My Gadget3 interview and behind-the-scenes photos

I totally forgot all about this! I said I would post up my interview after the magazine is off the shelves, but it seems I’m a month late.




Click to enlarge interview page.

For those who can’t view graphics on my site for whatever reason, here’s the text version of the interview:


An Xpert Opinion

One way that Microsoft is helping new players get comfortable with their online gaming service Xbox LIVE is the introduction of the Xbox Xperts. The first Xpert unveiled by Microsoft was the bubbly Sheylara, a gamer who made her name in the blogging community. We took her aside to ask her a few questions about being an Xpert.

What’s the role of an Xbox Xpert?

Think of us as something like community leaders. When new users join the world of Xbox LIVE, they might feel shy or not know what to do next or how to join in multiplayer games. So we’re there to welcome them, help them get settled, answer their questions and introduce them to the Xbox community.

What’s Newbie Nite?

Newbie Nite was something I came up with to ease new Xbox LIVE members into the multiplayer gaming scene. Many people join Xbox LIVE and face either of two problems immediately: They don’t have online friends to play games with, or they join a random multiplayer game and get thrashed by expert players who have been playing the game for ages. That can be quite unpleasant for some people and doesn’t give them a chance to experience everything that multiplayer gaming has to offer.

So, in Newbie Nites, I get a bunch of new members together and arrange gaming sessions for them. This allows them to make friends with people of the same gaming level. We have fun together online once or twice a week and it’s my hope that lasting friendships will form from these weekly sessions.

Do you feel like you’re a teacher, of sorts?

Haha, don’t call me a teacher! I think I’d prefer the word facilitator or, like I mentioned before, community leader. Sure, I’ve had to answer countless questions about Xbox and Xbox LIVE, but I don’t teach so much as share what I know. I like to think that, in the online world, we’re all sharing information and having fun together.

What’s the Xbox community like?

Like any other community, the Xbox community has all sorts of people in it. We have hardcore gamers and casual gamers. We have shy people and rowdy and fun-loving people. But, basically, it’s just a community of people who love gaming and who love gaming on the Xbox 360.

I’m also very heartened to report that most people in the Xbox community are very friendly and sociable. They love welcoming new gamers into the community because it means there are more people to play multiplayer games with.

Who are the new folks joining Xbox Live? What are they normally like?

They could be anyone, really. Some are people who have been playing on the Xbox for years and just recently decided to join Xbox LIVE. Some are people for whom an Xbox 360 was a birthday present, so they join Xbox LIVE as total newbies, maybe out of curiosity. Some of them learn about Xbox LIVE through the ads that Microsoft runs regularly through the media.

Most of the time, they’re pleased that there are Xbox Xperts onboard to welcome them and they do respond positively. In fact, I’ve made a lot of fast friendships with these new folks and we communicate regularly via Xbox LIVE messaging.

What’s it like to work with the new members? What are typical first impressions of the Xbox Live service?

It’s always a joy for me when I initiate contact with new members and they respond with a friendly message back. We don’t only talk about gaming and Xbox LIVE. Members also share with me about their lives, what they’ve been up to, and their other hobbies. It’s very rewarding for me when they treat me like a friend instead of some distant personality.

I think most of the really new users are surprised to have someone welcome them to Xbox LIVE and that encourages them to explore more. Some will feel overwhelmed initiatlly. That’s why the Xbox Xperts are in place to make sure they’re getting the full benefits of this service!

How does it feel to be an ambassador for the Xbox?

It feels great, of course. I feel truly honoured and touched. Yes, touched, because gaming is one of the most important facets of my life. I’ve been gaming since I was five. To be endorsing a product that is, basically, the very essence of me, means the world to me. It’s the most exciting and fulfilling thing that’s happened to me… so far! Having the honour of being a Gadget3 cover girl comes close! ;)


Okay, that’s the end of the interview. Now, photos!

Gadget3 shoot
Larry (makeup artist) does my makeup while Sharon (stylist) does my nails.

Gadget3 shoot
Ash (hairstylist) blow-drying my hair, although I don’t know why he wet it in the first place.

Gadget3 shoot
Dressed for the cover. Larry touches up my makeup because the photographer said it wasn’t heavy enough.

Gadget3 shoot
Ash decides to tease my hair some more since I’m sitting there anyway.

Gadget3 shoot
Posing for the cover.

Gadget3 shoot
The cover shoot is an endless series of posing while different people come up to fix different things on me, like hair, makeup, clothes, prop, pose, etc.

Gadget3 shoot
Sometimes more than one person is fixing stuff at the same time.

Gadget3 shoot
Kelvin (photographer) shoots while Sharon stands by in case anything needs fixing.

Gadget3 cover
The final product of all that hard work!

Gadget3 shoot
Preparing for the next shoot (for feature spread). Hair and makeup have to be redone!

Gadget3 shoot
Group photo with the crew. If you find my face looking a little pasty here, it’s because makeup for professional lighting doesn’t show up well in compact cameras.

I have some photos I took of myself after this shoot, just to see how I look in my camera with the heavy professional makeup. Maybe I’ll post those up tomorrow.

I need to think about it because they look scary. Haha.

I did NOT become a gamer to meet guys!

I almost died of shock when I flipped open the November issue of Maxim and saw my interview.

The first question is: “Did you start gaming to meet guys?”

Apparently, my answer is yes. (!!!)

Lucky I had my stress ball with me that day or I would have burst a few hundred of my capillaries. Instead, I squeezed the Goonfather’s arms and burst his capillaries. (Yes, I’m quite strong. Read this if you don’t believe me.)

Here’s the Maxim interview (click for larger version), but don’t believe everything it says!

This interview was conducted through e-mail because the PR agency handling my interviews told Maxim that I don’t do bikini or lingerie (or similar) photoshoots, so they decided to just e-mail me a bunch of questions and use a photo from my Xbox photoshoot.

They sent me 12 questions and but only five made the list. (I guess if I were editor of Maxim, I wouldn’t want to spare more than a page for someone who isn’t half naked, either.)

That’s quite alright. I’m happy enough with a page.

But it is killing me that they have made me sound like some desperate bimbo who has to resort to gaming to find a boyfriend.

My life is officially over!

This is what’s printed on the magazine:

Did you start gaming to meet guys?

Yes. Three ex-boyfriends were from Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG). So is my current one. My social circle is about 80 per cent gamers, and guys outnumber girls.

The following is the original Q&A from the e-mail interview:

How long have you been gaming?

Since I was seven years old. I’m not going to tell you the number of years! :P

Did you get started to meet guys?

You mean in gaming? Yes. Let’s see… my last three ex-boyfriends were from MMORPGs. My current one is, too. Well, my social circle has been about 80% gamers since MMORPGs existed and guys always outnumber girls by a lot in our real-life guild outings.


During the e-mail interview, I had thought that the question “Did you get started to meet guys?” was just a badly-phrased version of: “Did you start meeting guys through gaming?”

And look at the first question again, which they left out of the article.

How long have you been gaming?

Since I was seven years old. I’m not going to tell you the number of years! :P

How is it possible that I started gaming to meet guys at seven years old?

It is not possible for anyone who has read the unedited interview to come to the conclusion that I started gaming to meet guys, so I don’t know how the interview ended up the way it did.

I feel wronged.

You might think it’s a small matter, or a small misunderstanding. But it’s very serious for me because it affects my reputation and my credibility as a gamer, which in turn affects my career because gaming is part of my career and source of income.

How could anyone now see me as a serious gamer if everyone starts believing that I started gaming to meet guys?

I started gaming when I was seven because I love games!!

Anyways. I’m done ranting. Thanks for reading and here’s the original, unedited version of my e-mail interview.

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Where did you get the name Sheylara?

I’ve been playing RPGs since I was, like, seven years old and I loved creating unique names for my game characters. I’ve created tons of names but Sheylara is my favourite. I’ve been using that name for all my characters in MMORPGs since Ultima Online.

By the way, was first a gaming website I made while playing Star Wars Galaxies. I was a very sought-after fashion consultant in the game and I made game clothes for players, so I had this website to showcase my creations.

How long have you been gaming?

Since I was seven years old. I’m not going to tell you the number of years! :P

Did you get started to meet guys?

You mean in gaming? Yes. Let’s see… my last three ex-boyfriends were from MMORPGs. My current one is, too. Well, my social circle has been about 80% gamers since MMORPGs existed and guys always outnumber girls by a lot in our real-life guild outings.

If we game against our girlfriends, should we let them win?

Of course not. What’s the fun in cheating? And you don’t have to let us win. We’ll beat you easily in games that we’re good at. I’m good at music, puzzle and party games.

Why should gamers listen to you for advice about their Xbox?

I like to think of myself as an objective and credible source of gaming information. While I’m representing Xbox, I still maintain my own gaming column (Gamer Girl Friday) in my personal blog. I talk about other platforms besides the Xbox so I won’t endlessly plug the Xbox just because I’m paid to endorse it. I’ll tell you my honest views about any game or any platform because I’m passionate about gaming and I take this passion quite seriously.

What would you say if someone asked you to make a house call?

Great! Let’s play The Sims Online and I’ll pay you a visit there.

Have you gotten any unusual or interesting queries online so far?

My favourite question is this: “Sheylara, are you forced to wear the same white outfit every time you go out as Sheylara the Xpert? And if I look into your wardrobe, do you have a whole row of the same white top and pants?”

What’s your favourite Xbox title? Why?

Currently, it’s Tales of Vesperia because I’m both an RPG and anime fan. Tales of Vesperia totally rocks as both RPG and anime! You know, when I was writing a review of it, I couldn’t think of anything bad to say about it.

My next favourite game will be Guitar Hero: World Tours. I love music games! And the song Chop Suey by System of the Down is going to be in it! That’s like the best song — okay, one of the best songs — ever.

What sort of game genre are you into? Why?

Fantasy MMORPG is my all-time favourite because I’ve always been fascinated by medieval fairy tales and mythology. So, to actually be able to experience such a setting personally is like the most wondrous thing in the world.

Well, also, in MMORPGs, I can be really sexy and have humongous boobs.

Are you into Role Playing? If yes, what sort of character would you be?

Um… sexy and humongous boobs? Haha. No, really. My fantasy character is a beautiful princess who’s intelligent and spunky and good with knives. I meant that in a medieval swordfighting sense, although my princess carries twin daggers. Er… she’s actually a character I created for a game quest some time back. Her name was Sheylara and after I created her, I stole her name and used it for myself.

What about Cosplaying? What do you think of guys who cosplay?

I love cosplay. I would do it if I had the time. People who cosplay are super cool, whether male or female. I would love to date a cosplaying guy but then my boyfriend wouldn’t like that too much, haha. Oh yeah, because he’s a Star Wars fan, I told him if we’re ever getting married, he will have to cosplay a Jedi at the wedding. If not I won’t marry him. Haha.

Who are better gamers — girls or guys?

Guys will always be better gamers because they’re more willing to be obssessed over games. And if you spend an inordinate amount of time at something, you’ll naturally get good at it. :P