How To Get Into Game Journalism: Xfire Chat

Russ Pitts | 13 Sep 2007 16:30
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On Tuesday I was privileged to take part in a live chat on Xfire for their Careers in Gaming Week. Joining me was Michael Zenke, Games Editor for Slashdot, and a host of people with questions about being a game journalist.


cigmedia: For the second round of chats, we have two top editors, we are extremely lucky to have Russ Pitts from The Escapist and Michael Zenke from Slashdot; they have taken the time out of their schedules to answer our questions and imbue us with wisdom, so let the chat commence!

cigmedia: I would like to have our special guests take a moment to introduce themselves...

[Slashdot] Michael: Hi there. My name is Michael Zenke, and I'm the games editor over at Slashdot. I also blog at, and freelance at 1up, and for this other guy.
* [Slashdot] Michael points his finger at Russ.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Hello. I'm Russ Pitts, Associate Editor of The Escapist.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: Edguardo the Milk Bandit: I much prefer reading games magazines than browsing through websites such as Gamespot, however it seems that printed journalism is slowly being pushed aside by the internet. Do you feel that magazines will soon become a thing of the past? The internet obviously has its advantages, but Which media do you prefer?
Answer: I don't think print media is going anywhere. Obviously the print folks have to get a little bit smarter about how they serve up their content, since these days you can get just about anything you want on the web, for free, but the need for print media will never go away. You still need something to take ... on the bus ... with you.

But I obviously prefer online. It's more immediate, you can take more chances and it's far, far simpler to get your stuff in front of an audience. That said, I still prefer work with some thought put into it. Whether print or online.

[Slashdot] Michael: I would agree. Print offers a number of different things that online can't match up. I am personally a big fan of Edge, and the quality of the paper, the quality of the writing exhibited there. It's not something you can get online at the moment.

I also think print is 'safer' for publishers at this point, still. Online is still some sort of wild west for a lot of older business guys.

[Escapist] Russ Pitts: Question: -Yoda-: Question: How is gaming journalism different that say Television writing or Newspaper writing. I know television is shorter and to the point, so how would gaming journalism compare to these medias?
Answer: Journalism is journalism is journalism. The best way to become a game journalist is to learn journalism. If you're a journalist, you can write about anything.

As of now, though, I think the differences are in what's expected. You can get away with a lot lower quality work in games, and I don't necessarily think that's a good thing.

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