How To Get Into Game Journalism: Xfire Chat

Russ Pitts | 13 Sep 2007 20:30
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[Slashdot] Michael: Question: Dr. Richard Kimble: How difficult is it to break into the field without a degree, assuming one is a fairly talented writer with a good knowledge of the gaming industry?
Answer: Not. Your writing is ultimately what people will look at. It helps to have the degree on there because it proves you can work hard ... or at least make people think you can work hard. My personal opinion is that what your degree is in matters less than that you have one.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: I agree with Michael. You don't need a degree. It helps, and I would certainly not recommend to anyone that they skip college, but hard work and determination (I know, I know) are what matters most.

[Slashdot] Michael: Question: [Xfire] Brinstar: What do you think about David Gornoski's (Videogame Media Watch) assertion that the "corruption and taint" in the game media stem from dependency on publisher exclusives? Have you ever been pressured by companies to skew your articles positively? If so, how did you deal with that pressure?
Answer: I've never had to deal with the exclusives problem, but I can understand where he's coming from. I like VMW a lot, actually. (and not just because he said nice things about me.) I don't really care whether an article is an exclusive or not; I care whether it's well written or not. People ask me what the secret to getting on Slashdot is, and there you go: write good.

As for feeling pressure, even on my little corner of the internet I've felt the burn. I can honestly say I've never written a review that wasn't 100% what I felt, though. My report cards when I was a kid said I had problems playing well with others. If you can garner a reputation for being brutally honest, you'll scare some PR folks. I think it's worth it.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: I Agree with Mike. I know that people do get pressure like this, but I think the instances are the rare exceptions.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: SoK| Lizi: I've been told that having an English degree will hurt my chances in getting into the publishing world. I'm more interested in English than Journalism or Mass Communications though. What can I do to better my chances?
Answer: Listen to this advice. You can study literature without going for a literature degree, but learning to be a journalist is a lot harder without the hands-on experience you'll gain from the degree. Put it this way: studying journalism will not ruin your appreciation or aptitude for literature.

[Slashdot] Michael: Question: Namdas: What sequel-less game do you think most deserves a sequel?
Answer: That's an easy one. Shiny's Sacrifice. First-person RTS FTW.

[Slashdot] Michael: Question: Fallen Angel: To anyone: what is your favorite article you have written? And what was it on?
Answer: (I promise I'm not sucking up to Russ here.) It was, hands down, this one: (Seems very appropriate for this chat, too.) The responses were just *so* on, the article fell together like buttah.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts:
I'm really fond of the one I just wrote for this week's The Escapist.

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