So You Want to Work in Video Games?: On Being a Game Journalist

For the last seven years, I’ve made my living as a game journalist. To a lot of people this sounds like a dream; staying at home, playing videogames all day and espousing my opinions instead of punching a clock. But becoming a game journalist takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and persistence, and most of those who try to get their foot in the door will be deterred before they ever make a living doing it.

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SpiralTear1535d ago

Nice read. It's pretty obvious that it's no cake walk getting involved in the industry, but Travis' story of just doing what you love is inspirational to say the least.

morganfell1535d ago (Edited 1535d ago )

It may be inspirational...for some, but he makes the same mistake as all others that are carelessly damaging gaming.


This occurs all too often where journalists and a host of other pretend writers erringly believe they are in the game indistry or else they are the voice of the indistry, or the masses, when in fact this is far from the truth. It is regretable but often they are the conduit between the gamer and the developer/publisher. They take it upon themselves to inject their own ideas into what game X shpould be rather than reporting the the facts. 90% of game reporting these days isn't reporting but rather worthless opinion from some overbearing know it all with internet access whose insights are little more than the demands of a stumbling demented child king. (thank you Vincent).

Want to work IN the industry? Learn a real game development skill.

SpiralTear1534d ago

I was going to refute your "factual" claim that video game journalists are ruining gaming, but then I noticed that a majority of the comments you've posted on N4G are simply condemnations of anyone who writes about video games, professional or otherwise.

Also, it's not easy to avoid bias. In fact, it's impossible. We all experience events in life through our own viewpoint, our own lens of context. If there was no personal bias at all, (regardless of whether you're a gamer, journalist or developer) we'd all be presenting ourselves as robots.

Frogacuda1534d ago (Edited 1534d ago )

I was the author of the article and I would like to agree with your first point completely. When my editor said he was publishing a series of articles on working in the games industry and he would like me to write one, the very first thing I said was "I don't work In the games industry, I work in media." The title was not my choice and is only the way it is because of the other articles in the series. I hope you can enjoy it despite that.

As for the rest, I disagree that criticism hurts the industry. I do agree that many critics misunderstand their role, however, which is to provide analysis and insight, rather than judgment. I have an article on my review philosophy coming up and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

matrixman921535d ago

Good read...I really want to do this with my life. Writing and video games are my only passions in life. I did not have the money for an actual university, so I had to go to a community college. I am currently one class away from taking all of the English/writing classes that they offer (which isnt very many compared to a university). I do not even know how to get started. I cannot even imagine myself going to a dead end job when I have a passion for something that I am actually good at, which in turn is not many things.

FanOfRootBeer1535d ago (Edited 1535d ago )

I started working as a games journalist nearly a year ago, shortly after graduating high school. (Don't ask how; I just got lucky—which, coincidentally, is as important a factor as networking in the industry.) As a gaming sophomore in university, I love my job. The pay is better than any minimum wage job I'd be able to find (provided my freelance schedule is stable month-to-month), I get travel opportunities and free games, I plan my own hours (to some degree) as an independent contractor, I work from home (in my pajamas), and I, too, get to pour my time into two of my biggest passions: writing and video games.

However, after working with multiple sites and speaking with dozens of writers/editors, I'm confident that I won't be staying in the industry for long once I graduate. There's simply no money in it, and I'm not paying for a degree to scrape by on $25k a year—which is a freakish and generous maxim for gaming journalism. With that said, if you can find a way to make it work, like the author of the article above, I say go for it.

HardcoreDroid1535d ago

We have a follow up article that will be out in a couple of days, in which Travis lays out his philosophy on writing a game review, kind of a how to, yet still relevant I think to those who are already seeing print.

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