Thereís no correct path to getting into video game journalism/bloggingólet alone any creative career. This is what some of the well-known journalists have disappointingly told us in interviews. Itís only recently that I realize that these guys are correct in their assessment, but Iíve also found out that some of the traditional ways of breaking into video game journalism/blogging work just fine.
I found my path to becoming a freelance video game blogger just a year ago when I joined The Koalition
. While Iíve had a blast writing for them, Iím still not even close to reaching all of my goals. That said, Iíve learned a lot during my first year writing for The Koalition, and I have made some major stridesóthe biggest one being that Iím actually going to attend E3 this year!
So I thought I would start a series of articles in the C-blogs about my tales as a video game blogger. While I'm not in the same league as some of my idols on my favorite websites (Destructoid, The Escapist, and ScrewAttack among others), I thought I could at least share what little knowledge Iíve accrued, and hopefully find others in the C-Blogs who are on a similar path.
So how did I get my start in video game blogging? Well, if Adam Sessler disappointed many with the lack of a concrete details needed for a successful plan, then I will undoubtedly disappoint many, or realistically the very few who might
read this, with how simple my strategy was: networking.
Back when I was more stupid than I currently am (I like to think that Iím a little smarter now), I used to hate the idea of networking. I foolishly thought that people networked to use each other to their advantage. ďI would rather spend time making friends,Ē I thought. While there may be some truth to that, Iíve also realized that I can still open doors while creating friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. And the best part of networking is that it doesnít necessarily take place in business conferences. I have a roommate who received a life-changing job opportunity because he helped someone on the side of the road. In my case, I managed to partner up with the correct person for a class project.
I was enrolled in my universityís Professional & Technical Communication program. Itís a small program, and I would often take classes with the same 15 peersógive or take a few. †For our Commercial Publications class, we were instructed to visit a print shop so we could gain a better understanding of, well, printing. Most of us put it off until the last minute, but I was lucky because I knew the owner of our local newspaper from churchóagain, the power of networking! I overheard that another classmate, David, had also put off finding a print shop. I invited him to tag along, and he agreed to drive. Long story short, we visited the print shop, completed our report, talked about video games and became friends in the process.
I didn't know David was the senior editor of a gaming website until the end of the semester. Everyone enrolled in the Grants and Proposals class had to give a presentation on a hypothetical business plan. David was also in that class, and he created a plan for an indie PR company, and he leveraged his credibility by citing his experience as a senior editor for The Koalition.
I had new-found respect for David. While I grew up reading online and print gaming publications, I had never envisioned actually meeting a journalist/blogger (whatever) in person, let alone in one of my classes. At the time, I wanted to revive my dead blog on ScrewAttack, a site that had also influenced me because I live in the same region as them. Instead, I stared blankly at the screen for countless hours, eventually looking up YouTube videos. I didn't want to ask David if I could write for The Koalition, and I decided to just focus on my studies instead.
Time passed, bringing with it another semester and the same 15 classmates. In between group projects, David and I would argue about video games. After one of our discussions, David said, ďOh, by the way. I talked to Richard (The Koalitionís editor in chief), and he said he would be cool with you submitting an article.Ē
Almost immediately afterwards, I glued myself to my computer screen, reading article after article on The Koalition. Eventually I got a feel for their content and style. In the end, I pitched an editorial about Kingdom Hearts 3
and typed it out in a single night. I didnít care that the work was unpaid; I had never felt more proud to see my work available on the Internet! Since then, Iíve gone on to write news, previews, interviews, reviews, and even my own column. A year has passed, and while video game blogging isnít the most noble of pursuits, I still love the rush I feel when I click publish
in our content management system.
I want to thank everyone for reading my story. I promise that Iím not just writing this to fuel my ego, and I have other content planned for my personal C-Blog. I started last week with an editorial about current events. I also plan on writing personal gaming anecdotes and possibly some retro reviews. In the mean time, Iíll continue writing for The Koalition and sharing anything Iíve learned in the process. read