Game journalism-age: being in-between jobs is not fun :(

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Jan 23, 2007
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#52
Salmonax said:
Sure, but as someone who aims to make a living by the written word, surely you're aware that "in-between jobs" implies that you've lost your meal ticket - not that your hobby has hit a bit of a lull.
I just took the phrase literally. If you think of my previous job as Job A and my future job (whatever it is) as Job B, then I am in-between those two jobs. That was my thought process.
 
Sep 9, 2005
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#58
Well, I wouldn't hire you. Even if you were a good writer, which you may well be.

Put it this way, in your opening post above, we find out about:

- Your dad
- Your step-mom
- A former boss

These people seem to represent your hope for more work. You don't mention your writing, what you're interested in, what you are hoping to achieve as a writer (except for more). Instead, these three people seem to have to put in good words for you, pull strings in order for you to get work.

You also publically, on one of the internet's biggest gaming forums, bitch about one of your employers (Siliconera). If he doesn't respond to your emails, that is between you and him unless he owes you money. (For example, Gamespot Australia owe me money, for reviews I did which they never paid me for.)

None of this is a problem, and you seem like a nice kid, but if you mentioned anything about any of these elements in an email - that parents pull strings for you, or that you get surly when not replied to - I would hit 'delete', honestly, as an editor. You have to present as reliable, easy-going, resourceful, indepedent and above all, fast.
Completely agree with this. Plus, most of the small gaming websites have just churned through the 4th Quarter and are probably simply burned out with little to nothing to review. Come up with something original, shop around a feature.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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#60
OP, go to college, join a frat, bang some chicks, spend days in a drunk stupor, barely scrape by to get your degree, ask your parents for some money to help you get grounded, move in to your own apartment, get a 'real' job, marry one of the chicks you banged, have a couple kids, lose said job, be too proud to ask your parents for money, ask some frat buddies for some cash only to realize that they weren't your real friends to begin with, be on your last leg with nowhere left to turn, THEN come back and repost this thread in 10 years. Maybe then GAF will show you sympathy.
See ya in ten years!!
 
Nov 17, 2006
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Koga, Ibaraki, Japan
#62
JSnake said:
Chris Kohler got his first paid game journalism gig at exactly my age. But to answer your question, you're right.
Pat Klepek started young, too. Guys that started that young took razzing from all corners and suffered constant questioning of their credibility. They succeeded in spite of their age, not because of it, and they succeeded because all three of those guys were consummate professionals in all aspects.

Sadly, the difference in professional behaviour in public realms between you and those guys is as wide and deep as the Pacific Ocean, man.

The biggest barrier for most people in hiring someone as young as you is the worry about whether or not they can conduct themselves as professionals. You say the way you act on GAF isn't how you act with employers, but you fail to realize that many of your potential employers are members of GAF or read GAF, along with other forums you may or may not take part in. Even the ones that don't are perfectly willing and capable to do a Google search.

In short, you've got to stop acting like a forum retard as you tend to from time to time. I guarantee it's getting you tossed out of Rolodexes. Absolutely guarantee it.
 

Azar

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#63
If you like writing about games because you like writing about games, then

1) Blog
2) Go to college
3) Keep writing
4) Get a degree and look for full-time work

The fact that nobody's paying you right now shouldn't be your concern. Having a large body of work to cite should be, and having the skills to cut it as a writer should be your goal right now. Just keep writing and get an education.
 
Feb 17, 2006
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#64
Gazunta said:
Yeah guys bashing him for his age won't get you far. Some of the best game journalists I know started when they were 13 or so. Passion is an asset in this trade (it's called the enthusiast press for a reason).
but would you really call them "journalists" at that age?
 
Jul 1, 2006
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#66
Gazunta said:
Yeah guys bashing him for his age won't get you far. Some of the best game journalists I know started when they were 13 or so. Passion is an asset in this trade (it's called the enthusiast press for a reason).
I'm not bashing him for his age, I'm more bashing the industry itself. I'm not hating on it, so much as saying it's hard to take something seriously when people with no formal education are getting paying jobs in it. I'm not a fan of it, although I understand that's how it works.
 

schuelma

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Feb 11, 2007
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#68
I initially just read the thread title and was sad because I assumed the OP was a video game journalist in his 30's or something with a wife and kids who had just lost his job because of cut backs,etc.

Then I saw it was just JSnake.
 

arne

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#69
Segata Sanshiro said:
In short, you've got to stop acting like a forum retard as you tend to from time to time. I guarantee it's getting you tossed out of Rolodexes. Absolutely guarantee it.

if he wants to be a journalist probably.

being an insufferable, sarcastic, prick of a unrepentant corporate shill on gaf got me my new job.

not really, but my boss reads gaf and I hear about what i post from time to time
 
Jan 11, 2007
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#72
If you really are more interested in building a career than you are in making money, you shouldn't have trouble getting work. There are hundreds of video game sites you could write for. Think of a few good features and pitch them around to everyone. Contact websites that, say, don't have anyone doing iPhone games and tell them you'll review them for free. Take the jobs seriously, behave professionally, and after a few months of doing free work tell them you're going to need to get paid if they want you to continue. Start at small sites, make contacts, work your way up.
 

PantherLotus

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Jul 4, 2006
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#79
^ Yeah, no. Maturity required. Kids can stay in the comments section.

and the comma goes inside the quote

schuelma said:
Are you starting a site?

If so, you need to lock up Josh, stat.
I assume you're joking, but for those that don't get it, I have, and he does contribute.
 

Danthrax

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Nov 19, 2005
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#85
Kiddo, you're not a journalist if you've been writing "news articles" for Web sites since you were 14. Either gain experience by doing real journalism for a real news organization for several years or receive formal training at a university. Preferably both. Then you can call yourself a journalist.
 

Momar

aka Ryder
Aug 17, 2005
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#87
That is a pretty awesome tag, I must say. Sorry I can't contribute much else to the conversation, best of luck in your job hunt, I suppose! =]
 
Jun 6, 2006
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#88
Fuck, what were you guys all doing at 16? The kid's actually making an effort to pursue what he wants to do with his life, which is a lot more than I can say. I didn't become a game journalist until 18, and that was purely through a stroke of luck after I entered college. Thread needs more advice posts like Gazunta's.


Here's some further advice JSnake:

If you are trying to get a gig with companies, maybe try pitching them something specific. " I noticed that you guys don't really have much coverage on ________ (indie games maybe), and feel that I would make a great go-to guy for that type of content. I've attached a couple short writing samples that focus on that area. Naturally, I'd be willing and able to cover whatever you needed..."
 
Jan 23, 2007
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#89
Danthrax said:
Kiddo, you're not a journalist if you've been writing "news articles" for Web sites since you were 14. Either gain experience by doing real journalism for a real news organization for several years or receive formal training at a university. Preferably both. Then you can call yourself a journalist.
OK. Uh, writer, then?

edit: platypotamus, that was probably the best advice in the thread. :eek: I will try that next time I try 'selling' myself to a publication.
 
Jan 23, 2007
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#91
Oxx said:
Didn't you try and get somebody from the Virtual Console thread to write a review for you?

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=10817203&postcount=20938
yeeeeaaah, not one of my brightest moments. oh well, live and learn right? :(

to be fair though, that was eons ago. I think I was still writing for my first publication. I've never done anything of the sort again though. in fact, I proceeded to cough up the $8 after that post and write a review myself.
 
Nov 17, 2006
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Koga, Ibaraki, Japan
#93
JSnake said:
yeeeeaaah, not one of my brightest moments. oh well, live and learn right? :(

to be fair though, that was eons ago. I think I was still writing for my first publication.
That was less than a year ago, man. Seriously. When I was an EiC, if my Lycos search turned up results like what I've seen you do around here, that'd be the end of you right then and there.

There's lots of good advice in this thread, but mark my words, all of it is for naught if you can't pull yourself together or keep your forum persona unidentifiable from your real name.
 
#94
platypotamus said:
Fuck, what were you guys all doing at 16? The kid's actually making an effort to pursue what he wants to do with his life, which is a lot more than I can say. I didn't become a game journalist until 18, and that was purely through a stroke of luck after I entered college. Thread needs more advice posts like Gazunta's.
I think people are more annoyed about him saying he's "in-between jobs" like his livelihood is at stake when all that happened is he lost a part-time remote writing job while in high school living off his parents.

Hell, he's not even in college yet and really has no financial needs at this point in his life. There are lots of people out there actually losing their full time jobs in the industry.
 
Jan 23, 2007
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#95
Segata Sanshiro said:
That was less than a year ago, man. Seriously. When I was an EiC, if my Lycos search turned up results like what I've seen you do around here, that'd be the end of you right then and there.

There's lots of good advice in this thread, but mark my words, all of it is for naught if you can't pull yourself together or keep your forum persona unidentifiable from your real name.
Then I have a really bad sense of time! :lol

I hear what you're saying though. I'll try and get it together in the future.

firestorm said:
There are lots of people out there actually losing their full time jobs in the industry.
I mean no disrespect to those people.
 
Oct 15, 2004
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#96
Start your own site or find another fan-type site that writes the kind of stuff you like and get in on it. Start a site with a friend whose interests and writing style complement yours. If you can't do design/HTML, find someone who can. No doubt someone on GAF would love to get in on such a thing.

It is entirely possible to get a reasonable amount of notice from your work on an 'amateur' site. It's just important to have an angle/focus other than 'general gaming' since you won't be able to keep up with the huge, well-staffed sites.
 
Apr 6, 2006
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#98
arne said:
if he wants to be a journalist probably.

being an insufferable, sarcastic, prick of a unrepentant corporate shill on gaf got me my new job.

not really, but my boss reads gaf and I hear about what i post from time to time
Yeah, but you were with MS first, right? I'm assuming that somewhere along the lines you crossed paths with someone or something... or whatever... I mean, someone sees that and it's instant credibility (especially compared to, say, writing for a publication no one has heard of or a "hikeschool" paper.)

If I were you (JS), I'd use this lull in work to send an updated resume and samples to various publications. And not just big-name gaming pubs either, but any outlet... Games are becoming casual, right? So start hitting up every editor you know, regardless of the publication they're apart of...

...hell, I think I'll follow my own advice.

Firestorm said:
Hell, he's not even in college yet and really has no financial needs at this point in his life. There are lots of people out there actually losing their full time jobs in the industry.
Are you speaking from experience? You're in Canada, right?
 

Danthrax

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#99
JSnake said:
OK. Uh, writer, then?
That's better. It's like the difference between a runner and an Olympic athlete.


Firestorm said:
I think people are more annoyed about him saying he's "in-between jobs" like his livelihood is at stake when all that happened is he lost a part-time remote writing job while in high school living off his parents.

Hell, he's not even in college yet and really has no financial needs at this point in his life. There are lots of people out there actually losing their full time jobs in the industry.
This also annoys the mess out of me.
 
Jun 6, 2004
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