Ambassador Interview: ZaaM IT

This week we interview ZaaM IT an Italian Xbox Ambassador that currently resides in Italy.  He also keeps busy working on his site www.360friendspot.com, where he comes up with new and improved features everyday.  Ladies and gentleman welcome ZaaM IT.  Enjoy!


ZaaM IT

1. Tell us a little bit about your self?

Like anybody would care? :) Ok I am a 26 years old Italian guy, University student about to get his degree in Web and Multimedia Techologies (or something on that line, I’m not sure it translates that good), and a big big big Xbox fan from quite some time now. I’m also a developer, specifically for Internet, so if I’m not hanging out with friends, gaming, browsing around the official xbox forums or watching my favorite TV show (no point in telling you what it is, since it’s Italian), then I’m probably sitting at the PC, coding the next big feature for one of my websites. That is pretty much how my life goes, lately.

2. As an Xbox Ambassador you are asked to help new gamers their first time around the block; do feel like the program is making a difference?

Of course it is! I am amazed at how many friend requests I get everyday asking for help. I am kinda used to it since I am around in the xbox.com forums enough to let myself be quite known, but since I have become a Xbox Live Ambassador I get a lot more and most of the times it goes pretty much like this: “Hey, you don’t know me and I found your name in the ambassadors list. Could you help with this?”. Italian gamers are nothing compared to americans or british, but since there are only 4 Italian ambassadors, be sure that we always have to get some job done and it is a pleasure to help out other gamers who might be new to the Xbox, to Xbox Live or gaming in general.

3. Do you feel that success for the Xbox 360, Ps3, and Wii will be good for all gamers in the sense that competition will keep each company sharp and innovative pushing all three forward, or are you one of the proponents to the concept that one console can come out on top?

Well, before you ask, I am not getting a PS3. Never. :)
But I might get a Wii, cause it provides a whole different gaming experience, I think it’s innovative enough and could complement the Xbox 360. I am 100% sure that Microsoft wouldn’t need Sony to be around with its own console to always provide us gamers with something new and innovative, but, in my mind, it doesn’t hurt to have some competition that, in the long run, will definitely benefit us gamers.

4. In your expert opinion, what is your favorite gaming genre and favorite game?

Now that’s a tough one, just look at my gamerscore :)
Favorite game of all times.. Well, if I gotta choose one I must say Halo 2, but there are many more I should mention like Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto, Fable, Forza Motorspot, Oblivion.. Did I just cover every single genre? And don’t even get me started with PC gaming! I gotta be honest, the only kind of games I cannot stand are RTS, but maybe I just didn’t play the right ones.

5. What kind of entertainment setup do you have going on at your home?

I got a nice 5.1 surround system and I bought a 27″ Samsung LCD a couple days after picking up my 360, which was on day one, of course. Nothing extravagant, but enough to make my friends say just “wow”, expecially if they are then going back home, playing their PS2.

6. How do you feel the achievement system is working out? Do you like the concept of Xbox Rewards?

I love achievements, everybody does! I even used to run an achievement site on my own blog listing achievements for all games, along with tips, guides etc.. Nothing like some great sites out there, but a nice present for my fellow Italian friends. As for the Xbox Rewards program.. Well, the only thing I don’t like about it is that there isn’t an official word for Europe yet. I think it’s just great and, let’s be honest, that’s what we all were expecting from Microsoft right from the start, isn’t it? I mean, playing games, getting achievements and increasing your gamerscore is great fun: getting a reward for all this is called “perfection”.

7. Gaming has come a long way with breath taking graphics, newly introduced gameplay, and turning the console into fully packed media machines. What do you think will be the next big leap in video gaming?

I can think of two:
1- specifically from Microsoft is Games for Windows and Live Anywhere. Wow, I can’t wait for it to come, I strongly think it will bring a whole new world for us gamers.
2- AI. Let’s face it: most of the times our computer controlled enemies are not up to the task! In ANY game out there. We have seen great things and big steps forward in the last few years but I feel many more has yet to come and game developers know it very well.

8. What kind of music do you listen to these days?

I have always been a Rap & Hip-Hop fan, but I listen to absolutely everything. I would say music is one of the most important things in my life and you could spot me listening to the “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach and one minute later “Question” by System of a Down or anything by the Evanescence which I literally love as musicians. The last two albums I bought are “30 seconds to Mars – A beatiful lie” and “Muse – Black holes and revelations”. I rarely listen to Italian music, I think there are very few artists here who can come up with nice stuff..

9. What do you like the most about MyArcadePlanet.com?

It was you to point me here first, Cro and I’m glad you did: it’s a nice place to stay! I’ll admit it, I am rarely the kind of person who actively contributes to the community, in the forums and such, but I do visit A LOT of Xbox-related communities daily and find MyArcadePlanet to be very complete, feature packed and a reliable source of information for the gaming world.

10. What is a dream game you’d like designed if you had the knowledge and the tools to develop it?

I fear I am not creative enough to propose a whole new game but I can tell you what game I would play 24/7, if it was even possible to build something like that. Well, for a start, there should be vampires, and a lot of them LOL. And you should play the part of a vampire, of course. Then, there should be a huge free roaming world where you are free to do anything that comes into your mind: GTA-style. As for gameplay, it should feel like GOW when moving on foot, MotoGP on bikes and Forza Motorsport when driving, just a bit more arcade maybe.. With this start, the rest could be totally random, I would never stop playing it! Could you pass it on to some very big game developer, please?

11. Now, you have a site that you created with a few buddies, can you please tell us a little bit about the site and it’s name?

Sure, it’s called 360friendspot (http://www.360friendspot.com) and the name alone might say it all: (Xbox)-360-Friends-Spot. I work on it with my buddy Squidpunch: the site started from a very small project of mine and has grown to become a nice Xbox Community offering various services: me and Squid are both developers, so we can come up with cool ideas and provide something unique like “Friends Finder”, a smart online application that can match you up with other Xbox gamers and tell you your “compatibility”, or our biggest project that is called the “Live Eye”. This will watch your online activity and keep a very detailed record of it: the perfect app for those out there (including myself) who love stats! We have also our own forums (kudos to our moderators and collaborators Antediluvia, Big Jimmy G and SouthernSpartan), Xbox-related leaderboards and a few custom Xbox Live gamercards. Speaking about it.. For all you Xbox Live Ambassadors out there, among other things, you can get a gamercard with an ambassador watermark on 3FS, so come pay us a visit :)

Thanks Cro, you are doing a great job on your fellas website, for the Community and for XBL Ambassadors! And thanks to everybody out there who shares the love for the Xbox Community and gives his contribution to keep it going. Game on!

Miss our last interview? Read about Crazzytzar here

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