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Old 10-30-2007, 06:54 AM   #1
Elliott
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Default 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
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:38 AM   #2
CKeene
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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.
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Courtney Keene
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:16 AM   #3
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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

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Old 11-05-2007, 03:44 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:24 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:58 AM   #6
yaustar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper_34 View Post
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.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
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.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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Actually I have to disagree with one piece of advice here. It's much more beneficial to join an established site before creating your own.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:34 AM   #9
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I've been reading this thread, taking into account what everyone is saying. I've been trying to pursue a writing career within gaming for a long time. It took me a while to gain the confidence to start my own blog.

I'm also writing for a website at the moment, which has helped with my ability and confidence. If anyone would like to check out my blog, give me advice and anything in between, I'd appreciate it!

http://xflawlessvictory.blogspot.com/
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:34 AM   #10
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In all honesty Elliot, I truly believe that if you really want to do something - then the only thing stopping you are your thoughts!

Let me change your perspective:
Henry Ford, was an uneducated man with very poor "academic" knowledge about his undertakings.
However, in the 1800-1900s he became one of the richest men in designing the T model car. ALTHOUGH his almost nonexistent schooling suggested that he could not surmount to anything in life.
Because of this premonition that a good education equals success, - everyone around him did not believe that he could achieve some of his craziest ideas at the time. (a machine that moves by itself?! impossible.)
Where he told is was a lunatic, crazy, mad etc. (and don't get me wrong, a lot of people are going to give you shit)
SO! -
1908 comes by, and soon enough he becomes one of the richest and profound men of the 20th century.

How?
By making a positive, stern decision to do so. And in comparison for your scenario, if you want something bad enough, take action to do so, and may be willing to endure hardship - then your rewards will be correlate to your actions.

You ask specifically, "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?"

How long? - As long as it needs to take in your own willpower and personal initiative.
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