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.
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!
Larry (makeup artist) does my makeup while Sharon (stylist) does my nails.
Ash (hairstylist) blow-drying my hair, although I don’t know why he wet it in the first place.
Dressed for the cover. Larry touches up my makeup because the photographer said it wasn’t heavy enough.
Ash decides to tease my hair some more since I’m sitting there anyway.
Posing for the cover.
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.
Sometimes more than one person is fixing stuff at the same time.
Kelvin (photographer) shoots while Sharon stands by in case anything needs fixing.
The final product of all that hard work!
Preparing for the next shoot (for feature spread). Hair and makeup have to be redone!
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.