March 18th 2011 8:35 am PT
I often post Xbox LIVE Marketplace codes on my Twitter account (I call it Free Code Friday) as well as other places on the internet. As a result, I get many questions about the codes, what they are, how to win etc. Since I use Twitter for many giveaways, in order for me to see your entries via Twitter, you have to be sure that your Tweets are un-protected! If I can’t see your Tweets, I can’t choose you to win! Of course making your Tweets unprotected may introduce other issues for you, so you’ll have to decide if you want to go that route.
Q: I am confused. How does this work?
A: I often give away codes by posting a question to the community. Here is an example. I then go through the responses and randomly choose winners and direct message (DM) them a code. Remember, in order to win you must be following me so that if you are chosen, I can DM you the code.
Q: Sounds fun. When do you give them out? Is it a certain time/day?
A: I post them when I have codes, when I have a spare moment or when I think of it. There is no rhyme or reason, but I often do what I call “FREE CODE FRIDAY” on, wait for it…………….FRIDAY.
Q: How do you choose winners?
A: I randomly choose winners who have correctly followed instructions (like including the right hashtag)
Q: Can I enter more than once?
A: While I can’t do anything to stop you, I strongly discourage spamming me with responses. If you do spam me, then I’ll actually remove your name if you are chosen.
Q: Where do I redeem the code?
A: You can redeem it on your Xbox 360 or Xbox.com While signed into Xbox LIVE, go to the Marketplace blade, then select “Redeem Code.” From there, use the keyboard to type in the code. On Xbox.com, go to this page (after you sign in) and enter the code. Hint: Pasting the code will work with some browsers.
Q: What are these codes see you post?
A: These are codes for an item on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. If you guess the code, you’ll win that item for free.
Q: What are the question marks (?) I see in some of the codes?
A: To make it more challenging, I sometimes replace one (or more) of the code characters with a question mark. You need to guess the missing character(s) to win. The format of all codes is five groups of five letters/numbers.
Q: I entered the code, but I get an error that the code is not valid! I know I entered it it correctly.
A: You probably did enter the code correctly, but someone has already redeemed the code.
Q: What do you mean someone entered the code already?
A: Each code I post is only good ONCE. That means that the first person to correctly enter the code, will get the item for free.
Q: I’ve seen you post codes on Twitter using the Microsoft Tag format. What’s that all about?
A: You can read more about them here. Simply put, by running a free application available for many mobile phones, you can take a picture of the tag and decode it for your chance to win a code. There is a free tag reader for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phones and more. There is a FAQ on Tags here along with links to download the free reader. Generally, the format is more reliable for the amount of information I am trying to share.
Q: There is no Tag reader for my phone….why not use QR Codes?
A: I’ve tried using QR codes, and they usually have trouble with the density of information I am presenting. Here is an example of a QR code that I’ve used. Many phones will not be able to decode the QR code due to the complexity, leading to frustration and anger. The Tag method provides me (and you!) with more reliability. If you have a better solution, let me know!
Q: I see. Why not use other methods?
A: Well, if you read this far you know I do. See above.
Q: I KNOW I was the first person to enter the code, yet I still got the error.
A: See above. Someone entered the code before you. Sorry.
Q: How do people enter the code so quick!
A: They may own an Xbox 360 Chatpad, or be using a USB Keyboard. The Xbox 360 will recognize most wired USB Keyboards. It is much quicker to enter codes using one of these methods. On Xbox.com, go to this page (after you sign in) and enter the code. That is also a fast way to enter a code.
Q: Where do you get these codes?
A: Many publishers provide them to me to share with the community.
Q: I was working / sleeping/ eating/ taking a test/ stuck in traffic when you posted the code. Can you send me one?
A: No. Sorry.
Q: It’s my birthday! Can you send me a code?
A: No. But Happy Birthday.
Q: When do you give them out? Is it a certain time/day?
A: I post them when I have codes, when I have a spare moment or when I think of it. There is no rhyme or reason.
Q: Are the codes good where I live?
A: Most of the codes I post are valid for all Xbox LIVE regions.
Q: I live in (insert country here) can I participate in your code give away?
A: Sure. Why not? Anyone can participate.
Q: I am a publisher/developer…how can I give you codes to share?
A: Email me. Major – at Xbox com
Q: Wait. What’s the code for?
A: Don’t skim this page…read it!
Q: I did not win anything. Can I have a pony?
A: No. At this time ponies are not available from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
Update: You can now purchase a Pony for your Avatar from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.