Welcome to the Lasombra Files, PSU’s weekly hit program. Follow the story of Lasombra and V as they try to stay alive in Shadow City, unraveling its secrets, while at the same time shining the spotlight on Trophy hunters around the world and in our community.
My skull cracks against the door of the house as I am tossed into it by the Finnish military officer. Dazed and confused, it is only a matter of luck that I dodge the boot aimed at my face. The sickening crack of the wooden door gives a hint at what would have been. Surrounded by onlookers and news media, the attempted execution of a state criminal is all the rage in episode 22: Scandinavian Showdown. As the man rushes at me again I sidestep and trip him, trying to use his own momentum against him. Looking around I finally see a small opening in the crowd. Egressing through the crowd my thoughts try and focus on staying alive long enough to figure out this mystery.
Name: Daniel Hedlund
Occupation: Currently unemployed
Disclaimer: This interview is reproduced as written by the interviewee. Pictures copyright of their artist/photographer/owner. All likenesses used are for parody and/or satirical purposes.
Lasombra: How long have you been gaming?
Tutankhamun: I’ve been gaming almost my entire life. I started gaming regularly at six or seven if my memory serves me right. I think I got my Nintendo 64 around that age and before that I gamed a lot of Super Mario on a SNES we had in the household.
Lasombra: How did you find PSU?
Tutankhamun: It was actually by chance funnily enough. I became interested in this current generation of consoles in early 2006 and figured it’d be fun to find a gaming forum. So I made a Google search for ’PS3 forums’ or something similar and back in those days the site was called PS3 forums, as you might recall, so there it was, probably the first result on the search. So I became a lurker reading technical analysis based on rumors of the PS3 and being a tech geek I was hooked. And later that year I made my account.
Lasombra: Are you solely a Sony gamer this generation or do you split your time between multiple systems?
Tutankhamun: It has gone in waves. I own a Wii as well and I played that a fair bit for a while but I haven’t touched it in ages now. So right now, it’s mostly PS3 and the occasional PC game. I also do a fair bit of gaming on my iPhone and iPad which have taken over the portable space for me.
Lasombra: What do you like about the community at PSU that keeps bringing you back for more?
Tutankhamun: That’s a tough one. I guess I would say the diversity of the forums. I don’t mean only the members but also the topics of the forums. When I’m bored of gaming discussions, which I am quite often nowadays, there’s always the Off-topic section to hook you back. I think that helps to keep the conversations flowing. Some members have been on the forums for years, myself included, and that in some funny way created some feeling of togetherness as well, which I feel is important. For example, I’ve been posting in the Manchester United thread for about three years I think, and that’s not gaming related at all. And there are a lot of threads that’s been around for years. I think that’s very valuable to a community.
Lasombra: In your opinion, what needs to be done to help the community to grow bigger and better?
Tutankhamun: The forums are in a sad state when it comes to design and bugs at the moment. I think everyone from members to owners realize that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. I think unifying the psu.com experience with the forums is extremely important and some steps have been taken in that direction but more needs to be done. Right now psu.com feels like one product and the forums like another. They should be the same. I’ll give you an example, why are comments on news articles on psu.com locked to the homepage? It makes way more sense to bring them to the forum. I made such a suggestion several years ago as well which you can read here. Obviously we all need to recognize that the internet forum glory days are probably past with the march of social media but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a thriving and sustainable community here to last for a long time.
Lasombra: Do you have any gaming goals for this year?
Tutankhamun: I’m currently playing through the Assassins Creed series. I guess that’s a goal. Otherwise I suppose finishing GTA V will be my quest for the year, I’m really looking forward to playing it. Big fan of the GTA series.
Lasombra: Are you a Trophy hunter, and what do you think about Trophies overall?
Tutankhamun: I’m not a Trophy hunter at all to be honest. I find them valuable to the ecosystem of an online service but it’s not something I pay a lot of attention to. Don’t get me wrong, I do find it a little satisfying getting Trophies and some are really fun to do but I don’t really sit down to get Trophies. I just play the game and get ones I get.
Lasombra: The PS2 dominated a console war like no other system. What tricks does Sony need to pull out of their hat to create the same magic with the PS4?
Tutankhamun: They’ll need to launch the PS4 at just the right time, which is the key to any product. They’ll need to hit a good price point as well. And they’ll need content, and by that I don’t just mean games, although that’s the most important aspect, but things like movies, music etc will matter even more next gen, at least that’s my belief. Last but not least, what will determine the next gen war is probably something we can’t quite think of, something fresh and unthought-of.
Lasombra: Do you have a favourite era of gaming? The SNES/Genesis war? The reign of the PlayStation Reich? Hail to the NES?
Tutankhamun: I’ll have to say the PS Reich. I’ve done, by far, most of my gaming on PlayStation products. But I have huge respect for Nintendo as well. Mario was what turned me on to gaming.
Lasombra: Is there a lot of gaming culture in your area of the world? Unique stores, conventions, etc?
Tutankhamun: I’d say there’s a fair amount. Gaming has taken off heavily here in Sweden and we had TV-shows which talked about, and reviewed, games in the past. We had a ton of great magazines back when people read those. Nowadays, we have striving websites and some really great gaming podcasts as well. Online shopping has taken over more and more from dedicated gaming stores but there’s still a few around. We don’t get many conventions simply due to the fact that Sweden is a small country with only about 9 million inhabitants. That sets a limit on how successful a convention can be. But there have been some gaming happenings in the bigger cities during the years.
Lasombra: Have you ever been burnt out from a gaming session?
Tutankhamun: Not by a session per say, I have a lot of other interests besides gaming so I usually don’t want to spend all day gaming. But I’ve been burnt out of gaming many times, I think that’s normal sometimes you get tired of something. Breaks are good; they give an opportunity to reevaluate where you are and if you should change something. Take breaks!
Lasombra: Being from Sweden are there any gaming rivalries with your Nordic brethren? Is there a grudge match with Finland coming up soon?
Tutankhamun: Haha, not that I know of.
Lasombra: Finland is gaining a reputation for making some fun and popular games. Are there any companies based in Sweden that the general public might not realize?
Tutankhamun: Yeah, DICE whom made the Battlefield series are from Sweden, and Notch, the creator of Minecraft, is Swedish.
Lasombra: If you could be king for a day where would you set the next GTA location? Would you be patriotic and set it in Sweden, go cross-continental to Japan, or pick another major American city to base it off?
Tutankhamun: I’m going to be boring and go with the popular choice of London. I know everyone wants it there but I do think it’d be really cool. But I’m super excited about them picking Los Angeles again for GTA V. I thought San Andreas was an excellent game.
Lasombra: Do games come in Swedish or are they only in English in Sweden. Lots of past interviewees say they prefer games in English than their native language (Finnish, German, Spanish). What about you?
Tutankhamun: Most games are translated to Swedish nowadays. I do prefer to have the game in English personally. I like getting the story as intended by the author.
Lasombra: Mentioning being a Manchester United fan, do you like to play sports games as well or only play sports in the real world? Do you think there will be a point where the technology is so great that it'll mimic real life flawlessly?
Tutankhamun: I play a lot of sports games. That’s easily the genre I’ve spent the most time on. I did play ice hockey when I was young but I wasn’t that good. Technology will definitely reach a point where it will mimic real life; it’s just a matter of time. Long way off though.
Lasombra: Are you a PlayStation Plus subscriber? What do you think of Sony pushing out so many high-quality free games each month for PS+ members?
Tutankhamun: I am not a PS+ subscriber but I do like the initiative. Personally I don’t find enough time to play the games I want to play as it is so it wouldn’t be worth it for me. But I think it’s a good service and a good business plan for Sony.
I run for what feels like forever but it is only five minutes as I find a back alley to run into and hide. Catching my breath I focus on figuring out why I am being framed. If they just want me killed why go through all the trouble to beat me up? Why not toss me to the wolves; they’ve had so many opportunities to end me in episode 23: Splatter House Training. After a few more moments I peek out the alley and see the coast is clear. Stuck in a new world with no allies, supplies, or anything to help me there is only one thing to do and that is go to the source of my problems. Let’s see if this world’s Boss wants me just as dead as my Boss.
Missed an episode? Check out the back issues.
Want to hear random thoughts about life in Japan, gaming, or want to leave your thoughts about the series and the story? Follow our intrepid reporter on Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Dane.Smith@psu.com.