Words with a Hunter
In this edition of #WordsWithBaun we have the Hunter himself SplinterShield (@Shieldsauce). I really enjoyed his unique perspective both as a cosplayer and as one of the first people to see The Division before the rest of us. I hope you enjoy his answers and perspectives as much as I did!
What is your history with cosplay?
I’ve always liked dressing up and putting on a show. Back in college I got into medieval swordfighting as a martial art, and my girlfriend and I decided to go all out when Star Wars Episode Two came out, so she made an Amidala costume and I made an Anakin costume.
There was a costume contest and we were supposed to just go out, say our name and the character we were portraying and do a little turn. When I got up, as I turned I flipped out my saber and started spinning my saber all over the place, finishing with a leap into the air and plunging the collapsible saber into the stage floor. The crowd went wild and that was probably the moment when I was hooked. I did some random things after that, but never had a lot of time or money for it… until I did.
The Hunter was my first full-on, big, official cosplay. Prior to that, I was reluctant to really call myself a cosplayer because I knew how much effort others would put into their costumes and I was mostly tweaking a few things here and there — even after doing my Division agent cosplay when I spent hours making a computer model and 3D printing my ISAC device. After the Hunter cosplay, I think I’ve earned the title now. XD
What drew you to The Division in general?
The story and the immersiveness, no question. I love great storytelling, and the premise behind the game grabbed me immediately. I avoided games like World of Warcraft because A) RPGs always suck so much time and B) I knew the stories in WOW would be endless, and I would just be sucked in. But something about this game and this story made me dive in and never look back.
What is your favorite non-game/cosplay related thing to do?
Probably watch movies. I was a film major and I love good stories. I will watch and rewatch movies and tear apart stories and scripts and geek out over them. Spoiler Alert: NOT a fan of Last Jedi. Plus, I always thought when I became a dad that I would be reading stories to my kid, but JJ is autistic and doesn’t usually want to sit still for that, but we can watch movies together.
What would you cosplay with an unlimited budget? What would you do?
With an unlimited budget I would definitely do a GROUP cosplay! Its fun to go in to a con dressed up and make an impression, but when you have a group and you can make epic moments with the crowd — that's priceless! When I showed up in the Hunter cosplay at PAX South and there was a group cosplaying Division agents, we had a BALL. It would be so cool to do a Vigil cosplay (new operator in Rainbow Six Siege, kind of looks like the Hunter) and walk around with other R6S operators. Another thing I would love is to do a group Tron Legacy cosplay — I love the world of Tron and the light-up costumes are just toooo cool.
What was your favorite part about being in the first group of people to see The Division?
Getting the full-on “peek behind the curtain” experience, where we got to go to the studio and meet the developers. Something that really impressed me was how it wasn’t just a job to them, the passion was clearly evident. When it was meal-time, they didn’t just send us out with our handlers, they came along and ate with us and we all talked about our favorite games, our favorite moments in various game stories, on and on. The other part that was so cool was that they took our pictures and put our faces on missing person posters all over the city, and yes, I STILL look for myself. XD
What is your favorite restaurant? What item do you like there the most?
My favorite restaurant is probably Benihana because it’s not just eating, its an experience, but I don’t have a favorite dish there. There’s an Italian restaurant near my office called Hasta La Pasta and I love the Chicken Parmesan (I see you Amper!).
What game do you love that would surprise people?
Oh man, this is a hard one. So many to choose from! Ah, I’ve got it! I loved Brutal Legend, by Double Fine with Jack Black. They created this whole alternate world and mythology based on heavy metal tropes and lore and it was like Dorothy going to the Land of Oz, but Jack Black going to a dark land of epic heavy metal rock. So it didn’t take itself too seriously and it was fun to play but still had these deep story moments. Still hoping for a sequel there.
Are you working on any big projects right now? Care to tease us?
I was hoping that they were going to make an announcement for a new Splinter Cell game at 2017 E3 and that I would be working on a new Sam Fisher cosplay right now. That didn’t happen but I am working on a handful of Division-related projects at the moment: 1) a fan-fiction revolving around my Hunter theory (if you haven’t heard of it, check the reddit link here), a mocked up video briefing about the Hunter theory to Jessica Kandel, and, of course, I’m finishing up the Faye Lau cosplay for Hamish. Pictures attached!
And last, if Hunters entered Survival/Underground like WWE wrestlers what would your entrance song be? Why?
Back in Black was my first thought, but A) perhaps overused and B) although classic, pales in comparison to other WWE entrance music. Gravity Blast by Really Slow Motion & Epic North, starting at about one minute in — it actually featured in one of the Open Beta trailers for Division and has this deep yummy bass and epic choral element that feels soo proper for the Hunters. Youtube it, you’re welcome.
I want to thank the Hunter himself for taking the time to answer my questions and give us a little peek into his life and experiences. Learning about the players and content creators for The Division really impresses me more and more to. Thanks for all of the support and I can’t wait to bring you more of these! Until next time.