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.