How To Get Into Game Journalism: Xfire Chat

Russ Pitts | 13 Sep 2007 20:30
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[Slashdot] Michael: Question: Michael: How fun is it working for companies like 1up?
Answer: It's much like freelancing anywhere else, really. :) The folks at 1up are awesome, don't get me wrong, but freelancing for one group is much the same as another. You pitch an idea, you see if the other end likes it, and then you write it and hand it in before your deadline.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: Hellblazer: How did you get into the industry writing about video games?
Answer: I've been writing my whole life (I'm 30-something). I've written for film, TV, theater and on the internet. I've also played games my whole life. Until recently, however, it didn't occurred to me to mix the two. Once I decided I wanted to write about games, I searched for a publication I wanted to write for (The Escapist) and submitted material to them. They accepted, I got printed, then I took a job there as editor. It was fairly simple, if you don't count the decades I spent learning the ropes ;)

[Slashdot] Michael: I volunteered at a site called, where I wrote about Massively Multiplayer games for free. Putting my name out there with that site led me to talk to Simon Carless, then-editor of Slashdot Games and now the EIC of Gamasutra/Game Developer. When he left Slashdot I was on the short list he handed my boss, and I guess I fooled him. This month marks three years I've been with the site.

[Slashdot] Michael: Question: That ties in kind of nicely with whîsp: To all: What education would you recommend other then journalism and English majors to become a gaming or computer related journalist? Any specialty subjects to study?
Answer: My only real recommendation would be to get a college degree of some kind. College will give you a breadth of experience that is hard to beat. Above and beyond that, though, there are several skills they won't teach you in undergraduate studies. Pitching articles to editors, dealing with unhappy PR folks, talking loudly enough to be heard at parties you don't want to be at ... These are all useful skills as well.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: Namdas: Question for all: I'm a thirteen year old Kansan kid who is paler than a ghost because I spend so much time indoors on the computer. I like to write game reviews and read game reviews, and often they have determined whether or not I would purchase a game. I want to get into gaming-journalism, but I would like to know: What does it take to make it to the big-time game sites like IGN and GameSpot?
Answer: When I find out, I'll let you know :)

But seriously, work hard, write well and be honest. Good work floats to the top. If you have integrity and are good at what you do, people will notice.

[Slashdot] Michael: I totally agree with Russ. If you have the chops, the folks you're pitching articles to will let you know in a hurry. The key, I think, is to realize that just like with any other industry you have to pay your dues. It's hard to land a full-time games reporting gig because there are a lot of really good people (who have been doing this for a while) looking for those jobs as well. Don't feel bad about freelancing for a while before you try for one of the big names.

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