Were you on the edge of your seat to find out who the Ambassador of the Month is? Well, wait no longer, today we announce The Edge1970 as November’s Ambassador of the Month! On his seventh year as an Xbox Ambassador, Edge has shown us that he is a great Ambassador who is fully dedicated to upholding our pledge and being with us on our journey towards making gaming inclusive and welcoming. He is one of our awesome play hosts and we couldn’t be prouder to have him on the stream team. He’s one of a kind and we’re glad he can share part of his story.
How did gaming become one of your passions?
My first introduction into gaming would have been the mid to late 70’s, so the first games I played would have been things like Pong or Breakout, as I got older, consoles evolved and I began to play things like Pac-Man or Space Invaders.
The game that changed it all for me was Golden Eye on the N64, it was a single player & multiplayer title but it pushed the boundaries in the development of the FPS genre & what you could do with multiplayer.
The very first computer I ever had was the Spectrum ZX80, back then you had the option of buying it complete or as a kit. The kit enabled you to build your own console and that’s what I did and the first games I played were very basic and were on cassettes & this was another way my father and I bonded, after that the rest is history.
What brought you to the Xbox Ambassadors program; and what makes you stay?
I received an email about the Xbox Ambassadors program, which to be honest, I initially ignored and didn’t think much about it until I came across a live Xbox stream with akaScratch one Friday evening and whilst watching it, Scratch was talking about the Xbox Ambassadors program which reminded me I had an email and I officially joined on August 22nd 2013.
The people involved in the program are the reason I stay, the people I have met & the new people I am meeting even today, are all people with the same passions & goals as I have, we all want to create a positive, inclusive & safe gaming environment.
How do you stay involved in the program and the community?
When I was a kid, I joined a computer club at school, there were very few children that attended at first as gaming wasn’t as widespread as it is now. We used to go to each other’s houses and spend hours typing in the free codes on the back of gaming magazines & that was my first introduction into the concept of gaming being a community, so I have been involved in gaming communities most of my life.
Nowadays, I make myself available to the community within our Discord and social spaces for any help they may need, there has been many occasions where I have been sat there on Christmas Day helping other parents safely set up their children’s consoles and educating them on the family settings & how to keep their children safe online.
I am also heavily involved in many communities, both Xbox and non-Xbox related and spend a lot of my time helping many gamers with any issues they may have especially if it is related to Minecraft.
How do you think online community positively impacts the lives of gamers?
2020 has been especially challenging for a lot of families & having these online communities has provided a necessary social aspect for many people.
Online communities, especially this year, has impacted a lot of gamers in a positive way mentally & helped a lot of people feel less isolated. I have had many gamers reach out to me this year, discussing how they are feeling and gaming is what brought us together and enabled us to have those conversations and they know they are being heard, they know they are not alone.
I play Minecraft with a lot of people and eventually a group of us formed Netherpixel Studios, a Minecraft marketplace company, eventually I left and formed Monster Egg studios.
Through the Minecraft community, many people have been able to achieve their goals and I have helped many others become Minecraft partners, including fellow Ambassadors like JockGamingLTD who recently became a partner with his team, something that would not have been possible for any of us without online gaming and its communities, helping these people achieve the same goal I did has been incredibly satisfying and shows the positive real life consequences an online community can have for a person.
How did you become a playhost and what message are you trying to send your viewers?
The first time I considered becoming a playhost was when the Xbox Ambassadors team reached out to the community with an application to become a playhost at which point D3ATH PRONE & IOLV came to me asking if I would consider becoming a playhost on the Ambassador channel as part of XboxPlaydatesGB & that’s how I became a playhost.
I am just the average joe gamer, who just likes to play games & talk to other people (so if you are looking for a good chat, make sure you have a drink and a couple of hours spare) and my main message is, it doesn’t matter how good you are, we can still all play games together, have fun and be part of a huge community.
Also, promoting the Ambassador programs ideals through the streams enables people to get connected to each other in a positive, inclusive way & get involved with the Xbox community in a fun way that encourages the idea that gaming really is for everyone.
What other things outside of gaming are you involved with?
I often visit my children’s school and do book readings in their classes.
I don’t often talk about it but I am also heavily involved in charity work with Manchester Children’s hospital, these children are extremely poorly with many complex issues.
I became involved with this due to a friends experience when they lost their child through illness and being able to give back to these children & give them that one moment in time, where they can take a break from what they are going through and just play a video game & be a child is an overwhelming feeling, knowing that you have positively impacted them and their parents is just an amazing, satisfying feeling and it is a deeply personal thing to me.
Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
Not many people know this but I used to play the original Gears of War 1 & 2 competitively & my name was SGT Slaughter & I was a founding member of the G.I.Joe clan, we had many groups around the world representing each time zone for our clan & traveling to these events enabled me to meet many other gamers & clan members and at one point I was ranked 10th in the world for ranked competitive Gears of War, the clan became huge and became a force of its own within the Gears community and I eventually began to move onto other games.
In my local town, back in 2014 I happened to be at a play centre with my children, I was in the right place at the right time and I began talking to the owner of the play centre and we got to discussing Xbox and the Ambassadors.
I commented on how he had a massive empty space which could be used for children & teenagers and after hours of discussion we formed and eventually created The Game Box, a gaming hub, where kids aged 5 & above could come and play games on many different consoles in a safe & inclusive environment that they might not necessarily have had at home.
X019 was an amazing experience for me, I had spoken to many Ambassadors like itsLCGaming, BulletKenny & Pandy Yato for a long time and actually getting to meet them and the XA staff was an incredible experience and strengthened the friendship between us all, we were no longer just voices in a voice chat, we became more than that.
What message do you have for the XA community?
This is something I am constantly learning but the program enables us to come into contact with many people around the world, with many different views, religions & sexuality, we form connections and these connections we all make on a daily basis can be very important for others.
That person you are talking to, you may be the only one they have interacted with that day, the only one they may trust with their problems and being there, in a respectful, open and positive way can really make another person’s day, it really can save lives.
So be welcoming, positive, open and inclusive is the message I am trying to get across, Gaming is for everyone.