Tag Archives: Journalism

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.



After awarding a score of 7.5 to Ratchet & Clank Future, 8.0 to Uncharted and, most notoriously, 8.8 to Twilight Princess, GameSpot haven’t exactly been popular with the fanboys recently. I’ve rarely seen such bile spewed on forums over a review than for the Ratchet and Zelda scores in particular.

But however you may feel over a difference of opinion on a game that you happen to like, the news that Jeff Gerstmann (he of the Zelda review) may have been fired over an accurate review of Kane & Lynch should be considered a travesty. Especially so if it comes out, as has been implied, that it was because of complaints from sponsors who threatened to pull advertising. Not only have GameSpot lost one of their most popular and likable editors, but they will have also done irreparable damage to their reputation.

The site has a reputation for revisionism – notoriously the bump in their Shenmue score after complaints – but any past changes have been made because of genuine error or misjudgements from people who have played the game objectively themselves. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t become a habit, but to kowtow to advertisers over a score that is in the same ballpark as everyone else (besides the fact that 6.0 isn’t a ‘bad’ score, as their own scale says) is just unacceptable. There are other advertisers and ones like Eidos should take note of the fact that this wasn’t an anomalous score and any backlash will hurt them as much as it does GameSpot.

I hope that we get some official comment from GameSpot soon, because I know many won’t be going back if this really happened as has been reported.

Games Radar Loses It

I’m almost reluctant to help a blatant cry for hits, but when a major (sort of) gaming site loses it so spectacularly, it has to be seen. I know from experience that plagiarism happens online sometimes having experienced it myself in my GameFAQs days, but to suggest that you’re being copied on a feature that requires as little imagination as a “best of” list is ludicrous.

Might I suggest that people email them at their email address set up purely for this little crusade and gently suggest that they stop being so petulant and put the toys back in the pram.

Oh, and guess what? I did a best of the GBA feature in February. Games Radar better not do anything similar or I’ll sue.

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?


Dissertation Word Count

After countless hours of research and wearing my typing fingers (little-known fact: I only type with three fingers) down to stumps, I’ve finished my dissertation. Not only does this mean that I’m mere weeks away from being kicked out into the big bad world, it also means that I can play some games and post on here again. It sucks when life gets in the way of the really important things, doesn’t it?

26 pages or 11,222 words was the final count, all in. That beats my previous biggest Word document by some 22 pages. I could be forgiven for being put off ever blogging again after writing that much about the things.

The current games of choice are both on their second wind with me: Halo 2 in anticipation of a little event in a couple of weeks, and alternately another futile attempt to master Counter-Strike Source and find out how much better at it most people are than me. Give me a week to get back in the swing of things and I’ll be on about the summer drought again.