I am getting a promotion at my current freelance job, with slightly more working hours and a higher delegation of responsibilities. It is technically equivalent to a full-time role but I am still regarded as a freelancer due to HR issues (long story that is best kept confidential). Of course I am happy, but as I look back, I have only one tinge of regret in my mind: I never got to become a professional games journalist. It was my childhood ambition.
I have read about the perils of becoming a games writer by Kieron Gillen, and there was a very interesting quote:
“You don’t matter. People are dying to be games journalists, which is why we pay so badly. We could replace you in seconds”
Games Journalism pays badly because masses of people want to do the job. And the very best candidates will do the job — at least for a while – for that money. You are entirely disposable. So why pay more?
The problem here is that, the very worst candidates are currently taking up the games writing jobs in this region.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned these past few years is this: You can believe, know, and prove that you are the best at something, but all of that will come to naught without the right opportunity. I have seen the works produced by some of our local and regional gaming websites here, and I know that I can write just as well, if not better than them. But I never got a chance. I have sent cover letters, resumes, writing samples, and created this mostly gaming-focused blog to keep my videogames writing sharp. I bought every issue of Edge and tried reading as many academic articles about gaming, something that was never my forte as a writer (I always hated academic writing in university).
But it was not enough. I didn’t even receive any replies. I keep wondering to myself: somewhere, along the way, did I do something gravely wrong while traveling down this path? I wish I could have the answer.
I still love videogames, always will. I just can’t fulfill that lifelong dream of mine to write about games for a living. I know it’s a shit job, but I want to try it at least once in my life before I die.
Football is another passion of mine, and it is the next best topic for me after videogames, and I got this current job thanks to a very fortunate opportunity. An opportunity created because of my interest in Japanese.
Life has very interesting ways of coming back to haunt you or reward you.