Community Spotlight - Mike

We catch up with Pirate Port Radio founder Mike, aka Abstractacas.

Can you believe it’s been two weeks since our last Community Spotlight? We can’t either. And just like that, it’s time for another! This week we’ll be chatting with one fan who’s been active in a big way since the day we announced Sea of Thieves back in 2015. Ever since then, Mike (also known as Abstractacas on the web) has tweeted, podcasted, grown a borderline sentient beard, visited Rare and generally revelled in his anticipation for the game. Let’s find out some more about this bearded buccaneer.

Mike came to visit Rare earlier this year and you'll probably recognise him from our E3 2016 gameplay trailer.

[Q]: Tell us a little bit about what got you into gaming.
[A]: My passion for gaming started a long time ago. When I was younger, there was an arcade not too far from my house that I would go to almost every day after school. My go-to game was always Dig Dug and if I wasn't playing that, chances are I was lost in one of the numerous pinball machines. Through the arcade I met loads of people, one of which would eventually introduce me to the world of Rare. I had a SNES growing up, but I guess what really got me into gaming was the N64. I had this one friend with an affinity for Rare games who introduced me to Jet Force Gemini, Banjo-Kazooie and so many others.

[Q]: What’s your favourite Rare game and why?
[A]: Any game in the Banjo-Kazooie series, but if I absolutely have to pick one, it would be the first. For whatever reason something about a bird living in a bear's backpack just intrigued me! Mumbo Jumbo was just absolutely hilarious to me. I used to get on my brother's nerves always going around the house chanting "eekum bokum eekum bokum".

We reckon that Mumbo Jumbo impression should open up the next podcast, Mike. Just a thought...

[Q]: What games are you playing currently? Any favourites?
[A]: You mean when I actually do have time for gaming when I'm not chasing my two-year-old around the house? I play a bit of Rocket League every now and then, which is weird considering I'm not a fan of soccer. On top of that, Fallout: New Vegas just came on to Xbox One as backward compatible, so I've been playing that as well. Most recently I've found myself running/horseback riding through the Wild West in Red Dead Redemption.

[Q]: You’ve been one of our most vocal fans since the E3 2015 reveal trailer for Sea of Thieves. What is it that appealed to you from the outset?
[A]: Pirates! Enough said! Really though, I used to love playing Sid Meier's Pirates! on my PC and I guess that's where my affinity for pirates came from. I remember fantasising about how cool it would be to play it from a first person view. Later on after E3 2015, through research for an episode of Pirate Port Radio, I learned that Rare did a port of Pirates! to the NES.

[Q]: You’ve been running Pirate Port Radio for a year now and it’s still going strong. Tell us a bit more about it.
[A]: Podcasting was something I'd wanted to do for a while after listening to all of the Destiny-centered pods out there. I'd always had a love for pirates and Rare, thus Pirate Port Radio was born. I spent the next few months working on ideas and trying to find a co-host or two. In the end I settled on having just two of us. My first mate was the unlikeliest of people, Paladin Topaz, or Sebastian who also runs his own YouTube channel called Sea of Thieves Central.

Presenting: The two hosts of Pirate Port Radio, who got to meet each other for the first time during the fan visit to Rare!

[Q]: Rumour has it, the story behind your beard involves a certain skeleton pirate. Care to elaborate?
[A]: Ahh, indeed a funny story! I've been growing a beard since the first week of October 2015, vowing not to shave it until Sea of Thieves releases. Captain Bones challenged me to update him every week on my beard status, this eventually turned into every two weeks, and then fell off completely. But I have kept my promise of not shaving!

[Q]: You were also one of the stars of our E3 Gameplay trailer. What was it like to see that for the first time?
[A]: Slightly embarrassing? No. I'm not even sure I have words for how cool it was. Embarrassing, did I say that already? I had such a great time at the studio and playing the game, I'm glad it showed through in the trailer!

[Q]: Are there any other highlights you have from your trip to Rare earlier this year?
[A]: Meeting all of the people I'd spent so much time speaking with through social media was an incredible experience. Playing footgolf with Gregg Mayles was definitely a highlight. Around the second or third hole I managed to sustain a pretty unlucky injury, nothing serious! On the "bright side", I did become the first person ever to get hurt on the Rare foot golf course!

Gregg introduced Mike and the other fans to a Rare staple, Foot Golf.

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate name, what would it be?
[A]: Arr, what to choose? I could go with one of the names ol' Captain Bones has given me due to growing my beard, which include Fuzzy Face Ab and Captain Brownbeard among others. I think I'll go with Captain Abraham Stract! It stems from my internet pseudonym, Abstractacas. Just seems pirate-y!

[Q]: What kind of hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?
[A]: I've recently discovered the world of Pop! figures. But, I'm picky, only want certain ones! I'm also really into DC Comics, particularly The Green Arrow.

[Q]: What are you looking forward to most in Sea of Thieves?
[A]: I want to be the most feared pirate to sail the sea! If you see my sails on the horizon, be afraid! (Disclaimer: Captain Ab is actually a really nice guy and would be willing to trade from time to time.)

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!
[A]: Well, I, umm... I'm a shot glass collector. No matter where I go for a vacation, I always get a shot glass from a gift shop wherever I am.

Thanks to Mike for taking the time to answer our questions. We’ll be keeping a close eye on that beard. You won’t shave it until Sea of Thieves releases? We’ll hold you to that, especially now that we have it in writing! And to all of our readers, we’ll be back again in a couple of weeks for another Community Spotlight, so in the meantime, don’t forget to keep your eyes on our Twitter and Facebook channels.