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Jeff M Answers Your Questions

Earlier this week, I invited the Game Informer community to ask me questions about whatever their hearts desired. Reader inquiries ran the gamut from serious questions about the state of video game journalism, to even more serious questions about pizza. Here are all the answers I could muster.

First off, I'd like to thank everyone for their submissions; from the questions that made me stop and think to the ones that made me laugh out loud, I had a lot of fun answering as many of them as I could. Please note that some questions have been edited for the sake of clarity and brevity.

Game Informer/Industry-Related Questions:

How did you start out in gaming journalism/working at GI? – Numerous readers
I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English composition, and landed an internship at GI shortly thereafter. Ultimately, my path into the industry was the same as most editors: I went to school, did a lot of independent writing and some freelance work, and built up a portfolio of writing samples. If you're interested in writing about video games, don't wait until some is paying you to do it – create a blog and start posting. Shameless Plug: We've got a great community for it!

How stressful/demanding is your job at GI? – BRAV0 F1VE
Things always get busy towards the end of the month, when we're trying to finish and proof the magazine while also continuing to post online content. The job involves a lot more writing than it does playing games, but the most stressful assignments (usually longer pieces for the magazine) are also the most rewarding ones.

What are some of your favorite times/most stressful times working at GI? – Qdgyu
Some of my favorite times at GI have involved working with indie developers on previews and features, because the coverage means a lot to them and you have the opportunity to introduce your readers to a game they've likely never heard of. Big industry events like E3 are the most stressful aspect of the job, but the GI staff is good at pulling together and working as a team.

What is the chain of command like at GI? Who do you work with the most day-to-day, and what are your usual methods for pitching a story to Andy McNamara? – Tim Gruver
We all work with each other regularly – whenever someone has a story that needs proofing, they usually just stroll through the bullpen and look for someone who is free. Every story gets read at least three times (considerably more for print), so people are always discussing articles/ideas/games/etc. As for pitching stories: Everyone attends the issue meetings, so you're not pitching a story to just Andy per se, but the entire editorial team.

Do you think that GI and game journalism at large do a good-enough job separating rumor/speculation from statements provided by an actual developer/publisher/console manufacturer? – Joseph
This is something we've discussed a lot recently, and the reason we instituted clear Rumor and Report tags for news that we can't verify ourselves. The system isn't perfect; it still requires us to judge which sites/sources we deem trustworthy, and we might be wrong when we make those calls. However, it does give our readers a clear indication to take the reported story with a grain of salt, and we are continually reevaluating which sources we consider credible. I don't think anyone strives to just be "good enough" – we want to be the best, and we won't stop trying to improve our coverage.

There was an initiative started last year to recognize excellence in video game journalism by soliciting nominations for articles from various authors and having a panel vote on winners. What are your thoughts on video game journalism awards? – Saint
Just what we need, our own Peabody Awards! Seriously though, the positive feedback I occasionally get from readers means a lot more to me than an award ever would. If you really want to recognize quality writing, share the articles you enjoy with your friends or write the author an email. Any writer who needs more than that should rethink his or her priorities.

 In your opinion, who has the best beard at the GI office? – aidanrinku
I see we've come to the hard-hitting questions. That would definitely be Jeff Cork – not only is his facial hair incredibly thick, but it's straight enough that he can grow one of those pointy-chin beards like those guys who have goat legs. Or Satan.

What was it like winning the Super Replay Showdown despite being the underdog in every round according to the Facebook group? – OcarinaOfHeel
The Super Replay Showdown was actually a lot of fun. I was worried about having to host an entire Super Replay, but it seemed to go over well with the Replay community, so all-in-all I consider it a success.

What is the stupidest thing you have seen Dan do at the office? – firedude3663
Pffttt – more like what isn't the stupidest thing I've seen Dan do at the office...

Coming Up Next: Readers ask about next-gen gaming and the big three console makers...

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