Category Archives: Work

Back on the Sidelines

Those who follow me on Twitter will have seen that, as far as gaming is concerned, a couple of weeks ago I returned to civilian life. I spent a good decade trying to get into the gaming media and, after doing my stint on the fringes, I’ve moved on.

There were a number of reasons, some of which I won’t talk about in public any time soon, but I’d been unhappy for a while and seized the opportunity to move on when it came along. Coinciding with Doritosgate was purely accidental, although that does act as a neat summation of several things I got tired of seeing on a daily basis.

The main problem, though, was that I could see myself rapidly burning out on gaming, especially when I looked at what was – or rather wasn’t – on the horizon for this year and next. If a gamer with as much history, as much investment as me was getting tired of it, a field as under pressure as the print media isn’t the place to be. Since taking a step back from gaming, no longer spending all day surrounded by games at work and struggling to work up the enthusiasm to play them for fun once I got home, I’ve actually found myself wanting to play games, digging out some old favourites, rebuying some long lost classics and generally wallowing in the nostalgia.

It’s amazing what not being forced to read the third breathtakingly dull ‘preview’ based on a single GTA V screenshot of the month does for one’s interest in the medium. Now the prospect of new consoles is something to be excited about rather than the herald of poorly researched speculative news stories and crossed fingers that they’ll hurry up because a magazine is a hard enough sell these days without mere scraps to work with.

So I now spend my days in commercial software development, where I’m at Decoded Solutions in Bournemouth. Things won’t change here, though, as this will remain my primary outlet for talking about gaming, which I hope will once again sit firmly atop the list of my great passions. In fact, I aim to write a lot more on here, as I now have no professional stake in games and am not contracted anywhere.

“Freedom!” and all that.

A Real Job!

Imagine Publishing

It’s been seven months since I left uni, and I’ve filled the time with a heady mix of working in Smiths (passing the five year mark along the way), doing volunteer PR work with Julia’s House, and sitting in bed playing games and watching DVDs. As intoxicating as such an existence can be, certain pressures mandate that you can’t keep it up indefinitely.

I’ve of course been job hunting in the meantime and have interviewed for some fairly prominent positions – mostly more than slightly optimistic for someone straight out of uni with little more than freelance experience – and found myself hitting that annoying wall that comes from every student being chucked into the real world at the same time. Coupled with working retail during the Christmas season (anyone who’s done it will understand), my recent career hasn’t inspired too much optimism.

Now, though, I’m on the ladder. From the middle of this month I’ll be taking up a position as a sub editor at Imagine Publishing (specific title TBD), where I’ll be doing various subbing activities and also taking up internal freelance opportunities on their other magazines. Gaming magazines are their bread and butter (they also have sci-fi, HD, and computing magazines, amongst others) and I don’t have to move away, so it’s certainly a convenient place to start. I’m looking forward to getting underway.

Happy new year, everyone. Enjoy 2008.

Job Hunting Sucks…

The dissertation is done, and with my only exam now finished that means I’m one deadline shy of actually finishing uni for good. Hooray! Of course the downside is that I need to get a job, and that’s proving even harder than finding that elusive last agility orb. At least that dropped some hints as to its whereabouts and gave achievement points.

So far applications and CVs have gone out to Imagine (an acknowledgement and then nothing), Future (being reviewed), CNet (aka GameSpot; a rejection), and Blackfish Publishing (nothing yet). I assume it’s the same in any career, but I can’t stand the void when you get no reply at all, or even an acknowledgement with no follow up. When I got the rejection from CNet they were kind enough to take the time to send a personal email to say why which I really appreciate, along with an invitation to apply again in the future.

Still, I’ll always have this place, right? Hello?


Another site now has the dubious pleasure of hosting content written by me. This time it’s Pro-G, a UK-based gaming site, which has my review of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness on PS2 available here (I know it’s been out in the States for ages, but we’re just getting it now) which is a slight comedown after my previous Castlevania stupor but to be fair isn’t as outright bad as I expected. I was surprised because I was looking forward to bashing it (negative reviews are often the most fun to write) but ended up getting at least some fun out of it.

As long as they’ll have me I should be writing more stuff in the future for them, so subscribe to their RSS feed because it’s a nice little site with some good content.