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 gameindustryguides@gmail.com

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 gameindustryguides@gmail.com

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.

Continue reading “Is It Too Late for Me?”

Should You Start With YouTube, Your Own Blog, or Both?

Question: “I have been looking to get into the Game Industry but I don’t know what is the best way to start, YouTube or my own blog or both.

asked via email.

Both. It’s important not to burn yourself out but spoilers: the answer is always both.

Continue reading “Should You Start With YouTube, Your Own Blog, or Both?”

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”

Should You Work for Free When Starting Out in Video Game Journalism?

This question was asked to me in response to my call for questions on Instagram Stories. You can ask me questions directly or email questions at gameindustryguides@gmail.com (I will never share who asked). These FAQ posts will be filed under the Ask Gameonysus Category of my blog.

Would you recommend doing unpaid work/writing articles for free to grow your resume/CV?

Asked via Instagram 

No. 

Anything you can do for free you can do for yourself or for someone who pays you which means no one needs to work for free in order to grow their resume. 

However, I did work for free so I think it’s important for me to discuss that experience. It’s funny because before writing this post I wasn’t completely against the idea of working for free. I thought, “sure, I did it and it was great.” But it turns out that view was skewed by my own false memory. I thought I worked for free when I was first starting out, but I actually worked for free before I really got started.

It wasn’t until I sat down to write this post that I realized I only worked for free because I didn’t know if I wanted to do this. So if you know you want to do this, I do not recommend you work for free.

Continue reading “Should You Work for Free When Starting Out in Video Game Journalism?”

Do You Need Internship Experience to Work in Video Game Journalism?

This question was asked to me in response to my call for questions on Instagram Stories. You can ask me questions directly or email questions at gameindustryguides@gmail.com (I will never share who asked). These FAQ posts will be filed under the Ask Gameonysus Category of my blog.

How important is internship experience when getting a job in the industry?

Question asked via Instagram

It’s not. 

Continue reading “Do You Need Internship Experience to Work in Video Game Journalism?”

How do you stand out when there are thousands of people going for your same dream?

This question was asked to me in response to my call for questions on Instagram Stories. You can ask me questions directly or email questions at gameindustryguides@gmail.com (I will never share who asked). These FAQ posts will be filed under the Ask Gameonysus Category of my blog.

How do you stand out when there are thousands of people going for your same dream?

Asked via Instagram

Try not to think about it too much.

Don’t Think Competitively

I’m a big believer in seeing my peers as community members instead of competitors, even when we “compete” for traffic. Make your goal being the best but don’t get caught up on being better than others specifically. Focus on being the best (you can be). Not being better than others because, let’s face it, you’ll never be better than everyone.

The truth is you never know who you’re up against. Not getting a job, opportunity, or pitch doesn’t always mean that you or your idea is a bad fit. It could just mean someone else had more sauce.

So my first piece of advice is to shift that mindset.

Practical Tips for Standing Out 

Secondly, to me the best way to stand out is, to make a list of every “required skill” and “preferred skill” out there. Then start getting those skills.

Continue reading “How do you stand out when there are thousands of people going for your same dream?”

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 gameindustryguides@gmail.com (I will never shared who asked).

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