Gaming With Your Significant Other or RUN FOR THE HILLS WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

Irrelevant update of the week: I know, I know I’ve been terrible this August haven’t I? Between travelling for work, moving house and general business, I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging. But September’s almost upon us and things are settling down again, so here’s hoping September will give me more time with you guys!

If you follow me on Twitter you might know that my partner @Grumbl3dookgaming, whose real name is also Sam (believe it or not) and I are both pretty rabid, I mean avid, gamers. Given his Twitter handle you’re probably not terribly surprised. I guess the term ‘gaming couple’ probably describes us pretty accurately. Our living room is basically one large gaming cave filled with consoles, TVs, 2 gaming PCs – one for each and a ridiculous number of handhelds. Admittedly everything other than Sam’s PC and the Vita I bought him are mine, because he’s pretty much just on PC and I tend to flit between platforms depending where the best games are. So why am I telling you all this other than the fact that I like filling your heads with inane and useless info? Well, I recently I spotted this tweet by @Chindividual and it got me thinking:

Playing #FFXIV together with my SO makes me wonder why she hasn’t strangled me yet.

Most people think that it must super duper sunshine and rainbows awesome to be have be in ‘gaming relationship’. They have visions of hours spent playing a game together, laughing and enjoying life to the fullest, because what could be more amazing than sharing your greatest hobby with your partner? They get it! They understand all your stupid nerdy jokes! They don’t care when you need to finish this match before you can come to dinner! And yes, it’s all true, to a certain extent. After all, having any sort of shared interests, particularly ones that you’re both passionate about and can bond over is pretty amazing. In fact, I think fondly back on all the times we spent playing World of Warcraft or Unreal Tournament together and all the times I’ve creeped him out doing my best ‘turret voice’ from Portal (particularly late at night when he’s least expecting it). Good times. Continue reading

How to break into the industry: Tips!

I should mention first off that I’m not some kind of expert on this topic! I landed a few internships at games magazines and websites (PC Gamer, Future, GameSpot), freelanced a bit and I now have a job in Publisher Relations at Climax Studios, but there are of course plenty of people who have been in the industry much longer who can probably give you better advice on career progression, what subjects to study at university, etc… However, I also spent an agonizing year trying to do what many of you are trying to do – get your first paying job in the industry and I think I have gained some insight into the process. Also, a lot of you guys have asked me for advice, so I figured you guys might appreciate any tips I could give you! I’ll mainly be talking about games journalism, because that’s what my internships were in, but to be honest it’s mostly just generalised job searching advice. I’m also not saying that everything I suggest is The Right Way or that if you follow it then you’ll get that job/internship you’re looking for. Ultimately it comes down to you and what you can do. But every little bit helps right?

First things first though, I’m not going to lie, the games industry is incredibly competitive and the jobs aren’t that plentiful – particularly at games magazines and websites. Sure people do come and go, but junior positions are rare to come by and almost any role these days requires experience. With the economy being what it is now and the difficulties that many magazines are going through, those golden opportunities are few and far between. That said though, it’s not all doom and gloom! I got a job in the industry didn’t I? Understand that it will be difficult, but it’s not impossible if you’ve got the will. Thick skin helps too. Continue reading