The mad rush of E3 is now behind us and after a successful show, it’s time to slip back into our regular content schedule. Of course, this means that we’re due for another Community Spotlight and today, we’ve got exactly that coming your way.

In our latest look into the lives of some of the biggest characters in this brilliant community, we’re talking to Mason, the musical marauder who’s made a name for himself amongst the team here at Rare for playing over 20 hours of our first ever 24-hour session! Hardcore, right? Let’s see what the man himself had to say…

The beard, the sea-themed tattoos, Mason looks like a pirate as much as he can sound like one!

[Q]: Tell us a little about what got you into gaming?

[A]: I started gaming at a very young age, but not as a player! I used to watch my brother play games with his friends at the young age of three, and of course he used the ol’ unplugged controller trick on me. I started playing a year later on the N64, from GoldenEye to Mario Kart. I got my first console (PlayStation 1) one Christmas and my first ever game was Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time in 1999! The rest is history!

[Q]: Were you a Rare fan before Sea of Thieves and do you have any favourite Rare games?

[A]: I was/am a massive fan of Rare before Sea of Thieves, as I said before we had family games of GoldenEye, but other than that I must of played at least 400 hours of the Viva Piñata series (even more so now with Rare Replay), I was a seriously good Gardener. Conker, Banjo – all classics for me!

[Q]: What games are you playing currently? Any favourites?

[A]: Other than the weekly play sessions?! I’m still playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I have played around 500 hours on it so far and I’ve been a massive fan of the series and books for years. My goal at the moment is to 100% them all! I’ve also been playing a lot of Dishonored 2, Titanfall 2 and Overwatch! I still venture back into classics though, like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Okay, that does it...someone fetch us a boat and a supply of hardtack. We're heading to Cornwall!

[Q]: How did you first become involved with the Sea of Thieves community?

[A]: When I first saw the E3 reveal trailer, I knew instantly that I needed to be hands-on with everything this game allowed me to be, and so I kept an eye on the horizon for any Sea of Thieves updates. I joined the Forums the second the Insider Programme was revealed to me and posted every now and then, but over time I got a lot more involved and responded to posts and questions that I thought I could add or contribute to. I was a lot more active on the subreddit than I was on the Forums at first, and I think at one point I had 4-5 posts that were on the front page of all time!

[Q]: One of the reasons you stood out to us was because you managed to play 20 hours of our first 24 hour play session. How did you manage that?!

[A]: Ha, well it wasn’t in one hit! Plenty of caffeine and a whole lot of love for the game! I think it was something like two nine hour sessions and a two hour one. I heard about the session and I won’t lie, I was so super excited that I told all my friends at University (where I’m already known as that Sea of Thieves dude) where I was the Lead for a 6-month project we were then working on. I came in the next morning tired and the first thing they said to me was “Sea of Thieves?”, that wasn’t a productive day! The next time I’m aiming for 24-hours in one session! As soon as the game is released, a few friends of mine were thinking about doing a 24-hour stream for charity with added pirate voice!

[Q]: We’ve also caught wind of the fact that you're not afraid to flex your vocals and sing like a pirate. Tell us more!

[A]: One of my passions is acting and voice acting, and I can do a rather good pirate accent. I didn’t do it in the first few sessions, but one session I was playing with three random lovely people and everyone was super quiet. So, I came in and blasted out my pirate voice and they went crazy for it! We sailed around for the three hours and I was shouting at other crews and they loved it as well, so much so that we met up with another ship and sailed around as an 8-man crew! I stay in contact with all eight of them and we join up as much as we can! The voice has gained me a lot of friends, I think I’ve made about 30 friends since I started doing it. I love to pirate role-play and every now and then I’ll get someone who joins in which is amazing! If you ever hear a pirate shouting PARLAY in-game that’ll be me!

Outside of part-time pillaging in Sea of Thieves, Mason has time for a spot of mo-cap.

[Q]: Do you have any standout moments or stories from your time playing the game?

[A]: I have two so far! The first one was simple; I got matched on my own (or the crew quit before I could meet them) so I decided to just get on my ship and sail off with no direction or heading. I dropped anchor in the middle of nowhere and just walked around the deck taking it all in. Other crews passed by and saw it was just me and never attacked, even when there were battles going on around me. It was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had.

The other was my very first session, we got stuck in-between two massive rocks and a ship kept attacking us, but the position we were in made it near impossible for them to hit us! After we sank them a few times, they sailed over and decided to help us out. They rammed us about 40 times, and just before the session ended we got loose! BUT! They couldn’t stop the ram and took our place, we gently sailed away playing a hearty tune to the crew who were now stuck, and instead of helping we just went to the nearest tavern!

[Q]: What are you looking forward to most in Sea of Thieves?

[A]: Just being able to channel my inner pirate that has been locked away for years! But seriously, the freedom to do what I want is what excites me every time I think about Sea of Thieves! Being able to replicate that solo session and exploring every island is also something I cannot wait to do. The art style in the game blows me away every time, I once let my crew sail off without me while I just walked around an island and took it all in, so being able to do that without a care in the world is something I eagerly await! Oh, and grog!

[Q]: If you had to choose a pirate name, what would it be?

[A]: Well, I actually have quite a large beard in person, so I have been told Bronzebeard would be a fitting name, but as my gamer tag is MrGoldyFace and I speak like a pirate in-game I seem to have been given the name Capt’n Gold-face which works just as well!

A pirate at work.

[Q]: What kind of hobbies do you enjoy outside of gaming?

[A]: I’m a student of Video Game Animation, so in my spare time I do a lot of animation to improve myself. I also love Motion Capture but I’m using my spare time to better myself with Key-Frame animation! I also play the guitar and as mentioned do a lot of voice acting in my spare time for friend projects! I love to read, be it books or graphic novels and I’m in love with the stars so I do a lot of astronomy when I get a chance!

[Q]: Share a fun fact about yourself. Anything is fair game!

[A]: I’m on an Animation placement at Foundry 42 working on Star Citizen and Squadron 42! One of my goals/dreams when I started studying Animation was to work at Rare and this was way before Sea of Thieves was announced, so who knows!

Oh, and I literally have the inability to burp and have a ship's wheel tattooed on my elbow!

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And that’s a wrap on another Community Spotlight! Thanks to Mason for chatting to us, we can see why you’re often seen as the life of the pirate party during play sessions. We’ll be keeping our eyes and ears peeled for those piratical vocals next time we’re out at sea.

That’s it for this week, but you can bet there are more Spotlights coming your way. Until then, don’t forget to check out our social channels (linked below) to stay up to date with all things Sea of Thieves!