Last time I uploaded my resume to Monster.com and ran their "Career Advice" application it told me to start drinking and pray for The Rapture to come early.
It's true that as a freelance journalist you work hard and wear a lot of hats just to pay the bills. A lot of my job consists of looking for jobs. Thanks to the internet, this process has become easier and easier. Employers used to check credentials, now I just create a resume of barely verifiable jobs from long dead websites and send it en masse to anyone with an email address.
One job I got this way was writing a column for a small Australian gaming website-let's call it Boxingkangaroos.net. I've changed the address mostly because I don't want this story to get back to them, but also because I like the mental image of a boxing kangaroo. I think I saw it in a documentary, or maybe Looney Toons.
I guess if I had bothered to read the job description I probably wouldn't have bothered applying. They were looking for "A gurrl-gamer to round out their editorial staff." But since I rarely read past the job title I didn't know that until the editor-in-chief hired me a week later.
Ted here. It's great to have a real female on the editorial team. I've read some of your writing and think that your unique perspective as a girl who also games is a real ASSet to the team.
P.S. We're really interested in getting some headshots of you for your column, any chance you have some lying around?
I sure as hell didn't have any pictures of myself as a young woman. I didn't like the deceit, but money is money, and if they liked my writing, it shouldn't matter that my name is somewhat misleading, right? Well, I decided that I'd better find a way to become an 18 year old female gamer.
The question then was "where do you go when you want to become a hot teenage girl?" The answer, of course, was The Internet. For a small fee, a guy in Turkey would cut the head off any celebrity and fuse it to the naked body of a porn star. While I admired his site filled with a collection of famous lesbians "batting for the other team" he suggested a sort of composite photo. A set of eyes from Reese Witherspoon, Penelope Cruz' nose and a healthy dash of Jennifer Lopez (not that part). The whole affair was a bit macabre - I could imagine that the guy could have a healthy career in another life as either a plastic surgeon or Dr. Frankenstein.
The doctored photo was convincing enough to be worth the 13 dollars. And after Boxingkangaroo received my photo, they were thoroughly ready to give me some work. My first article was about what women really think about female character design in games? Ms. Cox pretty much felt the same way Mr. Cox did: "Who doesn't like boobs?"
The picture, and the article, went over well with my editor. He claimed it was one of the most "surprisingly lucid" things he's ever read by a woman writer. I wasn't sure if I felt insulted or not. What exactly was a surprise? Is lucid even a compliment?
But my second article didn't fare so well. Perhaps I'd gotten a little too into character when I followed up with an article called Girls Kick Ass...assins Creed 2. The article was about the roles of women in the game and how the women in Ezio's life merely amounted to a place to collect money from and drop off trash that was cluttering up your doublet.