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Interview: Gamertag Database

Gamertag Database (www.gamertagdatabase.com) is, as the title suggests, a database of Xbox LIVE Gamertags. It’s an easy way to find more about your fellow gamer or to find new gamers in your area. You can also give feedback on those you play and see what other games they have. We’re here today with the mastermind behind it all, Jay Johnson.

What prompted you to start Gamertag Database?

I happened to be lucky enough to be a LIVE Beta tester so I would surf the Beta forums looking to find out “insider” info and generally waste time. So. I kept seeing all these threads asking where everyone was from, how old they were, and what they happen to do for work.. etc…. I was working late one night (see wasting time on the forums) and decided to take a break to build a quick and dirty page that would store this info for users. The first iteration of the site had 1 country and no searching.. It sure has come a long way since then..

Gamertag Database now has over 25,000 Gamertags and rising. Why do you think the site has been so popular?

Because “My Wife” (Adam) has made the site so darn sexy! He’s does all the graphics.. a wizard if you ask me. I think people just dig on a site that is community driven and not advertisement driven.. we all love LIVE and this is nice place to find other people with the same mindset..

Who else has helped you on this colossal project?

Oh man.. there are so many people that have helped. To list them all is going to be hard.. I mean.. crap.. you gave us the list for all the UK provinces an such.. everyone chips in.. It’s killer.. it’s a free site run by 25,000 volunteers. The core team is: SassyPants, Ram2600, My Wife, Millman, Red Bandit, Asphyxiate, Vitamin B, Gamertag, and TristanSim.

Have you had any input or help from Microsoft?

We are in touch with their PR firm but besides that we haven’t had any contact with them.

Can you ever see the site being endorsed by Microsoft?

Umm.. probably not actually. I think they like the site and they are helping us promote it through the news agencies but as for officially endorsing it.. I really can’t see that.

You also have a band and work as a web host. Tell us a bit about that.

Yeah. ever since I can remember I have been loving games and music. My band’s CD (Velocity Engine : Version.1) is coming out April 8th!! (buy it and support our broke little band!). http://www.velocityengine.net As for work.. I own Hit Catcher Hosting. I spend most of my days writing code for clients. Weee! I love code!

Do you actually get a chance to play on LIVE with all the work you have?

Funny you should ask that. I find myself only playing a few hours a week these days.

Finally, what future plans do you have for Gamertag Database?

Oh the future is bright my friend. I’ll leave your readers with a hint of what we have in store. Xbots!

Thanks for your time Jay

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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