For this month’s Xbox Insider Community Spotlight we caught up with Scratch who is an Xbox Ambassador, Xbox MVP, and avid Xbox Insider. In addition, Scratch has been active on the new r/xboxinsiders subreddit as a moderator.
BH (BroHammersley): Welcome Scratch! Thanks so much for chatting with us and for being an Xbox Insider! Can you tell us a little about your journey to become an Xbox Ambassador, Xbox MVP, and moderator of r/xboxinsiders?
Scratch (aka_Scratch): This is always a tough question for me. It’s one of those things that just sort of happened. I came to the official Xbox.com forums in November of 2005, started posting there regularly, and ended up becoming a moderator. I became an Xbox Ambassador long before the current iteration and saw the program evolve. Because of my early involvement, I’ve worked closely with Xbox Support and been part of nearly every Xbox Support initiative pertaining to the community.
I still don’t know who nominated me for Xbox MVP, but I’m told it’s for the volunteer work that I (and many other great community members) have done and continue to do. For me it’s always about being there to help with whatever I can. I don’t speak about it much because I don’t want to be given false credit or feel I need more recognition. Looking back though, I guess there are some pretty cool stories!
BH: No doubt things have changed a lot over time, but that’s awesome you’ve been there from the start! What’s the earliest memory you have of playing games on Xbox Live?
Scratch: I was in the Navy when Xbox Live launched. I’d been playing a lot of Playstation 2 because I had the adapter for “net play”, so I was eager to try out Xbox Live. Before I deployed, a friend of mine in the Navy went home on leave and started playing on Xbox Live. He loved it so much he missed his flight back and was designated AWOL! I felt bad for him, but at the same time I was thinking, “Wow, it’s that good!”. Early on I played a ton of Halo 2 and Wolfenstein–I could write books about moments from those games. It was a great time and I met so many people.
BH: Hopefully your friend’s punishment wasn’t too severe! What games are you currently playing on Xbox?
Scratch: I’m all over the place. I try out all the ID@Xbox titles. I really like retro gaming with a modern twist, and I appreciate the creativity of independent developers and the risks they take. Aside from that I play all the big games on Xbox Live with my friends. I’m currently trying to decide if I’m still an achievement hunter. I’ve kind of fallen off, but I used to do it a lot.
BH: I think we all sometimes face that dilemma with achievements. Speaking of dilemmas, there are a ton of great games coming to Xbox in 2018 and never enough time to play them all, what are some of the games you’re looking forward to this year?
Scratch: Well, soon I’ll be playing State of Decay 2 of course, but for the rest of the year, I’m excited about the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Red Dead Redemption 2. I’m sure there will be an unannounced game or two that make the list–sometimes I’m more excited for the games I don’t know about yet.
BH: With E3 around the corner hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer. As an Xbox Insider, what do you like the most about the Xbox Insider Program?
Scratch: One thing I’ve vowed to do is never stop learning, and the Xbox Insider Program allows me to do that. I center a lot of my help videos and content creation around the Xbox Insider Program on my YouTube channel. I’ve done it for a long time, even back when updates were twice yearly and there was no Xbox Insider Program. When the Xbox Insider Program was created it was a natural fit and allowed me to continue. I’ve met a lot of people, helped a lot of people, and been helped by a lot of people, and it’s been pretty awesome to see the Xbox Insider Program evolve over time.
BH: Any pro tips for Xbox Insiders posting on r/xboxinsiders?
Scratch: I think my biggest tip for posting on r/xboxinsiders is to read through everything and get to know what’s on there. You may not only find an answer to your question, but may be able to help others with things you know. When you do post, it’s important to provide good feedback. Post the steps to your problems so they can be recreated and give details to help others understand what something is doing versus what you expect it to do. If you’re already doing this, encourage and help others to do the same!
Stephen “Stepto” Toulouse often quoted Bill and Ted on the Xbox Forums and in interviews several years ago. I’d seen Bill and Ted as a kid, but for our community the words “Be excellent to each other” have always stuck with me.
BH: Great advice for all of life! Thanks so much for the chat, Scratch! Where can we connect with you?
Scratch: Twitter (@aka_scratch) is probably the best place because I tweet about most of the other things I’m doing. I put out videos on YouTube regularly, stream to my personal Mixer channel, and stream with some great people on the Xbox Ambassadors Mixer twice a week. My Gamertag on Xbox is Scrtch.