Gaming journalism is a form of journalism devoted to video games and the gaming industry, including writing reviews of individual games or more in-depth articles about it. Gaming journalists may also report on any major developments pertaining to video game companies or related companies – for example if something important happens with one of their CEOs, or there are rumors of new console releases; chances are, this news would likely be covered by one or more gaming journalists.
Before embarking on your quest to become a video game journalist, there are a few considerations you must keep in mind. Primarily, writing must be your passion! Although no specific degree programs exist for gaming journalism, obtaining an undergraduate degree in English or media studies will give you an excellent foundation from which you can learn journalism basics while writing well; additionally you will also get experience studying different genres such as reporting and feature writing.
Once you’ve mastered the fundamental skills, it’s time to select what games you wish to focus on. From covering gaming news stories and reviews of individual titles, to providing reviews for entire series or publishing your own game reviews – there are numerous outlets which accept pitches for gaming journalism pieces; such as Games Radar, Game Informer Online and Nintendo Life that accept pitches. Should any be accepted and published they will pay you accordingly.
One of the primary obstacles facing gaming journalists is competition from others who also write about video games, making it hard to stand out and make your mark in this crowded space. But with persistence and dedication it is possible to become a video game journalist!
If you want to be taken seriously as a video game journalist, being honest when reviewing games is vitally important. Simply saying the game is great is not sufficient – instead you must provide the details behind why its good or bad and compares against similar titles within its genre. Furthermore, having an understanding of how a game was designed and how that impacts player experiences will ensure success as a reviewer.
Career challenges associated with gaming journalism can be daunting in an era when major publishing houses are scaling back on video game coverage and staff levels, leaving many gamers disgruntled that media outlets appear to be treating video games more as soft entertainment rather than hard hitting journalism. So the question arises, will gaming journalism ever find its niche again?