How to Become a Gaming Journalist
“It’s tough” is pretty much the consensus during my time at PAX Australia 2014. With the amount of press badges I saw floating around it can honestly be said that gaming journalism is only getting more popular.
Listening to some of the journalists on the showroom floor at PAX AUS I began to realize that one of the things that makes a good journalist is enthusiasm for the profession.
The independent game showroom was a great example of good journalism, I saw many young journalists, along with photojournalists, interviewing passionate indie developers about their unique and quirky games. Every interviewer and interviewee had such conviction and passion for the topic at hand. Listening to the all of the independent developers talk about the product gave me such satisfaction to continue the pursuit in gaming journalism.
Watching an interview with the team over at Assault Android Cactus that went for a good 30 minutes I could tell that the amount of passion and dedication both parties had for the gaming industry is something that everyone needs to become successful.
So Here Are Some of My Tips as a Starting out Gaming Journalist
The most “influential” panel I attended at PAX Australia was “Game Reviews: Criticising the Critics” panellists included:
- Alanah Pearce (Game reviewer),
- Daniel Hindes (AU editor at Gamespot),
- James O’Connor (Freelance Journalists),
- David Milner (Game Informer editor),
- Joab Gilroy (Former Editor at GameArena), and
- Lucy O’Brien (AU IGN Editor).
The panel started out as a critique on game reviewers, but strayed as most panels did into breaking into the profession and critiquing the practices of gaming journalists. The main points that everyone sitting in on the panel took away was “persistence” and breaking the mould of conventional journalism. Alanah said “stray away from the traditional structure of a review with intro, gameplay, graphics, sound and conclusion” she continued to say “only mention the qualities of the game that shape your experience and the critique of the game”.
When the question regarding females in journalism was raised it sparked up a discussion on the whole “Gamersgate” issue, but the female panelists were quick to reinforce their point of “we need females in gaming journalism and PLEASE do not give up on your passion”.
Start up a YouTube Channel
Do it now. Every panelist recommended producing your very own content and making your style noticeable.
Having only the one skill is not very desirable within the realm of journalism and you should become a multimedia expert incorporating video editing and production in your arsenal of tools.
Social Media is a Must
Social media is important when networking with your fellow journalists, but more importantly, the game developers. When asking for a review copy of a game the developers want to be able to verify your existence on the interwebs, Alexandra Bruce the developer of Antichamber said “I’d rather not give his game out for free to someone posing as a gaming journalist”. Having some sort of media presence is a mandatory part of working in journalism in the digital world.
One last piece of advice would have to be never giving up on your passion for journalism or whatever you want to do with your career. It will take time and you will fall sometimes, but if you stick to it and give it your best you will succeed.
Are you interested in getting into games journalism but don’t know where to start? Send us an email or comment below.