Hi! I write for another gaming website - mybigassgamingsite.com, but nobody comments on my stuff over there except for my Mom and a few friends that I have blackmail photos of, so I'm copying all my crap over here in hopes that my outstanding writing skills and fun-filled witty humour will encourage you to dump Destructoid and hang out at my site instead, so I can make lots of money and be famous!
I often seem to see people who are maintaining their own gaming website or blog, wanting to start their own gaming website, or are drawn to participate in a small start-up or niche gaming website. I can understand the allure... it's one step closer to that oft-professed dream of becoming a real-life, paid "videah gamez writer"! It's one step closer to realizing the dream of your very own Destructoid. It's one step closer towards becoming what many Dtoid staff have achieved - careers in an industry you love. What I don't understand is why people don't perceive those same opportunities as being right here - here at Destructoid.
It just seems to me that it's better to be a small fish in a big sea, rather than a big fish in a tiny puddle. Isn't it better to first see if you have writing talent before starting your own site? If you can't build up a readership here, then it's highly doubtful you could build it out there on the intranets where there isn't a ready-made audience. Isn't it also better to see if you can commit to producing regular work? If your website or blog doesn't have a constant flow of new and original content, it'll just die a slow painful death. Isn't it better to find your style and "voice" here on a site where you'll get honest (often brutally honest) feedback... instead of the praise you get from your Mom and your friends on your own site? It's a tough go out there in internet-land. It seems that everyone has their own gaming website... and to be honest, most of them out there are all seem the same - videa game newz... written by me and my 5 friends on the front page, and a forum section for the peons to talk amongst themselves about my awesome writings.
I have no problem with people going after a career they want, and if that career is to be a games writer, then go for it. I guess I do have a problem with people whoring their works though. I don't want to see copy/pasta from your "other" site. I don't care if you whore yourself around and write for a bunch of different sites in the hopes of getting noticed... as long as the work is original for that site, aimed at the community for that site, and as long as you care enough to comment on the works of others on that site and actually be a part of that community. I don't even care if you link to your other great gaming article, but talk about the comments you got, talk about writing it, talk about something. Put some effort in and don't just copy/paste... or I'll put the same effort forth and not bother reading it.
Personally I think that the whole dream of being a video games journalist is short sighted. I don't honestly know that this career will even exist in 10 years. The concept is based on an outdated world of paper publications where interaction was limited to a letter to the editor. Recent studies are showing that people purchase games increasingly based on word of mouth from other gamers. Reviews and previews, the staples of video games journalism, are playing less and less a role in gamer purchasing decisions. With the internet I think that people are less interested in reading the writings of a specific person, and they are more interested in something more participatory. Something that will amuse them, intrigue them, or in some way meet their needs. Destructoid serves my personal purposes because primarily it is a "community". It's a place where I can find people to game online with and a place where I can talk about games while reading bits of gaming news and interesting blogs by other gamers. I often find the c-blog writings of the "unprofessional" writers to be more interesting and more relevant to my own interests. If you want to build a gaming site, then look to the future. The future might not be in being a famous "videa gamez journalist", maybe it's in creating a site where "everybody" can feel that they are a famous videa gamez journalist. Personally I think that's one of the reasons that Destructoid is so successful. Niero seems to have had the uncanny and wonderful ability to pick "good people". People that are friendly, outgoing, willing to share the spotlight and even shine the spotlight on others on occasion. While reviews and previews will always have a place on gaming sites, these are to be found in abundance all over the internet, finding a true gaming community is something much more difficult to find, and something much more difficult to create.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, shit or get off the pot. If you want to be part of Destructoid, then be part of Destructoid. Yes, you might be but a guppy in a sea of sharks, but at least your "our" guppy and I'm more likely to read your stuff. Who knows, if you keep at it you might get noticed and eventually grow into a shark (or at least a ferocious guppy), but you're more likely to be noticed here, than on your own small blog lost out there in a Wordpress world. Along the way you might even start playing games with other community members, might start joking around with them, arguing with them, discussing issues with them... and discovering why Destructoid seems to work. Personally I think that "community" is the future of video games journalism, not your fabulous writing (no matter how fabulous it is, because I am a voracious and fickle consumer... if you don't constantly keep me entertained, I will dump you faster than a guy picking his nose on a first date). Maybe being a "party planner" and organizing online games, group activities, a place for gaming groups to get organized... maybe that's a future for gaming websites (and if you get a good one going, be sure to let me know because I haven't found a good place for this yet!) Think outside the box!
I have no personal aspirations to be a video gamez journalist.... but I am a voice of someone who reads... and reads a LOT. If you want me to read you or visit your site... then you need to offer more than just "you". You need to address my needs as a consumer and offer something more than a Dtoid clone or something I already have, otherwise I'm simply not buying... and frankly, I just find it irritating for you to be advertising your copy/pasta wares here, or just linking to shit on other sites with no information about why I should click that link. I don't even know why I find it irritating... I just do.
Everyone is entitled to my opinion! I'm armed with a laptop and willing to use it. Beware of random drive-by comments and bombardment by a bloated bevy of blithely banal bloggy opinions totally unsuited to a professional publication. Side effects may include drowsiness, upset stomach, dizziness, confusion or dryness of mouth. Please take with food or milk and a grain of salt. This blog may contain peanuts, and is not suited to those with allergies to reality. Please do not be offended if you are one of the 99% of Dtoid readers who has, has had, will have or currently writes for another gaming publication, website, blog, or webring about funny cats. I'm in an irritable mood today and just want to be able to write without feeling pressured to be a "videa gamez writer" because it sometimes seems like everyone wants to be one and I feel out of place. I just want to be a gamer who writes about my gaming experiences, talks with other gamers and meets other gamers to play online with. No, I don't want to visit or join your "other", "real", "primary" or "main" writing site. I just really don't care.
Now if you want to go make me a sandwich... I might re-consider....