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Media Consumption: Funcom's Morten Byom

Today’s Media Consumption, a weekly column that digs deep to find out what our favorite game developers have been devouring in the four basic food groups of audio, video,...
Today’s Media Consumption, a weekly column that digs deep to find out what our favorite game developers have been devouring in the four basic food groups of audio, video, printed word and games, speaks to Funcom's Anarchy Online Game Director Morten Byom. Formerly a Game World Designer on previous expansions of Anarchy Online, Byom has followed in the footsteps of Gaute Godager and Marius Enge by becoming Game Director for the franchise's newest expansion, Lost Eden. We caught up with Byom via email to sneak a peek at what's on his plate. Sounds: "If I were to select one source of music as the single source that has taken up the most of my listening time, it would have to be Metallica," said Byom. "Even though they're the clear favorite in my life so far, I must reluctantly admit that the sole function of their albums nowadays is to collect dust." Byom says that music is a big influence in his creative processes, and that he has an abundance of friends and family to thank for the wide variety of his tastes. "Other sources of music that deserve mentioning - either due to previous affection or a more current infatuation - is in no specific order Nightwish, Mozart, Live, Guns N' Roses and Edvard Grieg. So what kind of music is then my favorite?" he asks. "You tell me!" Moving Pictures: "I spend too much money buying DVDs!" said Byom, whose DVD movie collection gets a majority of the screen-time on his home television. "I have a wide selection of movies that I at one time or another determined was worth keeping around," he said. "The last movie I watched was Predator 2, to pass some time while relaxing on the couch yesterday. Today I am heading out to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the local cinema," he said, hoping that - as a fan of the book - the movie would not disappoint. "TV in general has taken a steep dive over the last few years, with the unlimited amount of variation of reality shows, and I spend less and less time in front of the TV because of it." Byom says that he watches only one show religiously: The Discovery Channel's Mythbusters. "I am strangely fascinated with this crew of people who have made it their goal to test every myth known to man," he said. Other shows Byom claims to watch, should he happen to flip past them, are Lost, The Today Show, and Late Night with David Letterman. Words: "I love books," he said, "I carry them around with me wherever I go. They are the most wonderful entertainment there is!" Byom says his childhood was spent reading any book he could get his hands on, with a particular love of the Hardy Boys' series. "I really wanted to be a detective and solve crimes," he said. Byom also claims to have read everything Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl has ever written; quite an accomplisment, considering the author's extensive bibliography! "For you out there that play Anarchy Online, you might find a strange connection between the in-game communication network, the Whom-Pah, and the world of the Chocolate Factory," he said. "As I started to pick up English I started to read more fantasy books, and was for the longest time a devoted Dragonlance fan," he continued. Byom is currently working his way through the complete works of William Shakespeare, and is eagerly anticipating A Feast for Crows, the latest in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series of novels. Games: "I spend most of my spare time playing games, and a good chunk of my work time doing the same," he said. "A lot of this time is of course spent playing Anarchy Online, the most fabulous game ever made!" Other games Byom has been playing recently, both for inspiration and leisure, include EverQuest 2, World of WarCraft, Diablo 2, Battlefield 2, and The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. "Outside of the electronic world," he said, "I have recently joined an AD&D campaign with some friends, and enjoy some gaming time away from the computer." [Frank Cifaldi is a Las Vegas-based freelance author whose credits include work for Nintendo Official Magazine UK, Wired, and his own Lost Levels website.]

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