In response to "A Site to Call My Own" from The Escapist Forum: Yeah, being a game journalist sucks. All the free games you have to play for money, gosh... it's horrible. Every blockbuster game hit delivered to your doorstep free of charge, even before launch day, getting free PCs and consoles to play on, even other trinkets, t-shirts from the PR departments. Aww, how agonizingly awful life... :'(
Yeah, that was sarcastic. Duh! I myself am a game journalist too. I'm writing for a Hungarian gaming magazine you've probably never heard of, and as such, I can relate to some of your problems. With years of writing behind my back, I know it's hard to lose yourself in a game without those journalist reflexes kicking in, weighing pros and cons, looking for bugs, analyzing the gameplay, seeking for plotholes in the story...etc. But one thin is certain: playing games is awesome, and playing games as work is even more awesome. Having your very own site is just the cherry on top. I know there is work to be done with sites like that, and many times the gain is less than the pain, but it's still yours.
Maybe you forgot, that VERY few people can actually enjoy the work they are doing. We, game journalists are in these few, playing games for a living is everyone's dream. I have my daytime job besides writing about games, and I know it's hard to sit down with a game to review it after 8 hours in the grinder, but you got to be grateful for the fact, that you are actually doing it for yourself, and the people reading your articles. So please stop whining about how awful it is to be a game journalist with your own site, that is hypocrisy.
While I've never visited GWJ, this article intrigued me enough to do so (it will be the next stop on my browser).
What Sean said is resonating with me all the more because I, too, am a gamer-with-a-job. I can (sort of) pride myself on being even worse off the GWJ, as I'm half of a team that produces a gaming podcast (and attached site) in Hebrew, to the vanishingly small population of Israeli gamers, which appears to be mostly teen-agers anyway. Talk about TENS of people caring what you think... :)
Anyway, hit-counts notwithstanding, I enjoy it very much, both from the fledgling community aspect and the still-new-to-me (we're now celebrating our first anniversary) journalist pose.
In response to "Button-Mashing Monkeys" from The Escapist Forum: The article pretty closely mirrors my own experience working as a tester on Perfect Dark Zero at Microsoft's Samammish campus. One thing I'd like to add is that the atmosphere was really a lot of fun. It was four guys to a cubicle and you'd have another team right behind you so there was constant chatter about whatever anyone wanted to talk about. That was a big part of what made it bearable once we started working 65+ hour weeks to get the game ready to ship. One thing that's funny about the fatigue is that it destroys the quality of your work because you're a lot less likely to notice any problems, but it doesn't stop you from rocking at the game. There were nights when I'd be completely out of it by 10 or 11 (which means I was totally useless for noticing or reporting any bugs) but I'd still be pretty high on the kill board. (these were balance and load tests, so we were supposed to be playing the game rather than checking for holes in geometry or missing textures or anything like that)The article seems to imply that all of our enjoyment from video games comes from an attempt at reliving childhood. It seems to say that the wild imagination which is represented innocently is good, but the aggressive imagination is bad. In my opinion, both are natural the growth of a child, but this isn't the primary issue.