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So You Want To Be A Video Game Writer?

by: Dabe ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Writing about video games is a tough gig. It can often be hard to enter the journalism side of things and harder still to enter some form of writing or design role at a game creating company. This article attempts to provide a guide on how to start on your quest to writing about or for video games.

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    So, You Want To Be A Video Game Writer?

    There are many aspiring writers in the world, each with their own specific nuanced style as well as a niche or several small demographics for their work. Given the rise in new media and the trend of freelance writing through online and magazine publications, becoming a video game writer has perhaps never been easier. The problem is, there is an unprecedented level of enthusiasm and hobbyist support for the medium, ushering in many more would-be game journalists and video game writer rookies. This article tries to explain some of the fundamental skills and legwork you’ll have to accomplish in order to become a successful or fulfilled video game writer.

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    The First Steps Toward Being A Video Game Writer

    Writers 005 Firstly -- and perhaps most importantly -- comes the nurturing of a writing style and the ever improving cultivation of your own talents. “Practice makes perfect” is an over-used but apt phrase for your initial sojourn into the world of writing. Growing accustomed to your own writing style through practice articles or forum post reviews et al, can help to carve out some experience in how to deliver certain phrases or sentences. This can be coupled with an avid consumption of critical material regarding video games -- whether via the internet or in print magazines -- to see how the professionals do it so to speak.

    This first step is perhaps the most daunting and takes longest to hone, with good writing having to be cultivated and raised properly, instead of diving in head first. After this, volunteer work or setting up a couple of blogs can be worthwhile, in as much as getting a feel for how to deliver copy for a group of friends or even yourself. There are plenty of blogs, review or news sites looking for active writers to fill a non-paying position. This can often be a positive starting point, granted you can show them a mock article or two to actually get the nod.

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    How To Be A Successful Video Game Writer

    Writers 004 After building up a reasonable body of work, a payed job is most likely your next destination. Applying for them is difficult, given the scarcity of actual payed job opportunities for an aspiring video game writer, but there are options available. Gaming related jobs should be the first priority, but any freelance writing job that pays a decent amount per article is a good starting point for the payed working variety. As part of the cumulative experience of freelance writing, taking small jobs where you’re writing about niche subjects can influence potential employers when they look through your portfolio.

    Once you have finally taken on a video game writer job, its time to advertise your own work and promote the articles you write. An important aspect of any business is marketing and freelance writing is no different. Discussing articles on forums, posting them to sites like N4G and using social media to advertise yourself can increase hits and potential viewers of the work you’re doing. This can help to create a community or familiarity with the readership and -- if the writing is of a high enough quality -- propel you further into a career of video game writing with jobs for print magazines or reputable sites beckoning.