Are Games Journalists Lazy? Hear What The Escapist and IGN Writer Says

It's not a career for everyone.

"As a freelancer in this industry, you have to be a writer first, a good business person second, and a gamer last. I spend far more time writing, researching, pitching ideas to editors, and juggling tons of other moving pieces to keep everything afloat than I do playing games. While I play a ton of games too, mostly for work, that typically gets reserved for weekends, non-business hours, and down-time between deadlines. There's also a big difference between playing a game you're excited to tackle for fun and playing a random game you've been assigned and have to turbo through on a tight deadline in order to get your review cranked out in time. Most writers in the industry don't just write game reviews and previews either. They interview developers, work up long-form features, concoct columns, and tackle lots of different kinds of pieces. You have to love writing and hustling for work as much as gaming..."

- Nathan Meunier

It is a topic of great interest to all those who sit at home and say to themselves, "Writing about video games? Meh, seems easy enough." Not entirely so. The truth of the matter is that it is a field that doesn't favor laziness. Like many branches of journalism, the sect pertaining to video games is no more forgiving to its hard-working practitioners than any other form of media coverage. It sure seems alluring with all its bells and whistles - these 'trinkets' being direct references to the myriad of 'free' games and trips that esteemed journalists who work for larger outlets are privileged to receive - however, it possesses an underbelly wrought with blood, sweat, and, in some cases, even tears. The few journalists that I've had the opportunity to converse with - who speak quite vocally on their blogs concerning the very same topic - are enamored to hear of the fabled ease of their chosen career paths. It isn't all about playing games as is often thought by individuals who frequent the web in search of the latest gaming news. Rather, it is a culmination of passion and artistic rendition. Passion in the sense that these individuals love games. They love them so much in fact that it is not uncommon for these individuals to work nights and weekends to meet deadlines and provide loyal readers with the content they desire. Artistic in the sense that they don't get paid to play games, however, they do get paid to write about them. That's right... Write! (pun intended) Nathan Meunier, a freelancer who's work has appeared on a number of notable sites such as IGN.com, The Escapist and Nintendo Power (to name a few) is very community oriented in his ability to cater to questions and queries that may find their way to him his loyal readers. He is very vocal concerning the aforementioned belief that his profession is easy and when asked about the topic Meunier responded with the following: As Meunier suggests, journalists who concern their writing primarily with the industry of video games are hard working, persistent individuals who go through the same ups and downs common to any profession. Amidst deadlines and the like, having the pleasure of playing games is simply an added benefit to the career path. This is in great contrast to the popular belief that video game journalists just sit around while an automated piece of machinery types up reviews and the like while cleverly deciding to provide readers content in a timely and consistent manner. If this was the case, then why hasn't it dawned upon every incoming college freshman's mind to do the same? It seems illogical to come to such a conclusion in light of the popularity surrounding the video games industry and the reach that it has achieved especially in the past 15 years. Millions of homes worldwide can boast of the presence of at least one console if vgchartz is to be believed and those are figures that have been achieved through a combined effort between publishers, developers, fans, and the media. Oh, media... The bane, glory, and one of the greatest achievements of human history. It remains as an essential part of our culture through its commitment to keep us, as consumers, informed of the latest issues at hand, in addition, keeping leaders in check when they commit to actions that the majority of people do not agree with. Media stands as a testament to the many collective identities that have made their home in our culture and, quite frankly, goes to show that there are people out there who are able to inform the masses and enjoy doing so. To think that an individual can waltz their way into a publishing house and think that they can be handed a free pass to engage in any intellectual pursuit they wish no matter the nature of the beast is absurd and quite delusional. It is with great persistence and consistent encouragement that individuals make it into the industry of media and continue to trek through its sometimes muddy waters. It's not a career for everyone.
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Studying Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Arkansas. Interested in a career in dentistry, videogame journalism, and music. ~ yes, all three. Check out my blog: antonywanjala.wordpress.com Or shoot me an email at antonywanjala@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @tsunamiavenger

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