How Not to Get a Job as a Game Journalist

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samaritan.squirrel:
I speak Hungarian, and I'd love to take a look at those reviews and whatnot. I'm supposed to be taking an exam in the language next year, and I'm not as up to scratch as I'd like to be.
Reading about an area of interest would make studying much more enjoyable.

I'll be damned! A foreigner, who wants to learn Hungarian? Dude, you have all my respect! My language is one of the hardest languages on Earth, hell, not even the people living here speak it perfectly. I'm quite happy to help you learn, you can find my reviews at the address on my profile (www.pcdome.hu), my alias is the same as here (and everywhere). Since you can't search for authors on the site, only games, here are some titles I reviewed: Sims 3, Spore, Red Faction Guerrilla, Prototype, Overlord 2, Mirror's Edge and many others. Also, there is my blog on the site with movie reviews and game culture ramblings. If you have any questions, or need tips, PM me.

Ha! People e-mail the darndest things.

Great article.

I bet it'd be interesting to show some of the worst examples.

Huh. I suppose that being a Vidio Game Journalist would, now that I think about it, be like the... Well, perfect job.

To bad I'm still in high school, submiting an article to the Escapist would be fun, even if the editors sent me back a note saying how much it sucks.

I can see it now:

"Ur storyz suckzOOrz n00b!"

He-he. Yea, good times.

I'd like to add another one to Susan's list:

- If you are addressing the email to a person, make sure the person still works there.

Imagine writing an email to Mr. Peter Moore at Microsoft, asking for a job. Oops. People in this industry move around a lot, usually with little fanfare. I have been introduced to people at E3 who were no longer with the company a week later when I tried to contact them.

Concerning an earlier comment from a fifteen-year-old, don't give up hope so quickly. I would imagine that there are NOT a lot of published fifteen-year-old game journalists out there. That might actually be a niche that needs to be filled. You might get paid less. You might only get school credit for it. Heck, you might even get COLLEGE credit for it. If it is something you really want to do, don't give up before you actually try. I would suggest that you bring something to the table besides your age, though.

Susan, Susan, Susan... Hey. :)

I've never been one to send a resume out to every potential employer, which is probably something I need to get over. Right now, I am applying for a position as an Associate Editor at a major gaming site. If I am offered the job, it will require a move from SoCal to SF. If nothing develops, I think I'll send you an email.

I don't watch "America's Next Top Model", but I love "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Glee". I DID used to make custom action figures, but now I make a mean faceplate.

I disagree with the suggestion about sleeping your way to the top, but only because I make an Apple and Caramel Cream Liqueur Cheesecake that is better than sex. The Irish Cream and Chocolate Cheesecake is pretty good, too. Then you don't have to worry about the "husband with a gun" thing. Just the "husband with a fork" thing.

Playbahnosh:

samaritan.squirrel:
I speak Hungarian, and I'd love to take a look at those reviews and whatnot. I'm supposed to be taking an exam in the language next year, and I'm not as up to scratch as I'd like to be.
Reading about an area of interest would make studying much more enjoyable.

I'll be damned! A foreigner, who wants to learn Hungarian? Dude, you have all my respect! My language is one of the hardest languages on Earth, hell, not even the people living here speak it perfectly. I'm quite happy to help you learn, you can find my reviews at the address on my profile (www.pcdome.hu), my alias is the same as here (and everywhere). Since you can't search for authors on the site, only games, here are some titles I reviewed: Sims 3, Spore, Red Faction Guerrilla, Prototype, Overlord 2, Mirror's Edge and many others. Also, there is my blog on the site with movie reviews and game culture ramblings. If you have any questions, or need tips, PM me.

Nope. I'm actually Hungarian. I just moved to Ireland when I was 8.

samaritan.squirrel:

Playbahnosh:

samaritan.squirrel:
I speak Hungarian, and I'd love to take a look at those reviews and whatnot. I'm supposed to be taking an exam in the language next year, and I'm not as up to scratch as I'd like to be.
Reading about an area of interest would make studying much more enjoyable.

I'll be damned! A foreigner, who wants to learn Hungarian? Dude, you have all my respect! My language is one of the hardest languages on Earth, hell, not even the people living here speak it perfectly. I'm quite happy to help you learn, you can find my reviews at the address on my profile (www.pcdome.hu), my alias is the same as here (and everywhere). Since you can't search for authors on the site, only games, here are some titles I reviewed: Sims 3, Spore, Red Faction Guerrilla, Prototype, Overlord 2, Mirror's Edge and many others. Also, there is my blog on the site with movie reviews and game culture ramblings. If you have any questions, or need tips, PM me.

Nope. I'm actually Hungarian. I just moved to Ireland when I was 8.

Aw, that's different. Than you have a much needed head start. Nevertheless, I hope you find my reviews useful. Also, there is "Ausztrál Tom" on youtube, a guy who says he is the only Australian who learns Hungarian, and posted some cool videos on the interwebs to teach some Australian to Hungarians. And, man, he is awesome :D

I don't think I'll ever get a job as a games journalist. But just in case I feel like applying, I'll keep it all in mind ^^

SaintWaldo:

Earnest Cavalli:

Earnest Cavalli:
As someone whose only experience in the "games writing" industry is scoring jobs almost entirely via a combination of luck and charm, I fully agree with everything Susan has said here, but would also like to add one final point:

Sleeping your way to the top -- Did you really think it was just a gross metaphor? Oh hell no. All I'll say is you attract more flies with an awesome handjob than you do with vinegar.

You disgust me.

I still hate you for taking my totally guaranteed spot at Wired Game|Life.

Well, OK, maybe it's not hate. Alright, it wasn't totally guaranteed. Or even partially. But you did take it.

I knew I should have vamped my first name basis with Martin Sheen on that cover letter...

I know Waldo. But if it makes you feel any better, aside from Susan's time there my tenure at Wired was fucking horrific. Aside from some reasonably sized paychecks you didn't miss much.

All except the first one are blindily obvious, and even the first one is blindingly obvious when you think about it. I'm not sure I want to be a Games Journalist though - as much as I love writing reviews ,(I have been told they're pretty good as well) I'm not sure I want to make gaming other than a hobby.

Plus reviewing something every week I could see getting tiring.

Always interesting to see these articles here...

Of course, like I said last time, I have no interest in being a journalist. (I write fiction though, ironically.)

A lot of common sense, but sometimes you just need to spell it out for people, right Suzan?

Then again, I can't write a job application to save my life, so who am I to comment on matters?

Good old common sense. I suppose if it was common, we wouldn't need articles like these. Nice work, Susan.

I must add that like every journalist, use the dictionary. Use long sophisticated words that people hardly hears.

The article itself was excellent, but I can't help but feel like it might hurt my chances to one day pester everyone at The Escapist for a position. I mean, if every tool with a spellchecker can follow these easy steps now, how is an elitist tool like myself supposed to get a decent job?

So, so true.

Great article. I want to be a sports caster/writer (dream job is to be on Around the Horn)

SW15243:
The article itself was excellent, but I can't help but feel like it might hurt my chances to one day pester everyone at The Escapist for a position. I mean, if every tool with a spellchecker can follow these easy steps now, how is an elitist tool like myself supposed to get a decent job?

Two words: Send cookies.

;)

Susan Arendt:

SW15243:
The article itself was excellent, but I can't help but feel like it might hurt my chances to one day pester everyone at The Escapist for a position. I mean, if every tool with a spellchecker can follow these easy steps now, how is an elitist tool like myself supposed to get a decent job?

Two words: Send cookies.

;)

Another tip! *Takes notes*

Susan Arendt:

SW15243:
The article itself was excellent, but I can't help but feel like it might hurt my chances to one day pester everyone at The Escapist for a position. I mean, if every tool with a spellchecker can follow these easy steps now, how is an elitist tool like myself supposed to get a decent job?

Two words: Send cookies.

;)

I do make a damn good batch of peanut butter cookies. 'Course, I can make others. Pick your poison, Boss.

So, I'm inclined to wonder about something--Are there minor positions that might be available, whre one could work their way up to a higher position? Be generic game-industry hampster at a news-and-review group, running in the wheels behind the site, making sure names are spelled correctly, i's dotted and t's crossed, that kind of thing? Or does one get to jump straight into associate editing, leaping straight towards the barrel of the gun?

BehattedWanderer:
So, I'm inclined to wonder about something--Are there minor positions that might be available, whre one could work their way up to a higher position? Be generic game-industry hampster at a news-and-review group, running in the wheels behind the site, making sure names are spelled correctly, i's dotted and t's crossed, that kind of thing? Or does one get to jump straight into associate editing, leaping straight towards the barrel of the gun?

Every company worth it's salt has a whipping boy. Jumping in front of the gun is just much more interesting.

Funny enough miss Susan i actually do have a mission to play every video game starting with F.
Everything from Final Fight to Final Fantasy, Fallout to Farcry, Flatout to Fury... so far im about a third of the way but hey... I might get there if I just believe in myself.
=D

By the way, great article. For a writing prodigy who is looking to take up journalism these little hints can be just the wind i need in my sails.

=P

Thank you Susan. This is a very informative article.

Hopefully people will take this article to heart, not just when applying for game related writing positions, but to any other job that they might be applying for. Yes, even minimum wage jobs. I know I've had more doors open for me by showing knowledge of the company and being articulate in my application.

I would recommend that people save this article for future reference, or use the bookmark button, which is what I did.

Thanks again, Miss. A-R-E-N-D-T! (Just making sure I spelled it correctly).

SW15243:

BehattedWanderer:
So, I'm inclined to wonder about something--Are there minor positions that might be available, whre one could work their way up to a higher position? Be generic game-industry hampster at a news-and-review group, running in the wheels behind the site, making sure names are spelled correctly, i's dotted and t's crossed, that kind of thing? Or does one get to jump straight into associate editing, leaping straight towards the barrel of the gun?

Every company worth it's salt has a whipping boy. Jumping in front of the gun is just much more interesting.

Oh, I don't know. I wouldn't trust that BehattedWanderer character. He looks a little shifty, what with the horns and demonic yellow eyes and all.

EDIT: Sorry for the double post. It's just that I really had to point out his evilness.

Gaderael:

SW15243:

BehattedWanderer:
So, I'm inclined to wonder about something--Are there minor positions that might be available, whre one could work their way up to a higher position? Be generic game-industry hampster at a news-and-review group, running in the wheels behind the site, making sure names are spelled correctly, i's dotted and t's crossed, that kind of thing? Or does one get to jump straight into associate editing, leaping straight towards the barrel of the gun?

Every company worth it's salt has a whipping boy. Jumping in front of the gun is just much more interesting.

Oh, I don't know. I wouldn't trust that BehattedWanderer character. He looks a little shifty, what with the horns and demonic yellow eyes and all.

EDIT: Sorry for the double post. It's just that I really had to point out his evilness.

We don't take too kindly to them thar demon folk 'round these here parts

BehattedWanderer:
So, I'm inclined to wonder about something--Are there minor positions that might be available, whre one could work their way up to a higher position? Be generic game-industry hampster at a news-and-review group, running in the wheels behind the site, making sure names are spelled correctly, i's dotted and t's crossed, that kind of thing? Or does one get to jump straight into associate editing, leaping straight towards the barrel of the gun?

Of course. One of the best ways not only to learn, but to wedge your foot firmly in the door, is to volunteer somewhere. The folks who are willing to help out because they're passionate and driven get noticed and trained.

Great article. But I'll continue my education (about text and communication) a few years before I'll try my luck. ;)

Dan Hsu (a highly respected game journalist) also provides the same information to get a job as a game journalist but with more details.

How to get a job writing about games for a living

It's worth looking if you have an interest in pursuing a video game journalist.

Earnest Cavalli:

Earnest Cavalli:
As someone whose only experience in the "games writing" industry is scoring jobs almost entirely via a combination of luck and charm, I fully agree with everything Susan has said here, but would also like to add one final point:

Sleeping your way to the top -- Did you really think it was just a gross metaphor? Oh hell no. All I'll say is you attract more flies with an awesome handjob than you do with vinegar.

You disgust me.

Sorry if this is supposed to be obvious, did you just tell yourself that you disgust yourself?

Anyways I get the impression that all of this should be readily obvious.

Familiarizing yourself with the magazine you're trying to join and asking if they could take some time to review some of your work sounds like best advice. Stop swearing, use spellcheck, and actually make sure you WANT to join the magazine should be so obvious that it feels unnecesary to say them.

Anyways, this seems like a fairly well done piece of work, when can you start?

I think I made pretty much every single mistake possible in my first application for a job in journalism. Still, I got the job, and in my field of choice too. (Culture & Entertainment)

I'd take this not as a "do not" but rather a "try to avoid" summary of clichés that some editors may have a more burning passion to dismiss than others. I don't know about you people, but I'd rather work for someone who takes me for who I am.

I find this very funny actually. Many gamer friends I have tell me they could apply for jobs like these because they know so much about the games they play, but looking at the way they write tells me something else.

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