When I started OzBoxLive on July 1st 2007 I had absolutely no idea what would happen next. There was no plan to attend E3, organise charity events, interview developers and directors, go to midnight launches but rather do what I can to work with the community and create something special for them. All this evolved over time naturally because I wanted to make OzBoxLive a destination for all Australian Xbox owners.
Initially the focus was OzBoxLive Radio. This Podcast had the end goal of creating a fun and exciting radio-like show with the latest news, reviews, interviews, tips and group discussions. I remember how passionate I was with ensuring all the interviews were recorded via Xbox Live. I felt that it just made everything feel that much more authentic and I still remember those early days of setting up all the equipment necessary to get the best audio quality.
Everything else that happened next simply grew naturally over time. I remember Microsoft Australia invited me to their head office in Sydney and gave OzBoxLive an award for “best newcomer”. I then worked with them to organise the very first Community Playdates in the country. I can not tell you how amazing it was to turn the Xbox 360 on and displayed on the dashboard was the OzBoxLive logo and an invitation to our own community event for the entire country to see.
Simply starting a podcast and community site has allowed me to work with some amazing people and make new friends. I have to thank every single person that has contributed to OzBoxLive over the years. Helping with the podcast, website, events and more has been very much appreciated and helped ensure all this has lasted 8 wonderful years. The OzBoxLive team of volunteers have all contributed their time, knowledge and passion for gaming. And you can really hear this in their voice when we had discussions on a range of topics. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with all these people as I believe it made everything that much more exciting and interesting for listeners.
I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to write for the Official Australian Xbox Magazine for a year and share my own thoughts about the Australian Xbox Community. I never dreamed that I would be presenting to 1000+ students about my experiences in the Video Games Industry. I never dreamed I would ever attend E3 for five years in a row and interview developers, directors and producers. No one really knows what kind of amazing things happen when you start your own website/podcast for fun. You just do what you gotta do because you are passionate about it.
I have to give a massive thanks to my fellow Xbox MVPs. You all changed my life in ways that I never imagined. Thank you for inspiring me and sharing your own personal experiences. Your help and support has been so encouraging and I am deeply honoured to be part of the MVP program for 6 years in a row. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go to the MVP Summit at Microsoft HQ and meet the people behind the Xbox products, games and accessories.
I think one of my biggest highlights over the years was creating the XperienceXpo charity event and raising funds for the Royal Melbourne Childrens Hospital. Easily this was something that had a deep impact on me personally. By bringing gamers together and organising this event we all were collectively doing something positive for these children. Going to the hospital and presenting them with an Xbox 360 and playing games with some of the children will be something I will never forget.
When I look back over these past 8 years I have nothing but good memories. So much so that I’m actually contemplating putting them together in a book to share with everyone. Meeting people like Stan Lee, Chris Hemsworth, MC Hammer, Tony Hawk, Peter Molyneux, Frank O’Connor, Cliff Bleszinski and so many more. And sharing my own personal experiences with everyone could be a nice way to potentially inspire others out their to start their own podcast, website or YouTube channel.
I have to give the biggest thank you to my wife. I don’t think anyone out their could imagine what it’s like to go out with someone and cancel plans because you are recording a podcast… About “Video Games”, or have to end a phone call because you have a Skype meeting or go to a video games conference one month before your wedding.
Finally I would like to thank YOU at the end of all this. Without YOU there would have been no need to create a podcast in the first place. No need to attend any events, go to those midnight launches or interview guests. The gaming community has been the most important aspect of OzBoxLive and I’ve enjoyed listening to the community over FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
To wrap this up I would like to say that the video games industry is just the best industry in the world. And I love all video games regardless of what console or platform they are on. I’ve always believed that a good game is a good game! And everything is evolving so fast now as we enter 4K Gaming, Video Game Streaming and Virtual Reality. My recommendation is to just enjoy all the games. Have fun, play online and maybe create something… You never know where it could take you.
Thank You again everyone. Now on to my next level. Game On!
Please feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn.
All the best,
Mark Libman – CardShark 360
Executive Producer – OzBoxLive
Australian Xbox MVP – 2010-2015