With the multitudes of posts I have made about E3 this past week, I felt the need to explain why I enjoy writing about this very niche, yet, widely expanding medium. Back in 2013, I played a game called The Last of Us. It was a game that had zombie-like creatures and a post-apocalyptic setting in the United States. But more importantly, it featured two protagonists: a middle-aged man known as Joel, and a 14-year-old girl called Ellie. These two survived hell and back to get from Boston all the way to Salt Lake City to bring Ellie to a group known as the Fireflies. The story of the game had me captivated, so much so that I have played, and beaten, that same game 6 times over the past five years. I love this game, and I know the sequel coming next year is something that I will love as well.
But what made me change my career path, as I was originally going to become an engineer at the University of Pittsburgh, was that story of Joel and Ellie. The characters’ evolution was something paramount to keeping the intrigue of those who played it. Joel went from being a hardened, ruthless killer to loving surrogate father to the girl born in an apocalypse. Ellie changed from a fun-loving teenager to a veteran survivor of the world around her. These two characters showed me how well this medium can produce stories better than some Hollywood films or even anything on TV. I was hooked.
The Last of Us drove me to change the way I look at games. More than just the end screen that results from beating the game, but how I felt about the results that stem from it. Video games are no longer just a past time or a way to see who does better than someone else on a leaderboard. It is so much more now; it is an art form. There are so many things that I could write for another four hours about how Skyrim still has a way to pull me back even after nearly a decade, or how Journey‘s soundtrack was so good it earned a nomination for a Grammy. I crave to find the next story, the next innovation, the next passionate developer. However, there are many issues with being a gaming journalist.
Gaming is just about the industry as it is about the games. But to get into the industry, one must be exceptionally knowledgeable about video games. There is a competitive scene in esports, so if I were to focus on that aspect I would need to study the players, the game, the plays, and strategies that are built around the mechanics of the game. The same could be said about any sport but it is exceptionally hard for esports. An example of this is League of Legends. In League, Riot Games can update champions strengths, weaknesses, skills, and playstyles on a whim. If I were to cover that game I would have to have a total understanding of what they changed and why they changed it. Then I would have to observe the LCS (League Championship Series) and how the top players from around the world play that champion. That is just one champion out of another 136 that could be picked. And this is just for esports, that doesn’t even cover MMOs, and other genres that all have their own niche in the industry.
For every new game that turns competitive, there is a need for analysts to cover it. This is where I see my way into the industry; new opportunities come from each new game. And that isn’t even limited to competitive games. Games that have a community can spawn content to cover in the form of lore, weapons, updates, and so much more. I plan on taking on any new games to become a voice in that community. Gopher covered Skyrim‘s modding, My Name is Byf covers the lore for Destiny, and Arekkz is knowledgeable about Monster Hunter. There are a lot of opportunities to succeed in this industry more than ever.
So what about you? What motivates you? What steps have you taken to get to your dream job? I would love to hear all about it in the comments. If you enjoy what you have read, share it on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Medium.