Hryb, holding the Emmy Award won by Xbox LIVE in the category of "Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Advanced New Media"
|Other names||Major Nelson, Xbox Guide, Larry Hryb, Xbox Live's Major Nelson, Major|
|Occupation||Director of Programming for Xbox Live|
|Known for||Host of "Major Nelson Radio"|
Lawrence "Larry" Hryb //, also known by his Xbox Live gamertag "Major Nelson" is the Director of Programming for the Microsoft gaming network Xbox Live. His blog "Xbox Live's Major Nelson" provides an inside look at operations at Microsoft's Xbox division. He picked the gamertag "Major Nelson" after a character by the same name on the 1960s U.S. television comedy I Dream of Jeannie after it was recommended to him by his TiVo. Larry dedicated his gamertag to Larry Hagman after his death in 2012. Prior to taking the position at Microsoft in 2004, he was a former programmer and on air host with radio broadcaster Clear Channel Communications. Hryb graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Television, Radio and Film production from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Work at Microsoft
Larry Hryb worked for Clear Channel Communications in Hartford, Connecticut for WKSS prior to Microsoft. Larry joined the Xbox team in early 2004 as the Xbox LIVE Director Of Programming. Hryb has been instrumental in the development of the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, Kinect and the 'New Xbox Experience'. He was also one of the small team of people at Xbox who came up with the concept of 'Xbox Achievements' a popular feature of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games; later adopted by Steam, PlayStation Network, Nintendo Network, and countless other gaming platforms. Outside of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Larry is one of the most recognizable faces at Microsoft, and more specially Xbox. In addition, Mr. Hryb has done much forward thinking community work, and has advised numerous gaming and non-gaming companies on how to best engage with their communities using digital tools and social networks. In 2012, he was named one of Mashable's '13 Bona Fide Geeks to Follow'. Through Larry's vast social reach on Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and his blog, is also does product mentions and reviews for lifestyle related products and services. He has said that he declines hundreds of products a year to cover because, according to him, he does not want to talk about a product or service that is not worth talking about.
Hryb is most known for his popular weekly podcast "Major Nelson Radio", available on iTunes, Xbox Music Marketplace, and from his site. He does interviews as well. Direct from inside the Microsoft Xbox team, Hryb and his colleagues including regular co-hosts Laura Massey ("lollip0p"), and Eric Neustadter ("e") discuss Xbox One, Xbox 360, Kinect, Zune, gaming, technology, other next generation consoles (including the PlayStation 4, and Wii U), among other subjects. His show regularly hosts interviews with people in the gaming community, and offers prizes to listeners through his "Name the Game" contest, where he plays a short audio clip from a game, and a winner is drawn from the correct entries. Additionally, regular features of the podcast include "Xbox 101", a segment devoted to various features on the Xbox One or Xbox Live, Gadget discussion where they discuss the latest and greatest gadget. Many companies have contacted Larry to review or cover their products to reach this audience, but Larry has declined stating that he only wants to talk about products he actually uses and are of high quality and value. Recently, as convergence takes place with the auto industry, they've also started looking at vehicles that use technology in a new and exciting ways. There is also an after show, an easter egg where Hryb talks about random topics. Hryb and Neustadter regularly joke about each other's Xbox Live gamerscore and gaming habits. Xbox 101 is also a series of "Inside Xbox" videos on Xbox Live.
Originally, Hryb produced the podcast by himself. The podcast used to consist of him giving a monologue and breaking to play prerecorded interviews. On November 6, 2006, he celebrated his '200th' podcast, which was marked with a nearly two and a half hour show. Hryb openly admits that he added to the show number and the figure doesn't accurately reflect the number of shows made. Hryb switched to a #1xx numbering around July 18, 2005, when he did show #136 after the previous '7/10/05 Blogcast'. Major Nelson was interviewed on the Video Game Outsiders Podcast (show #50), where he commented "About a year and a half ago, I started numbering my shows at 100...it makes it sound cooler, bigger numbers are always better."
In 1996 Larry had a non-speaking role of a scorekeeper in the guards vs students football scene in the movie Sleepers starring Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro and more. Since Larry was in a scene with Kevin Bacon, this gives him a desirable "Bacon number" of 1 in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
Larry has appeared in multiple video games. Some of the more famous ones include:
- In the video that plays when you beat the "Ms. Splosion Man" game
- He provides the narration for a level of "The Gunstringer" that must be unlocked while playing the game
As a result of the work he has done, he is also included in the game credits of numerous games.
In addition to his podcast, Hryb hosts a weekly one-minute segment titled Major's Minute. Every week on Xbox Live, Major's Minute recaps new content and news related to the Xbox Live Marketplace. As of January 2012, over 45 million Xbox LIVE Members have access to Major's Minute on Xbox LIVE. Hryb was also a regular on the defunct Sirius Satellite Radio program "Level Up", designed for the casual video gamer. Larry is also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/majornelson. Currently he is one of the most followed personalities in the gaming industry and has the most active/followed account at Microsoft. Larry joined Twitter in 2006, and has pioneered ways that have gone on to become Twitter standards. Examples include live 'Tweeting' of events (like CES or E3) and using Twitter as a contest mechanisms like his #FreeCodeFriday promotion. Today is it commonplace to see Twitter used as a contesting tool based on processes he first developed.
Hryb is married to Taylor Johnson, the author of 'The Happy Girl Experiment' blog and lives in the state of Washington. He enjoys photography, Xbox One, and many other gadgets. During Show 478 of the Major Nelson podcast he expressed interest in classical music, noting that he nearly minored in it during his college studies. In 2006, Next Generation Magazine named Hryb one of the "Top 25 People of the Year" in video gaming. Also, in 2009 he was featured on Wired.com's "100 Geeks You Should Be Following On Twitter". Hryb has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies, advising them on how to use social media to better connect with the community. He revealed that his guilty pleasure is KFC mashed potatoes. Larry Hryb has admitted to having coulrophobia and claustrophobia after waking up from a dream involving the 2010 Copiapó mining accident.
- Hryb, Larry (2008-05-25). "Show #280: XNA, DRM and more". Majornelson.com. Retrieved 2011-07-17.
- Major Nelson from one Major to another
- Hillis, Scott (2008-01-03). ""Major Nelson" emerges as face of Xbox". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Hryb, Larry (2006-11-09). "Now serving over 100,000 comments". Majornelson.com. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- [<http://traffic.libsyn.com/majornelson/mnr-480-XboxOneE3StateOfDecay.mp3> Show 478: E3, State of Decay and more.], "Major Nelson Radio.", 2013-06-07, retrieved 2013-06-08
- Campbell, Colin (2006-12-13). "Next-Gen's Top 25 People of the Year". Next Generation Magazine. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- Denmead, Ken (2009-05-13). "100 Geeks You Should Be Following On Twitter". Wired.com. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
- Hryb, Larry (2008-03-01). "Show #351: PAX East, SXSW and Battlefield Bad Company 2". Majornelson.com. Retrieved 2011-07-17.
- Hryb, Larry (2009-12-30). "Show #345: Last show of 2009". Majornelson.com. Retrieved 2011-07-17.
- Hryb, Larry (2010-10-24). "Show 375: Call of Duty: Black Ops MP, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, Fable III". Majornelson.com. Retrieved 2008-07-17.Hryb, Larry (2011-01-31). "Show 386: Dead Space 2, Crysis 2 and COD Black Ops First Strike". Majornelson.com. Retrieved 2011-07-17.