The lights are on
Last week at the GameStop Managers Meeting in San Antonio, a
few of the other editors and I had the distinct honor of meeting a ton of devoted
readers and hardcore gamers. The most frequently asked question they had for us
was how to prepare for a job in video game journalism. The answer is pretty
simple, if a little self-serving: Start your own blog. Preferably at Game
Here's the thing: Becoming a video game journalist takes hard
work, talent, and a more than a little luck. There are no secrets to getting a
job, and no guarantees. However, starting your own game-related blog can provide
you with a number of benefits, which I'm happy to outline for you now.
Practice Makes Perfect:Remember when I told you there are no guarantees in this
whole writing thing? I lied. The more you write, the better a writer you'll
become. Guaranteed. There's no better way to hone your skills at creating focused
and compelling articles than by diving in and writing, be it editorials,
previews, reviews, or whatever else you're interested in. You may not feel yourself
improving, but you'll be amazed (and probably a little embarrassed) at how
primitive your early writing projects seem after you get some experience under
Invaluable Feedback:Another important aspect to growing as a writer is seeking
out feedback from your peers. While sites like Tumblr and Wordpress provide
writers with a free venue for posting their thoughts, getting people to visit
them is another story. Luckily, Game Informer has a built-in community that's eager
to read and discuss your work with you.
Once you've reached Level 5 on Gameinformer.com, your blogs
will start showing up on the User Blogs
page for everyone to see. If you've been an active member for a while, chances
are you already have enough points; you earn them from regular community interactions
like rating stories, leaving comments in articles and forum threads, and
Once you start posting your own articles, it won't take long
to make new friends in Game Informer's blogging community, who won't only offer
you sage writing advice, but feedback on the topics you choose write about. Sometimes
all it takes is for a peer to point out a slightly different approach to a
topic to transform a good article into a great one.
Building A Portfolio:Creating and posting to your own blog won't just provide you
with writing practice. It will also help you generate a body of work that you
can share with potential employers in the future. Bloggers at Game Informer regularly
post game reviews, previews, opinion articles, humorous features - even
interviews with developers and podcasts. In other words, the exact kinds of content
employers expect to see from budding editors. If you dedicate a decent amount
of time to your blog, not only will you have a wealth of writing samples to
show off, but your articles will be vetted by fellow writers, giving you the
opportunity to further improve your work and identify which articles are your
Additionally, community member Saint does
a great job of highlighting GI's most thought-provoking blogs every week in his
Herding feature, which provides hard-working writers with some extra
attention. Our newsletter also spotlights talented community bloggers every
One of our featured bloggers,
Gardner, landed an internship at Game Informer thanks in part to his excellent
articles. Some bloggers have even gotten interviews with developers and freelance job offers from other sites.
Stop Waiting:Starting a user blog isn't a fast track to getting a job in
the industry, and there are no guarantees of it leading to employment. But if
you're really serious about writing, you can't wait for someone to offer you a
job out of the blue. Start writing now and learn from your practice and
experience. At the very least, you'll end up with a portfolio of your work and
a bunch of new friends.
So what are you waiting for? Check out our help page for a guide to
creating blog posts on Game Informer, and read BlackHeartedWolf's
Hunter's advice on how to make your posts more compelling to readers.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
I never really thought about it before. I'm so out of practice with writing and this would be a great way to get myself working on it again. Thanks for the idea/tip GI.
This article just made me join. Love video games and writing so hoping this could be a good start. Just need to build up enough points...
Writing about games is fun and exhilarating to me because I love games and everyone els does, but when I write, I put thought and emotion in all of my blogs, reviews, and comments, I even "call out" the gamers that make fun of other gamers. I'm going to school for Anthropology and that requiers me to be a much better writer and to know all other cultures of the world, and let it be video game cultures. Writing lets me express myself better than speaking it, I have to have an afinity for it. Thank you Gameinformer for letting my words be heard and for making me write about somthing everyday and level up at the same time, literaly.
Great feature! I just started blogging at GI. The community is fantastic. I'm not looking to get into journalism, but just do it for fun. Writing is one of my guilty pleasures, and why not do it about something I love like video games and the industry.
I might actually start blogging after this post, I've always wanted to but I just run out of motivation after I start a topic.
You have to be level 5?!?!?! And here I just thought no one found my articles interesting... Damn.
practice does'nt make perfect
PERFECT practice makes perfect
I actually use my GI blog to link back articles from my main blog over at blogspot.com. It's amazing how much GI readers contribute to my overall traffic.
If I post an article on blogspot without linking it back to my GI blog, I'm lucky if I get more than 20 hits a week. A few hours after linking it back to my GI blog however and I'm looking at over 100 hits in a few days!
As an aspiring gaming journalist who sometimes struggles to get his work seen, the GI blog has been a huge help.
Great article, highlighting a wonderful facet of your community. I really enjoy the bloggers here. Gives me more to read once I've poured over the editorial stories. I only hope this turns out more great bloggers!
Pretty great article. Despite not necessarily wanting to follow a job in journalism, in fact I always disliked it as a kid because my dad's a sports journalist and his job seems kind of annoying, I do find it really interesting to read and write about gaming and the culture surrounding it, so I suppose in the future I may write my own blog entries.
Great article as always JeffM. Ever since the User blog sidebar was added, I've been wanting to start blogging on here. The problem was that I could never think of any ideas on what to blog about. Also, I just havent been on this site as much as I used to. I know that if I ever come up with a great idea, I'll post it on here. Another problem though is that I will likely never work as a video game journalist (or any type of journalist for that matter) so I havent had much of an incentive to start trying. But hopefully everyone else will keep up with the good work
Huh... i might want to start blogging soon. It never occured to me that future employers will even care about my blogs.