The Sci-Fi Channel Reality Show, "WCG Ultimate Gamer", was another show hoping to bring video games to a broader audience via a reality TV show. While other shows have come and gone, not making much of an impact, it looks like the Ultimate Gamer caused enough of a stir to keep it going. One of the breakout gamers in the show was Jamal, who had been on reality video game shows before. He clearly showed off a lot of skill, and was very close to going all the way. A devoted gamer, Jamal answers a few questions for us.
O.G.: I have to ask, you mentioned that you have 70 consoles and 3000 games. I understand the 3000 games, but seriously, 70 consoles?? Aside from import systems and different versions of other systems, what the hell else do you have??
Jamal: Well the 70 systems are definitely various versions of the same system. For instance I have 8 Xbox. The last system I've purchased was the Neo Geo home console. I have a N-Gage Standee, GBA SP standee. Sorry I would list all the systems, but that would take forever. Maybe when we launch our website I'll start posting pics of my collection.
O.G.: Out of your massive collection, anything that you prize above everything else?
Jamal: My Xbox Arcade machine which I won on Life to the Power of X. (check videos on YouTube) At the time I won this prize I was the 4th or 5th person in the world to have one of these bad boys.
O.G.: This is a standard question but one that people really wants to know about. When did you start up gaming and what game was it?
Jamal: I was around 4 or 5 years old. My first system was the Colecovision.
O.G.: For other hopeful "Ultimate Gamers" give us a quick summary of how the whole casting process. How did you hear about it? What did they want you to do? When did you know you were in?
Jamal: My mother found out about the GameQuest casting call. Yes the original name for the show was GameQuest. Now I recommend going to us.wcg.com and registering on that site. Once info pops up on season 2 everyone will be notified. 1st we had quick interview after you fill out paperwork. Next was a gaming session with 5 games from different genres. If you make it past that you get a video interview. Then you sit and wait to hear back if you're a finalist. Ok the finalist stage psyche evaluation, physical exam, video interview with producers and directors, more game challenges. Then you wait some more and hope you are a future contestant.
O.G.: Fans of screwattack.com, recognize you from the Iron Man of Gaming. How did you do on the previous Iron Man of Gaming competitions?
Jamal: 3rd and 6th place... won the Madden portion 2nd in Killer Instinct, 4th Mario Kart Wii, 2nd Pac-Man CE, 2nd Halo 3, 8th Super Mario Lost Levels, and 6th Hydro Thunder.
O.G.: In no particular order, give us a top 3 of your favorite games of all time.
Jamal: Phantasy Star (series), Herzog Zwei, and F-zero
O.G.: Unlike everyone else on the show, you actually did another video game reality show. Can you tell us more about the show and how you got on it?
Jamal: The segment consisted of us playing games to earn daily living essentials (toilet paper, warm water, food, etc...). The competition was more of an Endurance challenge 10 straight days someone had to be playing games 24/7. We had game challenges to win prizes and for eliminations. You wouldn't know the game till one hour before the actual competition time. I had to send an audition video in. (can audition on YouTube) This was advertised on xbox.com
O.G.: The Ultimate Gamer finale has a suspenseful finish that some are claiming to be made for TV. It's already understood that not all reality shows are full of "reality" but instead there are people on site to help create more TV drama. With that said, was that match a legitimate mach with Robert winning 4 matches and Chris taking the other 5?
Jamal: The whole show was totally real nothing was fixed, perhaps a little editing to make more exciting for the viewers. That Match between Mark and Rob was sensational. I've never witnessed anything that intense in person.
O.G.: Have you heard any discussions on how well the show did rating wise or if there's a possible second season in the works?
Jamal: I've heard that the show picked up more and more viewers each week. I don't know exact ratings, but with how things have been going since the airing of the show I'm willing to bet season 2 is a definite.
O.G.: What are some of the other tournaments you've won and have there been any special prizes for those wins?
Jamal: Life to Power of X, Arcade tournaments (money), local tournaments (games and money) All sorts of game swag. Like Soul Calibur standees, exclusive faceplates, arcade sticks, snowboards, computers, TV's, GamesGamesGames..... lol.
O.G.: Aside from the insane increase in popularity, what else have you experienced after being on the show? Meeting with celebrities, exclusive parties, or special video game events?
Jamal: Celebrities for sure, E3 was amazing being able to see and play all the games coming out. At E3 crazy parties, I was so worn out after my trip to LA. My next stop is Dallas Fort/Worth for the Screwattack Game Convention to compete and win the Iron-Man of Gaming. (www.sgconvention.com)
O.G.: Do you have any plans for the future to capitalize on this newfound fame, or have you been approached to work on certain projects because of the show?
Jamal: Mums the word on this question, but yes things are in the works. Although my friends and I are currently working on a website, our hope is to get tournaments going in our area. Basically right now I'm going to enjoy everything and keep doing what I love (playing games).
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