How to Draw the Line: Your Reputation vs. Your Check

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the website, but if you’re not, it’s a site for (usually smaller) gaming sites to post their job listings. It’s a minefield of unreliable and often unpaid work, but that’s not what I’m here to ask about since you’ve already addressed that. It’s not unusual for a site that’s looking to hire writers who “Won’t include politics in their writing,” or staff who want the politics to “Stay out of video games,” which, even as a games industry baby, I know is bs. They usually offer more consistent (still not great) pay than most other sites that have listings on the site, but they’re clearly an environment that fosters a toxic mindset. So on to my question: In a medium and industry where every by-line and post sticks with you, how would you weigh your self-worth against a work environment that might be bad for you and your reputation if it means you get published and paid?

Asked via email to

Value yourself and your reputation above all else. You can always find money somewhere else. And if you are gonna sell your soul (not recommended) why would you do it for cheap? On paper this is an easy question to answer but I know this dilemma all too well so let’s get into the reality and the nuance of it.

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Is It Too Late for Me?

I am a near 30’s male… I have attempted a gaming blog but my own personal mental issues with my writing and the possibility of changing careers whilst getting older makes me feel that I am maybe too late. Do you feel there’s a moment where it might be too late to get into games journalism? I have always enjoyed writing about games and have wanted to do it but with no one in particular ‘marking’ or giving feedback on my pieces I worry that I am not improving and as time ticks on it may be a bit too late to reap benefits from sticking to it?

Asked via email to

I’ve spent my life loving games and would love to work in the industry in any capacity. But I’m getting on in life. To the point where I feel like I’d likely be overlooked for any potential jobs that would traditionally go to a younger, more malleable person worthy of developing into a truly great journo/content creator. Is it too late for me?

Asked via email to

Both of these questions boil down to the same inquiry: is it too late for me to become a game journalist/content creator? The answer is always no.

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Freelancing While Interning?

 I’ve felt conflicted about pitching freelance articles, since I’m interning at REDACTED (which is a great learning experience but is unpaid) right now and I want to make the best possible impression… I could write on the weekends but I’m already working 40 hours per week plus working on personal things. Should I just suck it up and work more during the weekend to pitch freelance articles or should I only be focused on the internship now? Thanks!


Don’t feel like you need to work more on top of your 40hr internship. It’s definitely an option but I wouldn’t necessarily suggest it for anyone.

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What Looks Better?: Self Publishing vs. Working for Others

I was wondering how impressive it is to employers to show that I run my own gaming news site and focus on that rather than trying to get a bunch of freelance writing gigs. I’ve been wanting to get a job with an outlet like IGN for years but it seems like I’m not showing off the right stuff, even though I’ve been writing about gaming news, reviews, and even producing my own videos for years. 

asked via email to

Both. Both is good. Now that the short answer is out of the way, let’s get to the nuance.

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My Biggest Piece of Advice for College Students

Question: “What is your biggest piece of advice for a college student who wants to enter the industry?

asked via Instagram.

Start now.

Start a portfolio website, start a blog, start a YouTube channel, start a podcast, stream on Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, go to conventions, get business cards, send pitches, play a lot of games, try to get a freelance gig writing news (or being in freelance rotation for reviews etc), read things about games, read things that are not about games, study the industry, set goals, and overall just got for it.

Continue reading “My Biggest Piece of Advice for College Students”

A Working Introduction

Welcome to my new blog: game industry guides! Here, I’ll answer the most frequently asked questions I get about video game journalism and content creation to the best of my abilities and post advice on things I’m rarely directly asked about (such as leveraging social media) but that are equally – if not more – important. So here’s a bit about who I am, why I’m doing this, and why you should follow along.

About Me

My name is Janet Garcia and I’ve been a video game journalist and content creator since 2015. But, like many people in the industry, I’ve been playing video games long before that (1996). Over the course of my ongoing career I’ve written features, reviews, previews, guides, listicles, collaborative articles, recorded/edited videos, conducted interviews, recorded podcasts, done live streams, attended conventions, and so on. Currently, I’m an associate guides editor at IGN. Before that, I was freelancing (with 8 of those months being full-time).

While I don’t consider myself the end all be all expert (no one is!), I absolutely have expertise that continues to grow over time. And nothing happens in a vacuum. I’ve learned (and continue to learn) from coworkers, freelancers, developers, blogs, podcasts, books, and people in completely different fields.

Here, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned and the resources I’ve used to learn it.

Why I’m Doing This

There’s no clear roadmap into the video game journalism and content creation industry but there are plenty of steps and paths we can all use to build our own, personal roadmaps. So, in short, I want to help others. I was also inspired by people who do the same, specifically Katie Chironis (a narrative designer whose website provides insightful, refreshingly blunt career advice).

I get a lot of messages from people asking me questions about the industry and while I’m often able to respond I’m never able to go into as much detail as I’d like to. This blog will let me do just that! Plus, the more we share expertise, swap stories, and offer our perspectives, the more we learn from one another.

Why You Should Follow Along

In addition to sharing my own viewpoints, I’d love for these posts to create discussions and lead to other people offering their insight. While this is specifically geared towards the video game journalism and content creation industry I think some of these things can be applied to other fields as well. So be sure to check back often. You can follow along via WordPress or my social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn). You can ask me questions directly or email questions at (I will never shared who asked).

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