How to Become a Video Game Journalist

VideoGameJournalist

Gaming is both a massive industry and a significant cultural phenomenon. There’s a lot happening in the world of gaming, and fans are always eager to stay on top of the latest news. This dynamic creates a niche for a certain type of writer: the video game journalist. 

If you’re a passionate gamer with a knack for the written word, then video game journalism could represent the perfect career. The path isn’t always easy – after all, you’re hardly the only one interested in turning your pastime into a profession – but you can find success with the right combination of hard work and dedication.

What’s the salary of a video game journalist?

According to Salary.com, the median pay for a video game journalist is $36/hr. That means a full-time journalist working a typical number of hours would earn $74,880 per year.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the income of a video game journalist depends on several factors, inducing experience and working arrangements. A salaried journalist at a major publication, for example, is likely to earn significantly more than a freelance writer who is just starting out.

What do you need to do to become a video game journalist?

While there are countless roads to a successful career as a video game journalist, there are certain steps that will take anyone in the right direction. If you work hard and follow the following game plan, you’ll be well on your way toward a fascinating career.

Learn about journalism

To excel as a video game journalist, you need to master classic journalism skills like interviewing, conducting research, and avoiding legal issues. One of the best ways to acquire the knowledge you’ll need is by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism. If your circumstances don’t allow for a formal education, you’ll need to study standard journalistic practices on your own.

Practice writing

Writing is the foundation of any journalism career, so you’ll need to get plenty of practice before aiming for high-profile positions. Keep a journal to enhance your skills, and consider starting a blog so you can practice in the public sphere. It’s also helpful to get feedback from your peers. The more you practice writing and learn new techniques, the better you’ll look when you share your work with publications.

Attend events

Video game journalists spend much of their time reporting on industry-related events. As an aspiring journalist, you should attend some of these events even before you land any paying gigs. That way, you can learn more about the environment and practice reporting on what happens there. 

Build a network

Networking is essential in any field, and video game journalism is no exception. Reach out to the journalists, gamers, and developers you think you’d like to work with. Make connections with people at events. Use social media sites like LinkedIn to spread your name and learn more about the industry. Eventually, these contacts will pay off in the form of increased professional opportunities. 

Create a portfolio

Nobody hires a writer before seeing what they can do. That’s why it’s so important for writers in any field to create a comprehensive portfolio they can show potential clients. Whether you’re posting on a personal blog or simply producing samples, make sure you have some writing available that properly showcases your talents. 

Apply for positions

When you’ve developed your skills and created your portfolio, you’ll know it’s time to take the biggest step of all – applying for positions as a video game journalist. Look for publications or websites that accept pitches from freelancers, then send your best work their way. You should also reach out to people in your network to see if they know of any opportunities. 

As you hear back from editors, remember that rejection is an inevitable part of the writing process. It might take 50 “no’s” to arrive at your first “yes” – but it will all be worth it in the end. 

Gain industry knowledge

As you build a reputation in the gaming ecosystem, always look for ways to increase your knowledge of the industry. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to write about the topics at hand. If you amass a truly unique catalog of knowledge, you’ll become invaluable to publications as both a writer and a genuine expert in the field. 

Further improve your writing skills

The key to getting more gigs and boosting your income as a video game journalist is to further hone your skills. You can do that by completing writing exercises, attending classes, and reading as widely and deeply as possible. If you make a point of truly mastering your craft, your style will become even more attractive to readers – and you’ll be more valuable to publications as a result.

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About the Author: Ben Clabault is a freelance writer from Sandwich, Massachusetts. He has spent much of his adult life traveling through Latin America. He currently lives with his fiance in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. His areas of expertise include travel, marketing, SaaS, and global cultures. You can find his work on Copyfolio and reach out to him on LinkedIn.

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