It was April 14th, 2019. A beautiful day to sail the seas, no doubt, and my first Xbox Ambassador Playdate since my entry into the program two months prior. I had joined forces with TheHighwayMan02, then known as XGB Rhino (“Rhino”), Bogi x3 (“Bogi”), and Paul1708 (“Paul”) to pillage, plunder, and pirate our way to riches and glory. We spent the time digging up chests, killing skeletons, and failing trying to clear at least one Skull Keep.
For the most part, our interactions with other players were few and far between. They consisted of a chest stolen here, a skull swiped there, and the occasional volley of cannon-fire, but the majority of our encounters were merely one group passing by the other without so much as a sword being drawn.
There was one incident, however, that has been stuck in my mind for the last few months. Shortly after the Playdate’s official end time, Bogi spotted a ship flying the Reaper’s Mark. After some consulting, our elected Captain, Rhino, decided to pursue. We were all itching for some player-on-player battles; after all, one can only play a pirate game for so long without wanting to sink some ships, and the Reaper’s Mark is essentially an invitation to attack.
We chased the ship across the map and sunk it within a matter of minutes. Our own ship took very little damage, and our entire crew survived. Paul and I collected the floating loot from our defeated prey, then rejoined Bogi and Rhino on the galleon to regroup. On our ship’s deck, Rhino and Bogi had cornered one of the crew members from the now-destroyed ship, but they weren’t fighting. The enemy was unarmed and seemed nonhostile, so we agreed to see what he or she wanted.
Paul asked if the player had a microphone. His question was followed shortly by a timid “hello?” in a voice that couldn’t have been much older than twelve or thirteen years old.
We greeted him and introduced ourselves, still wary. The player asked why we had attacked his ship. Rhino explained to him that the Reaper’s Mark flag causes a ship to appear for all players on the server, acting as a beacon for those who want to fight. When the other player heard this, he explained that he and his friends weren’t looking for trouble. They just thought the flag looked cool.
The four of us decided to have mercy on this kid. His friends had respawned with their ship on the other side of the map, and we couldn’t just leave him in the ocean with the sharks. Rhino suggest we sail to the closest island and wait with our new friend, protecting the lone player and his group’s hard-earned treasure from other, less friendly folk.
It was during the wait for the player’s friends that he asked us, “Why are you guys so nice?”
Rhino and Paul answered, explaining that we’re Xbox Ambassadors. When asked what it meant, Bogi added that we’re just gamers who want to make Xbox the most fun, safe, and inclusive place to play.
The young player told us he had heard of the Xbox Ambassadors before, but was scared to meet any because he thought they’d all be pro-level gamers who win at any cost. Rhino laughed at the thought, then told the other player that’s not the case.
We continued to chat with him for several minutes until his crew returned, then helped load what we had taken back onto their ship. We bade farewell, but not until after they all asked how to find other Ambassadors and what the requirements are to become one. Our new friends claimed they’d sign up as soon as they were old enough, then sailed away.
That young player’s question has been in my mind for a long time. Why are we so nice? The answer is different for everyone. Some of us are after those sweet rewards, and some may want prestige or recognition.
But I believe the majority of us are nice simply because we want to be. Gaming communities can be notoriously toxic, but the Xbox Ambassadors are fighting that reputation, one small (or big!) act of kindness at a time. Whether it be by returning loot pillaged from unsuspecting kids, reaching out to those who feel excluded, participating in charity streams and events, or simply creating quality content, Xbox Ambassadors can use their kindness to make a real difference in the gaming world.
I still consider myself a rookie, but I’m a proud member of this incredible community. I chose to become an Ambassador for the sweet rewards and found more value in spreading positivity than I ever imagined. So, I want to ask you, “Why are you so nice?” I urge you to think about what your answer to the question is, and remember: Whatever the reason, everything you do matters.