As much as I love researching and writing these blogs, delving into sections of the industry I wouldn't find myself in before, I want to move up. A blog is a great start, and I have written for small gaming sites in the past, but nothing that could lead into something better. Many gamers aspire to be such, and I understand that I am just part of the pack; but I do have the two major requirements to have a successful career in the video games journalism industry: a passion for video games and a handle of the English language.
Video game journalism has garnered a despicable reputation within the world of journalism, and I've heard comparisons to celebrity journalism. A single person might not make an impact, and my quest to change the perception of this specific type of journalism may seem daunting, but the last thing I intend to do is give up. I'm not saying it needs saving - the actuality is quite the opposite - but an intellectual look of games is generally rare. I want the ability to play games, study them, and realize why certain games have an impact and others don't. Or, I could just write about games. Either option would be a dream come true.
That being said, and I am not trying to be extremely pessimistic here, but the thought of writing about video games may be just that, a dream. The industry is very small, with only a handful of sites really gaining a substantial audience to stay afloat. Another option I have considered is starting my own website, and reading up on it changed my mind quickly. It's a long and difficult process, taking hundreds of hours for one person, and to maintain it would have to be my day job. There are legions of small gaming sites out there and most don't get the traffic or recognition to sustain long-term viability. It's the nature of business, but leaves us wannabe gaming writers at a massive disadvantage.
The largest gaming sites rarely look for new writers, especially those with limited or no experience at all. But that is also a blessing-in-disguise; the few that don't give up will likely land a job somewhere. My future as a gaming journalist looks incredibly bleak, therefore I will make an effort.
For those of you reading this that intend to get into the industry, there are a multitude of tools online to help you in your quest. Certain sites like Digital Journal and Bleacher Report offer pay for any contribution, via PayPal. One site great for volunteer opportunities is videogamejournalismjobs.com. Several sites post ads every week looking for potential talent, and chances are if you apply you'll find something. Be aware that 99% of these postings are volunteer work, but there is always a possibility of something stable. Check out the traffic of the website on Alexa if necessary, and post on forums to see who frequents the site regularly. Some of these sites include: Game Podunk, Digital Hippos, GameDwellers and RipTen.
I was inspired to post on this topic from something I read on earlier this morning on a forum. Some guy was begging to the forum-goers for any advice and I felt bad for him. Hopefully he takes his information to heart and uses it productively.