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How To Be A Real Game Journalist 36

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-of-booze dept.
InsertCredit and some of the other game-journo sites out there took issue with the Game Career Guide's How to Be a Game Journalist feature. So, they've responded with their own opinions. There are 12 entries in total, each with a refreshingly cynical approach to what they do. From Tim Edwards' post: "So what do I do? I'm deputy editor of PC Gamer. Half my day is spent on the phone — talking to the PR reps that act as the gatekeepers to games industry and talking to our freelancers who write up to half of the magazine. With them, I'll commission copy, talk through their work, chase up any late text or missing elements. Meanwhile, I'll talk through pages with our art team — because magazine journalism is 50% writing, 50% making the words look pretty. 50% more of my time is spent talking through mag strategy: what's to be our next big review, how the flat-plan is shaping up, what we should put in the next issue. And my final 50% is spent working on copy — writing or re-writing. And yes, I'm well aware that there are many halves to a whole."
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How To Be A Real Game Journalist

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  • Step 1: Cut & Paste Press Release
    Step 2: Profit!
    Step 3: ...There's no step 3. There's no step 3!
    • Step 1: Spend many years of your life perfecting your writing skills.
      Step 2: With a lot of work and a little luck find a job.
      Step 3: Poverty!

    • by kfg (145172)
      Future stories:

      How to be a real; vampire, elf, Smurf(tm), fair and balanced pair of talking boobs on Fox News (I've got nothing against boobs, I just think they should shut the hell up).

      KFG
    • by Satorian (902590)
      3. Mourn the general cut & paste skills of the industry.
  • My interpretation of this article:
    Me: "I want to get into the gaming indus..."
    Journalist: "Don't! ITSATRAP."
    • by creimer (824291)
      Also known as QA. Been there, done that. For six years. These days I spend 40 hours a week on a help desk making the same amount of money when I was working 60 to 80 hours a week in the video game industry. I have enough time to work out at the gym, finish an associate degree in computer programming and write the next American novel. It's nice to have a life.
  • How To Be A Game Industry Lawyer, by Jack Thompson.
  • the thing I hate most about some game reviews and previews is the often terrible grammar. Now i'm not nazi when it comes to this, but quite often its just really terrible.

    additionally some reviewers/previewers tend to repeatedly nitpick/hype certain game elements that really didn't need more than a single mention of that piece of info.

    I suppose the only thing left for me to complain about is reviews that either say too much, or say too little about a game. The depth and scope of a game should tell how lon
    • I hope Tim Edwards grammar is up to scratch, cause his maths skills are clearly well short of the mark.
  • Are those ghosts in Pacman to be referred to as "Terrorists", or is it just OK to occasionally say that they hate America?
  • I want to be a gaming critic! Like a Literary Critic, but more contemporary elements and less kiss-ass, because it'll only be appreciated a decade from now anyway.
    • by creimer (824291)
      But won't you get tiring saying, "This sucks, that sucks, you sucks!" A game journalist does a lot of ass kissing, but a game critic does a lot of sucking.
      • No, see, that's the beauty of it. I can make allegorical references to why the massive suckage of this particular game is indicative and reminiscent of "Brave New World" and how the creators of this game clearly added in the homosexual references and obvious use of phallic weapondry to make up for their own lack of sexual prowess.

        In short, I can get really mean with it while sounding smart. ;)
  • 1. Buy kneepads.
    2. Felate nearest game company executive/PR drone.
    3. Publish article in game magazine word for word from press release.
    4. Congratulatory phone call from game company on job well done.
    5. Repeat step one.
    • Wouldn't you repeat from step 2? I mean.. why buy all new knee pads :p
    • This is silly. There's no need to buy new kneepads every time. One pair will suffice at least for the first few times, provided that you get a decent pair.
  • How to Be a Game Journalist
    by InsertCredit staff writer

    Don't be like those hacks at Game Career Guide.
  • Advice (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SamSim (630795) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @05:29PM (#16694941) Homepage Journal

    What I've gleaned from, well, reading gaming magazines over the years is that you just need to get a single fact through your skull before joining this career: being a videogame journalist isn't playing videogames for a living, and being particularly good at videogames will not make you a better videogame journalist, or make the job more enjoyable. This not a fun gaming job. The majority of games are mediocre, and when you get home at night playing videogames will become the last thing you want to do. This is a *journalism* job - you should go for it only if you like the idea of journalism. You are *writing* for a living. Writing hard and fast and to deadlines.

    Obviously there are people out there who love that idea, and I wish you the very best. I think it was Amiga Power whose policy towards hiring was that it was easier to teach a writer to play games than to teach a gamer to write? And they went down in history.

  • Game Journalist - oxymoron?
  • Just a bunch of New Games Journalists whining about how someone else had the gall to suggest that people want to read game reviews that talk about the game, as opposed to ones that talk about what the author had for lunch. (Which makes all of the whining about how "self-important" the author of the original article is all the funnier.) The article that started all of this isn't very good, to be sure, but neither is this depressing response.

    Rob
  • Sounds like some good advice! Did anybody forward this to IGN?
  • It's one thing to choose to be a journalist. You're already heading down the slippery slope to ignonimy because of the state of that industry. But to want to be a game journalist ... *shudder* I mean think of the future man! 50 years from now you're sitting around telling your grandkids about that great review of Evil Chainsaw you did back in 2006?!? Is that how you want to go down in life?

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

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