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Old 02-05-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
stirlace
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Default work experience and exposure for games journalists

Hi all,

My name's Tim and I have a problem - I want to be a games journalist (just like everyone else ).

I've been an avid writer ever since high school, but rather foolishly I decided to take a scholarship in IT instead of pursue my dream career. I went through the motions of study, got decent grades and landed a respectable job. While working during the day, I studied for a graduate diploma in journalism and wrote articles at night.

I've recently moved to London from Sydney for a few months to take a break from the daily grind of my job, and hope to get some kind of work experience here.

I've already got a blog up (in my sig) and I've got some reviews and articles there. I was fortunate enough to have a title sent to me for review once, which was very cool.

At the moment I'm looking at contacting some magazine publishing houses for some pointers on entering the industry. I'm also planning to look at some other forums etc. where I can interact with like-minded people. I'll endeavour to add info to this thread as I find it.

If anyone else has any experiences or advice to share, I'd love to read it, as would others I'm sure.

Good luck guys and gals

-t
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:17 AM   #2
IDesert FoxI
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Hi,

I'm a print journalism student studying in England (Gloucestershire to be precise) and am also looking for work experience in the field of game journalism! It is something I really want to get into.

I might be able to offer some advice on this as I have just sent off CV's to some magazines asking for work experience, and so I will update you with my results in a week or so!

The blog thing is a good idea, as even if no one reads it regularly, it is a good place for you to demonstrate your skills as a writer, the passion for your subject, and that you can stay committed to keeping something updated. I will take the end of this paragraph to shamelessly whore my blog. There we go!

It would definitely interest me (and possibly others) if you could tell us the secret of getting advance games to review? My blog doesn't really do reviewing as I can't get advance copies of games (or afford to keep buying them!).

Anyway, nice to see life back in this forum
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:13 PM   #3
stirlace
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I'd assume that securing advanced copies of games can come in the following ways:

1) Being a games journo ;
2) Knowing a games journo or someone in the industry who can, er, "procure" copies for you, although I'm sure there will be some NDA issues as a result;
3) Working in a retail store and getting to them first (again, NDA);
4) Being approached by a marketing group or team for a game release (as per below).

There's not much of a secret to it, per se - like so many other stories, this opportunity just happened to fall in my lap. A marketing rep happened to stumble across my blog somehow, and he contacted me asking if I would like to do a write-up on the title that he was promoting.

I guess the advice I can offer to others is pretty straightforward: if you haven't already got some kind online exposure, do so now, and make sure people know it exists. There are several ways to do this - sharing blogroll links, adding it to blog catalogues, linking your blog in forum sigs, putting it in your IM name etc.

On top of all that if you update your blog fairly regularly and add the odd review or thought-provoking opinion piece, then someone's bound to take notice...as long as you keep up to date with what's happening and who's who in the industry, it'll at least serve as proof to your future employer that you're passionate about a career in this field.

Personally, I do purchase games that I'm especially keen on and subsequently review them, so that may be an issue for those that are strapped for cash (I see it as an investment in my future, my mum is yet to agree). The prices of games are indeed somewhat prohibitive...

Just my 2c.


Anyway, best of luck with your applications and definitely let us all know how you go! Personally, I'd be interested in how you applied for said positions and how the rest of the process goes...
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
IDesert FoxI
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Just to drop an update in here about my quest for work experience! It has been one massive **** up so far!

The post office obviously did not target students in 2006 when they decided to make posting big (but still light weight envelopes) cost more. As a result of this, I was waiting for three weeks for responses that never got to organisations.

Having learnt of my mistake, I very quickly re-sent letters and CV's to the magazines that I had applied for, ensuring they had the right postage on them. Waiting one week for a response, I finally received some from one of my placements. It was a very polite, but probably stock worded 'no'.

I am still waiting for another response from one other magazine, and I am about to send off wave two. Wish me luck!
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