Maybe I missed something when I applied to be a freelance writer, but I never heard of this Game Journalism Club that everyone else seems to know so much about. After getting a short mention in an article by Christian Higley, Bitmob’s community writer, and Forbes contributor Paul Tassi’s article, I became a bit interested in this so called “club.” Where is this club located? How can I get in? Does it cost a monthly subscription?
Well it turns out there isn’t a Game Journalism Club. Adam Sessler and John Davison don’t sit around a table and hold a drinking contest to see who can down the most alcohol in one sitting. Chris Kohler and Dan Ryckert don’t secretly brawl in a basement to claim once and for all whose magazine coverage is better. None of that exist, though I kind of wish it did.
No. What Higley and Tassi mentioned is an imaginary, exclusive entrance to what is perceived as the Mecca of all gaming journalism. Beyond the golden gates is the prize; the Holy Grail waiting patiently to validate newcomers of their chosen path. That is what other freelancers see too, right?
Actually, if you step back and realistically look at this “club,” it is nothing more than a group of people who get paid to do what they love. And you know what? They deserve it. Writing about gaming news for over 10 years has not only worked in their favor, but has also created a viable job for others to join in on. Jump back 10 or 20 years ago and gaming journalism is pretty much nonexistent. To reduce them to the exclusive “club” mentality actually works against the complainers’ favor.
For all “aspiring gaming journalists” despairing over their unnoticed intellect, can you stop daydreaming? That exclusive circle of journalists you follow aren’t that exclusive (Adam Sessler may be, though). Many of them are very helpful and appreciate your interest in the journalism scene. Let me repeat that. You, future journalists, are jumping into a subdivision under the journalism umbrella. The whole “I PLAY GAMES FOR A LIVING” idea is no more realistic than the belief that game testing is the best job on Earth. The job is not supposed to be an easy drop-in that welcomes everyone who passes the prerequisite of “passion in gaming.” It’s a job, first and foremost. If you want a better perspective on the whole ordeal, read Maggie Greene’s post. It’s a very enlightening piece.
We can debate whether gaming journalism can even be considered journalism, but we should save that for another time. I will say this, though. If the E Network, the channel, can call their gossip staff “journalists,” then why can’t game writers?