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The day I got real fired...part V My 'Pretend' Job

Hey all! I had to take a hiatus this weekend for Mother's Day and for a Finals essay. But I will be finishing off this series today, Wednesday and Thursday...

When HUGE became a integrated part of the site, I was happy that editors could be more directly supported by the community.

It was also at this time that I struggled with what direction I wanted to go with Destructoid. A part of me would have loved to be a full time writer and news editor, but considering I had so many other obligations with work, school and family Ė I didnít have the kind of time needed to be a full contributor. So for a long time, I floated. I wrote stories when I could and didnít commit to certain stories when it just wasnít going to happen. I thought this would be fine, though I felt terrible every time I didnít get stories written. As I mentioned, this happened with the big indie game events. Some really great games got later coverage because I just simply dropped the ball.

On that note, I have only the utmost respect for the editors currently working at Destructoid, especially those who have been around for such a long time Ė Dale North is Corgi-tastic and exudes charisma in person without even trying, Jordan Devore has made so many of my articles not sound like the blabbering words of a mindless idiot and I canít thank him enough for it, Chris Carter is a goddamned machine, Steven Hansen is a super-powered jack of all trades (and master of puns), Hamza might bite legs off, and so on and so forth. They are all incredibly hard-working individuals.

From the outside, a casual observer imagines writing for a gaming site and they believe that it would be such an easy gig where everything is always handed to you, and you get so many perks like free games or access to really awesome events. From the inside, writing about anything can get really tedious and frustrating after a long enough period of time, especially when your livelihood depends on writing a certain number of stories to make money. The truth about being an editor for Destructoid lies somewhere between these lines.

A few months ago, Hamza wrote me an e-mail to try work out something where Iíd get monetary compensation for what I wrote Ė but it also meant Iíd have to be much more committed than I could promise. At the time, I had just left my long stint as a restaurant server so that I could focus on college full time and finally get my Undergrad degree and credentials for teaching. I was really busy with school and couldnít commit much time to writing for the site.

Basically, I knew that if I were to make a modest compensation, I couldnít just do the odd preview now and then, Iíd also have to write up news stories, and possibly create features that garnered a lot of popularity. It takes a lot of content writing to make a buck in the field of journalism these days. The nature of the beast was changing for me and for Destructoid.

I asked Hamza if it would be okay for me to just freelance for awhile longer, no money compensation or expectation - to float and take jobs when I could. He never really got back to me in an official measure, but the next time an event came up and I was available, I offered to do it and was given the go-ahead. I took that as a sign that this was all right.
Now, the site seems to have a plan that is essentially a hope for returning to a more core team like in the old days so that thereís a more cohesive group of currently contributing writers that the community always recognizes and responds to. I totally understand this, itís how Destructoid has worked in the old days too. ďLay-offsĒ of contributors and editors alike have happened in the past, the site generally trims the fat if youíre not a regular contributor. I canít comment on the success of this particular skimming in the long run, but it has certainly worked just fine before.

Iím certainly not bitter about the decision. I enjoyed my time writing for Destructoid and being that part of the video game industry. But I also knew that in some capacity, I was moving on. Iím now seeking a career as a teacher because I want a career that can positively affect the world and also afford me at least a stable amount of money with a fair amount of time off. Iím not entirely sure journalism is the career that will do that for me. I simply canít commit the amount of energy needed to write the amount of content that makes a moderate sum.

I also have some hang-ups with turning writing into my only livelihood. I write short stories in my free time, and have always loved writing in general. Iíve never wanted to be a slave to it in any way. My love for writing slightly trumps my love for video games, so what I perceive as enslaving my writing ability by forcing myself to write some number of news stories every day to make money - in order to get more access to the video game industry - is a personal conflict of interest.

I will probably continue to write here on this community blog from time to time. I still love writing just as I love video gaming. In fact, I already have an opinionated blog in mind comparing and contrasting Trials Fusion with Trials Frontier. Look out for it after Iím done with my 'confessional.'

(Stay tuned for next two installments: Recounting some of the more awesome experiences Iíve had working for Destructoid Ė and following that will be some of the lower pointsÖ)
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About Casey Bone of us since 5:44 PM on 10.20.2010

Casey is passionate about all things video game, and has been this way since very young. His earliest memories involve trying to get E.T. out of a hole.
Xbox LIVE:RigbysFace
PSN ID:caserb
3DS Code:236356519256


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