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-   -   Can i become a games journalist? (http://www.gamecareerguide.com/forums/showthread.php?t=591)

Elliott 10-30-2007 06:54 AM

Can i become a games journalist?
 
Hello, my name is Elliott Flynn. I live in the UK and come from a fairly good home, i know this isn't a biography or a CV but i need some opinions from experienced writers such as yourselves.

I'm 17 years old and I'm attending college and hopefully changing my course to journalism tomorrow or over the next few weeks. I want to know if i have what it takes to earn a decent living while doing what i love doing best...playing video games :)

My grades arnt perfect.

English - D
Science - E
Maths - D

As you can see I'm a below par student but I've always thought i was smart.

What i really want to know is, how long would it take a 17 year old British below average student to become a video games journalist and would i even be ABLE to become what I've yearned for so long to be? I've been thinking about this for a while now and it really is something i can see myself doing and still loving for the next 30-40 years.

PLEASE criticize all you want, i need full opinions because i want to know if I'm just setting myself up for wasted years.

Thanks, Elliott Flynn

CKeene 10-30-2007 07:38 AM

Are you passionate about gaming? Is it something you think about even when you're not doing it? Can you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life, even if it means long work weeks and a lot of stress? Are you willing to work damn hard for what you want?

If so, then you should be in a video game related career. But the key is to set yourself up for what best suits you.

Your marks in English aren't so hot, but it depends on what your English classes actually entail. Do you have trouble writing? Do you dislike writing? Difficulties can be overcome, but if you don't like to write, you won't like to be a games journalist. Yes you'll get to play games before the public does, but most of your job is going to be writing. You need to be sure that you can commit yourself to 40 hours a week of writing. (Not saying you'll be writing all day every day, but it's going to be a large part of your job)

Poor marks can be overcome. I barely graduated high school due to slacking off and now I've been a Dean's List student at my college for the past fourteen months and have maintained a 4.0. In addition to that, I got a job working on a high-profile studio mod team that's going places quickly, so I'm setting myself up for an excellent career. So trust me, marks in high school can be overcome.

So the first thing you need to do is decide if writing is really something you love to do. If it is, then I suggest Googling online game sites or zines and seeing if they have any job openings for writers. You can get a taste of what it's like to be on a team and you can also rack up some credits for your portfolio and resume which you can then present to paying employers once you're out of high school.

Best of luck.

Elliott 10-31-2007 10:16 AM

Wow, nice...

Yes, i think about gaming even when i'm not, i sometimes even dream about it..which i know....is very....very sad =/ and i could see myself doing this in years to come, because we all know gaming can only get better from where it currently is. I went into my college today and changed my courses to enhance my current grades so by the end of it i should get a C in English, maybe even a B and I'm hoping to get a work placement or volunteer at a magazine or news paper so i can get as much references as possible. I don't think I'm ready to write for any big or even moderate magazines yet, maybe not even the lower ones because i have no prior experience except running a crappy website where i review movies (badly) and bitch about the world.

But overall i would love to be a games journalist, it combines my two favorite things:

Playing games
Passing judgment

:)

Elliott 11-05-2007 03:44 PM

Yeah, i can really see myself doing this in years to come, because as we all know, games can only get better from where they are currently. I don't care how long it takes, i will be doing this as a career.

Thumper_34 11-05-2007 04:24 PM

It's all about passion and motivation.

Start a website and review games you play. Start reading other sites like ign. Comment on current titles in development. Don't start rumors though. Make your stories fun and interesting so people will read them.

DON'T JUST REVIEW GAMES

Don't shut yourself off from the world, I suggest reading book and talking about them too. or at least reading. Heres the thing YOU NEVER STOP LEARNING. I don't like it when people shut themselves off from certain topics because it doesn't pertain to them. Try to get your grades up if possible. If you ever want to get into another college they wont touch you with grades like that.

English - D
You need English in order to right complete sentences and use correct grammar.

Science - E
Maths - D
Games are based on Math, Science, and Arts. A respect for these fields is a necessity if you ever want to talk about anything but playing the games.

yaustar 11-06-2007 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thumper_34 (Post 1584)
English - D
You need English in order to right complete sentences and use correct grammar.

Oh, the irony :P. What Thumper_34 said is correct, start a blog and start reviewing games. Old, new, bad, good or even downright obscure. Read magazines and newspapers and see their writing style in reviews, cross match this with their target audience. Edge magazine and Times newspaper aims for an older market where Nintendo Official Magazine is a much younger audience and the Daily Star is just there for smut and rumours.

Elliott 11-07-2007 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yaustar (Post 1589)
Oh, the irony :P. What Thumper_34 said is correct, start a blog and start reviewing games. Old, new, bad, good or even downright obscure. Read magazines and newspapers and see their writing style in reviews, cross match this with their target audience. Edge magazine and Times newspaper aims for an older market where Nintendo Official Magazine is a much younger audience and the Daily Star is just there for smut and rumours.

Haha...i was JUST about to quote that but saw you quoted it first.

Thumper, I'm taking a 3 month course to bump my English grade from a D to a C or a B. And i have already started my own website and reviewed two games so far. I've already applied to volunteer at my colleges magazine too so i should get some experience from that.

Esker 11-07-2007 04:03 AM

Your GCSE results are similar to mine when I left School. Schools have a unique ability to make anything slightly interesting, incredibly boring. Seriously don't get uptight about your GCSE results it's early days.

If you're dedicated and willing to spend time in education you will still get in University and eventually onto your dream vocation. It will take you an extra year or so in college longer but at least you'll be able to use this time to hone your talents.

One thing I will say though is don't dwell on your grammar knowledge too much just yet. Take some creative writing classes if you can aswell, these will really improve your writing skills.

Remember reviews need to be interesting and include relevant and correct information.

Good luck.

IDesert FoxI 11-14-2007 12:09 PM

I am also interested in going into this area, and was wondering if there is anyone here who has persued this further than me who can give some advice? I'm 19-years-old and currently a second year print journalism student at university. It's good fun. I am also a writer for an online game magazine which I enjoy doing. I do love to write.

I really want to go into games journalism as a career, preferably in a staff position (as opposed to freelance where I think a lot of games journalists are).

My english result at A level wasn't too hot, but I got into my primary choice at university and I'm not doing too bad. I would recomend the university route to anyone, as it's great fun and you gain a lot of practical knowledge, but not necessarily in the area of games (although I play far too many in my spare time).

It helps to be passionate about what you write, and so for a video games nut it should not be too difficult.

Anyway, lets keep this topic rolling :)

Elliott 11-15-2007 05:04 AM

Desert, what gaming magazine do you write for? I'd like to see your work so I can learn from it and...criticize :P


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