important every day to keep fit. I usually mix weight training with boxing, long-distance running, and sprinting. And pull-ups…..lots and lots of pull-ups. Cooking is also extremely therapeutic for me. As someone who suffers from generalized anxiety, the act of cooking……that is, experimenting with different ingredients and potentially creating something wonderful…..resonates with me. From the smells wafting through the kitchen to tasting a good meal and knowing I did that, it gives me a sense of reassurance and comfort”
Do you and your children play video games together?
“Yes! My ten year-old son and I play Mario Kart, Mario Party and other games together. Sometimes we’ll both head down to the basement and he’ll sit in my computer chair as I’m in the recliner, pull out his Switch, and call himself my “guy in the chair”. Which honestly just completely slays me every single time.”
How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?
“For me it’s actually not that difficult. My wife enjoys games as well, and I make sure to spend time hanging out before I fire up whatever I’m currently playing. My son lives with his mother, so we only get to see him two weekends out of every year, otherwise I’d play less. However, I would sell everything I own, all my games and all my consoles, if it meant I could have him always. Sadly, that isn’t my reality and never will be. So I’ve fostered a love for the medium in him to provide us a means to connect in person and across the miles. And it really worked.”
What is your proudest moment as a parent?
“There’s quite a bit to choose from. My son is a kind-hearted, empathetic individual who is sensitive to other people’s pain and sorrow. I think if I had to pick one, it’d be from earlier this year when he was nine years old. His class was discussing their favorite superheroes. He’s a Marvel kid, same as I am. When his turn came around, without hesitation he said “Spider-Man, but in real life my daddy”. When I heard about that, I burst into tears. My father was an abusive drunk, and I never really experienced what it felt like to have a father figure you could admire. I spent many years afraid I wouldn’t know how to be a dad, or that I’d be a terrible one. Realizing my son looked at me the same way as he viewed a superhero validated every parenting choice I’ve ever made, and I haven’t questioned my parenting ability since.”
Make sure to watch Super Deformed Gamescast at Twitch.tv/officialSDGC or Youtube.com/superdeformedgamescast.
And Follow John on Twitter @mistermegative and @officialSDGC!