Reality Clash sponsors Best Reporter category at the Games Media Brit List 2018

AR mobile combat title becomes Best Reporter Category Sponsor for the inaugural event, held on May 17th at Rich Mix, Shoreditch

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iOS & Android augmented reality (AR) mobile combat game Reality Clash is sponsoring the Best Reporter Category at the inaugural Games Media Brit List awards. 

Developed by Reality Gaming Group, Reality Clash is a free-to-play game for iPhone and Android devices that uses the phone’s camera to render an AR view of the world on-screen, with geolocation gameplay encouraging players to enter face-to-face combat with each other in real time.

The Games Media Brit List takes place on Thursday, May 17th 2018 at Shoreditch’s uber-cool community arts hub, Rich Mix.

The Awards celebrate the very best in games writing and broadcasting and are open to anyone involved in video games and eSports media – specialist consumer journalists, B2B reporters, vloggers, streamers, media brands, national media reviewers and more.

The Best Reporter Category focusses on all the games media’s news hounds, and the winner will be announced on the night. 

“We’re delighted to be supporting the inaugural Games Media Brit List - There is a huge and diverse talent pool of games media in this country and that excellence deserves to be recognised,” said Tony Pearce, Co-Founder of Reality Clash publisher Reality Gaming Group. “We wish all the finalists the best of luck.”

Andrew Wooden, Event Director at the Games Media Brit List, said “We’re delighted to announce Reality Clash as Best Reporter Category Sponsor – one of the most popular categories going by the huge number of nominations we received for it. We welcome them to the growing roster of partners who make the event possible, and look forward to celebrating the finalists on May 17th.” 

The Games Media Brit List’s partners also include Vuelio, Jägermeister, Rising Star Games, Bossa Studios, Ukie, TIGA and ERA.

As well as the awards themselves, the Games Media Brit List will bring together the games media community and the wider industry for an evening of entertainment and networking in the build up to E3, the global industry’s leading trade event in LA.

The finalists have been announced and the winners will be picked by a named panel of independent judges.

To find out more about the event, visit https://www.gamesmediabritlist.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GamesMediaBL #GMBL18

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gamesmediabritlist

About the Games Media Brit List
The Games Media Brit List recognises excellence in games reporting and commentary, celebrating journalists, podcasters, vloggers, media brands, and more in a who’s who of the UK games media talent pool. For more information, visit https://www.gamesmediabritlist.com

About Reality Clash & Reality Gaming Group
The Reality Gaming Group is the developer and publisher of mobile AR combat game Reality Clash, which is due for release in late-2018 and utilises exciting blockchain technology. It is also the creator of a ground-breaking AR geo-location platform for mobile, which can be deployed across a huge range of content types. The Reality Gaming Group development team has more than 20 years’ experience across Mobile, PC, Console, AR and VR games platforms. For more information, visit: http://realitygaminggroup.com

 

For further information contact:

Lisa Carter

+44 (0)7970 164201

lisa.carter@gamesmediabritlist.com

 

Prepare yourselves... Simon Miller is hosting the Games Media Brit List 2018

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Writer, editor, producer, host, and trainee pro wrestler, Miller is ready to grab the Games Media Brit List Awards by the hand, and take it somewhere beautiful…

That’s right, Simon Miller – AKA; ‘The Miller Report’, AKA; ‘YouTube Sensation Milibob’ AKA; ‘Indie dev Brian Cranst’, AKA; ‘down in the dumps Gerald Winesworth’ – is taking the helm at the inaugural Games Media Brit list awards… and he’s not going to take any of your nonsense.

The Games Media Brit List takes place on Thursday, May 17th 2018 at Shoreditch’s community arts hub, Rich Mix.

Having worked in and around the games industry for the last 12 years, Simon Miller is not only a writer, editor, producer and host - there are four different versions of him too... at least. Also currently training to be a pro-wrestler, Simon is ready to grab the Games Media Brit List Awards by the hand, and ‘walk it to somewhere beautiful.’

"It's a real pleasure to host the first ever Games Media Brit List and recognise some of the best talent throughout games journalism... and then see those who didn't get nominated get upset about it on Twitter," said Miller.

He’s recorded this special message ahead of the big night:

The Games Media Brit List celebrates the very best in games writing and broadcasting in video games and eSports media.

The Games Media Brit List’s partners include Vuelio, Jägermeister, Reality Clash, Rising Star Games, Ukie, TIGA and ERA.

As well as the awards themselves, the Games Media Brit List will bring together the games media community and the wider industry for an evening of entertainment and networking in the build up to E3, the global industry’s leading trade event in LA.

The finalists have been announced - and the winners will be picked by a named panel of independent judges.

To find out more about the event, visit: https://www.gamesmediabritlist.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GamesMediaBL #GMBL18

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gamesmediabritlist

About the Games Media Brit List

The Games Media Brit List recognises excellence in games reporting and commentary, celebrating journalists, podcasters, vloggers, media brands, and more in a who’s who of the UK games media talent pool. For more information, visit https://www.gamesmediabritlist.com

For further information contact:

Lisa Carter

+44 (0)7970 164201

lisa.carter@gamesmediabritlist.com

Games Media Brit List 2018 shortlist revealed

Finalist roll call celebrates the very best in UK games writing & broadcasting

Presentation ceremony set for Thursday, May 17th 2018 at Rich Mix, Shoreditch

The shortlist for the inaugural Games Media Brit List has been unveiled, ahead of an awards ceremony in London on May 17th, 2018.

The shortlist, whittled down from hundreds of nominations received between December 4th and February 28th this year, is a celebration of the very best in games writing, publishing and broadcasting.

The awards were open to anyone in the UK games and eSports media to enter – including specialist consumer journalists, B2B reporters, vloggers, streamers, media brands, national media reviewers and more - highlighting achievements from the previous 12 months.

The finalists will gather together for the presentation ceremony, which takes place on Thursday, May 17th 2018 at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

Event Partners include Jägermeister, Vuelio, Reality Clash, Rising Star Games, TIGA, UKIE and the Entertainment Retailers Association.

As well as the awards themselves, the Games Media Brit List will bring together the games media community and the wider industry for an evening of entertainment and networking in the build-up to E3, the global industry’s leading showcase event in LA.

And for finalists, the Games Media Brit List will be completely free to attend.

The shortlisted finalists in each of the categories is as follows:

Best Critic
Alice Bell, Videogamer.com
Brenna Hillier, VG247
Chris Scullion, Freelance
Chris Schilling, Freelance
Christian Donlan, Eurogamer
Edwin Evans-Thirwell, Freelance
Joe Skrebels, IGN
Kirk McKeand, VG247
Martin Robinson, Eurogamer
Oli Welsh, Eurogamer
Patrick Dane, Freelance
Steve Boxer, Freelance

Best Reporter
Alex Calvin, PCGamesinsider.biz
Ben Barrett, PCGamesN
Ben Skipper, Freelance
Chris Dring, Gamesindustry.biz
James Batchelor, Gamesindustry.biz
Leon Hurley, Games Radar
Mike Stubbs, Forbes/Freelance
Richard Stanton, Kotaku
Sherif Saed, VG247
Steffan Powell, BBC Newsbeat
Tom Phillips, Eurogamer

Best Features Writer
Alice Bell, Videogamer.com
Ben Sillis, Red Bull Games
Brendan Caldwell, Rock Paper Shotgun
Chris Schilling, Freelance
Dan Dawkins, Games Radar
Dave Aubrey, PocketGamer.co.uk
Dave Houghton, Games Radar
Ian Dransfield, Freelance
Jeremy Peel, PCGamesN
Josh West, GamesTM/Play Digital
Keza MacDonald, The Guardian
Kirk McKeand, VG247
Robert Purchese, Eurogamer
Sam Loveridge, Games Radar
Tamoor Hussain, Gamespot
Wesley Yin-Poole, Eurogamer

Best Video Presenter
Alice Liguori, PCGamesN
Alysia Judge, IGN
Chris Bratt, Eurogamer
Colm Ahern, Videogamer
Elle Osili-Wood, Ginx TV
Gav Murphy, IGN
James Gilmour, Steel Media
Robert Pearson, PlayStation Access

Best Streamer
Eurogamer
FoxDrop
Jupiter Hadley
JurassicJunkie
LeahViathan
OnScreen
Valkia

Best Podcast & Radio
Adam Rosser, BBC 5 Live Game On
Cane and Rinse    
Gareth Dutton, Making Games Is Fun
IGN    
One Life Left    
RPS Electronic Wireless Show    
Staying In    
Stefan Powell, BBC Newsbeat    
The Computer Game Show    
Videogamer Podcast  
 

Print Editorial Team
Edge
GamesMaster
GamesTM
MCV
Official PlayStation
Official Xbox
Retro Gamer
Stuff
Toxic

Online Editorial Team
Daily Star
Eurogamer
Gamesindustry.biz
Games Radar
GameSpot
The Guardian
IGN
Kotaku
PCGamesN
Pocketgamer.co.uk
Rock Paper Shotgun
Steel Media B2B team
VG247
Videogamer.com

Video Production Team
Eurogamer    
Gamespot
GamesRadar
IGN    
PCGamesN
PlayStation Access    
Resero Network    
Team VVV    
Videogamer.com
VRFocus  
 

Emerging Talent
Alex Avard, GamesRadar
Chris Tapsell, Eurogamer
Danielle Partis, Influencerupdate.biz
Dougie Powell, Freelance
Elliot Gardner, Freelance
Haydn Taylor, Gamesindustry.biz
Matt Cox, Rock Paper Shotgun
Richard Scott-Jones, PCGamesN
Sam Greer, GamesMaster
Vic Hood, PCGamesN

Winners will be chosen by a panel of independent judges.

To find out more about the event, visit https://www.gamesmediabritlist.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GamesMediaBL #GMBL18

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gamesmediabritlist

To become a Games Media Brit List event partner, visit: https://www.gamesmediabritlist.com/our-partners

About The Games Media Brit List
The Games Media Brit List recognises excellence in games reporting and commentary, celebrating journalists, podcasters, vloggers, media brands, and more in a who’s who of the UK games media talent pool.

For further information contact:

Lisa Carter
+44 (0)7970 164201
lisa.carter@gamesmediabritlist.com

“Everyone who wants to do this is admirable” - IBT’s Ben Skipper on working in the sometimes volatile games media

Ben Skipper is entertainment and video game reporter for International Business Times, and has been writing games reviews since he was 12. In the latest in a series of Games Media Brit List Interviews, he talks frankly about overworking and the pressures on mental health, building up a games media brand, and working with and getting to know wonderful people…

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How did you first get into the games media?

I started writing up reviews games and films when I was about 12 on this ancient (even at the time) laptop, saving them to floppy disks. That turned into a hobby which turned into an application to study journalism at university. I graduated, was an intern at Yahoo Movies for a year then went freelance. It wasn’t long before I got in touch with Adam Cook at God is a Geek, who gave me my first regular gig writing news. 

What advice would you give to someone currently looking at a career in games media?

Work hard, but don’t let your work overwhelm you. Create opportunities where you can, seize them and stay conscious of your career trajectory. Have your next step in mind and don’t hesitate in taking it when the time is right. Also, don’t feel guilty about taking breaks from work. Find and indulge other interests. Strike a healthy work-life balance. 

What’s been the best advice you’ve ever received?

Eat a good meal before attending industry events where there’s free alcohol...

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

After a few months at IBTimes UK I decided I wanted grow what little gaming coverage we had into something more robust. My desk editor at the time David Gilbert agreed to let me crack on, essentially giving me free rein. At first it was just me, but ahead of E3 2015 I hired a temp (Jake Laverde) to help during that very busy week. Around that time I requested a freelance budget too, which I used to expand the scope of our coverage, commissioning writers like Jake Tucker, Kirk McKeand, Holly Nielsen, Sean Cleaver, Mike Stubbs, Chris Kerr, Sayem Ahmed and so many more to write reviews and features. When the tech desk at IBT grew, Oliver Cragg came on board as well.

I was a de facto editor working with talented writers to establish and grow a section that was eventually nominated for a Games Media Award. The nomination was incredible, but I’m most proud of the work we did to get there. To build something from so little, learn so much in doing so and help get up-and-coming writers published was a thrill. The best part was working with and getting to know so many wonderful people. 

And what has been your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge has been dealing with difficult circumstances when things take a turn for the worse. They inevitably do, so what matters is how you react and what you learn. I say that as someone who has not reacted well, and who has definitely slumped. The stumbling blocks I’ve encountered have been disheartening. They’ve caused me to doubt my abilities, doubt whether this is even what I want to do, and to be honest they’ve had a negative impact on my mental health. It’s why my advice up there included taking breaks and finding a healthy work-life balance. I’m proud of what I built at IBT, but there was a time when the work dominated my life. It’s as much a problem when things are good as when they’re bad, you just don’t realise it.  

Which of your competitors do you most admire and why?

I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to even a select few. The games media is full of incredibly passionate people. Those who are successful, those that have been successful, those who are yet to be successful and those who work tirelessly for years and years without due recognition. Given the volatile nature of this business and the toxicity in the industry we cover, everyone who wants to do this is admirable. 

Who’s your favourite non-games writer/presenter?

Joel Golby is an incredibly funny writer and makes it look easy. I hate him. His articles for Vice (the more in-depth the better) used to be events when the IBT tech desk Slack channel was at its busiest. We’d just share his latest with “G O L B Y” and no more. 

If you weren’t working in games media, what would you be doing?

I have no idea. I should probably figure that out.

Nominate yourself for a Games Media Brit List award here – it’s quick and easy and finalists attend the event, held on May 17th at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, completely free!

‘Suddenly skills like spaceship navigation and zombie slaying were transferable’ IGN’s video host Alysia Judge on breaking into games media

Alysia Judge began her career in games media whilst at university, hanging up the cocktail mixers for a gig on Official PlayStation Magazine – and is now video host at IGN. In an ongoing series of Games Media Brit List Interviews, she tells us about 24 hour Mario Kart races, not paying internet comments too much attention, and shooting her editor in the face (with a nerf gun)…

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How did you first get into the games media?

I was juggling my degree and responsibilities as editor of York University’s student paper with bartending a cocktail joint. One day, a colleague came into the bar, called for a round of celebratory shots, and announced he’d landed a job at Official PlayStation Magazine.

It hit me like a lightning bolt that I could combine my love of writing and journalism with my lifelong love of video games. Suddenly skills like spaceship navigation and zombie slaying were “transferable.” Two months later, I asked him if I could visit and do a week of work experience at the mag. A year later I was freelancing for OPM and was nominated for a Games Media Award while studying for my finals. In short, I owe that little bar in York a lot.

What advice would you give to someone currently looking at a career in games media?

Have your own voice. Too many people copy other content creators’ styles; the hyperactive energy of Pewdiepie, for example, or Zero Punctuation’s cynicism.

To be a truly effective force of analysis, we need to fill the games media with people who represent different opinions, backgrounds and ideas. What do you want to investigate? What do you want to champion? The games that we play are so diverse, our games media should reflect that - from entertaining let’s plays, to heavy-hitting examinations of the gaming’s cultural impact.

So my advice is to start experimenting now, and pitch to editors with your own ideas. If you bring something fresh to the industry, you’ll be commissioned in a heartbeat.

What’s been the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t pay comments too much heed - even the good ones. Think about it: how often do you comment on videos and articles? Most people show their appreciation by just silently coming back, day after day, and giving you their views. Pay more attention to that.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

I shot my editor in the face with a nerf gun when I was doing work experience and wasn’t fired on the spot. The only reason was because I got him dead between the eyes and he was too impressed by the accuracy.

And what has been your biggest challenge?

One of my jobs at IGN is handling sponsored content. When I joined, it was a tiny part of my role alongside hosting, but has grown as the games media continues to work out how we can financially support ourselves online.

The audience is always my priority - ensuring that we make them content that is entertaining and above all informative. The challenge is you also have to balance the needs of a client. I think we strike that balance really well at IGN, and I spend a lot of time coming up with feature ideas that hit a brief, but also provide value to our audience.

For example, we made a ‘24 Hour Mario Kart Race’ sponsored by Nintendo Switch. It demonstrated the console’s flexibility because IGN Editors had to take the hardware from docked into portable mode when they wanted to eat or use the loo, but the video also stayed true to IGN UK’s ethos of light-hearted let’s plays that aim to make our audience laugh.

Which of your competitors do you most admire and why?

I really admire the work that Mark Brown does on GameMaker’s toolkit. He was my editor when I worked at Pocket Gamer, and left to start his own channel that is now nearing 400,000 subscribers. His videos dive into the design choices behind some of our most beloved games, and are well-researched, meticulously produced, and always challenge me to think of game development in different ways.

Who’s your favourite non-games writer/presenter?

Caitlin Moran is my favourite columnist. She’s able to take on huge, complicated issues and relay them in engaging and intelligent ways. Moran’s a great example of how the millenia-old concepts of the Tragedy / Comedy theatrical masks can be harnessed in writing; Sometimes to really drive a serious point home, you need to contrast it with some comic relief. People are more receptive to change when you make them laugh - and her article for Esquire titled ‘12 Things About Being A Woman That Women Don’t Tell You’ is a great example of that.

If you weren’t working in games media, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be writing games. I’m fascinated by how video games are another way to tell stories; stories where your decisions actively drive the narrative, rather than sitting in a cinema where the action unfolds as you sit there passively.  

Best thing and worst thing about the games media?

The best thing is that you get to play so many incredible games. The worst thing is you don’t have time to play all the incredible games through to the end before the next one comes waltzing through the door.

Nominate yourself for a Games Media Brit List award here – it’s quick and easy and finalists attend the event, held on May 17th at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, completely free!

 

‘Write. Nobody will hire a writer that doesn’t write’ – GamesIndustry.biz publisher Chris Dring on how to get into games media

Chris Dring is publisher of trade media site GamesIndustry.biz, and also writes for the Observer, The Guardian, and Doctor Who Magazine. In an ongoing series of Games Media Brit List Interviews, he tells us the best advice he’s ever been given, the challenges of writing in industry media, and on feeling old beyond his years…

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How did you first get into the games media?

I used to write for fun. Beginning on forums and then graduating to amateur websites. I was fascinated by the business side of games, oddly, and a lot of my writing looked at the commercial and technical side of the industry.

My university lecturer urged me to try it as a career, but there weren’t too many jobs around. Instead, I joined a video games localisation firm, helping them tidy up their English translations. This company received this big B2B magazine every week called MCV. I emailed the managing editor, Lisa, about whether they were looking for any junior writers. It turned out they were.

What advice would you give to someone currently looking at a career in games media?

Write. Nobody will hire a writer that doesn’t write. So start a blog, join an amateur website or just write for yourself. Also, the industry is full of columnists. Twitter and YouTube are awash with opinions. What an editor really desires are journalists that have an interesting story to tell about a game or a company or a community. 

What’s been the best advice you’ve ever received?

My old MD Stuart Dinsey once said: “Keep learning and trying new things. If you find yourself prevented from that, then it’s time to move on.”

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

There are a few pieces and media campaigns that I’m proud of. But probably, it is all the cool people we hired on MCV that are now running their own businesses and publications. James Batchelor, Alex Calvin, Billy Langsworthy, Matt Jarvis and Dom Sacco among them. I don’t think I helped, but it’s nice to think that I didn’t hold them back, either.

And what has been your biggest challenge?

Working in industry media is super hard. The games business never sits still and your audience knows more than you do. Try writing a relevant editorial leader under those conditions.

Which of your competitors do you most admire and why?

I find most of the games media is a competitor to GamesIndustry.biz. It’s not just MCV, Gamasutra and Venturebeat, but all the media cover games industry news. 

Our sister sites are obviously fantastic, Eurogamer, RPS and VG247 among them. But it’s probably Retro Gamer that I admire the most. I love a good magazine, and that’s a publication full of fascinating stories about the history of the business. 

Who’s your favourite non-games writer/presenter?

A bit specific to me, but Benjamin Cook, who is a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine. He does a great interview.

If you weren’t working in games media, what would you be doing?

Teaching. A week before my MCV interview, I had done a week working in a school.

Best and worst thing about the games media?

Best is the variety. This job never gets boring. The worst? The average age of my peers. I’m not sure many people in their early 30s feel as old as I do.

Nominate yourself for a Games Media Brit List award here – it’s quick and easy and finalists attend the event, held on May 17th at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, completely free!

Befriending Ken Kutaragi, press trips with Charlie Brooker, and Sensible Soccer on the Amiga – Steve Boxer looks back on 28 years in the games media

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Steve boxer is the Guardian’s games writer and an extremely well published freelancer, having worked in the games media since 1990. He’s been a games writer/spokesperson for The Big Breakfast, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, as well as regularly penning articles for the specialist games brands. In an ongoing series of Games Media Brit List Interviews, he tells us about befriending Ken Kutaragi, going on press trips with Charlie Brooker, and ‘the web’s poisonous effect on proper journalism’…

How did you first get into the games media?

In 1990, I joined Emap’s PC User as a sub-editor, fresh out of university, and after mis-spending my teenage years in the arcades. I found Emap Images in the office next door, home to magazines like The One, ACE, C&VG, PC Zone et al. After becoming reviews editor on PC User (bringing access to the fastest PCs on the planet), I started freelancing for various Emap Images mags, probably spending more time next door playing Sensible Soccer on their Amigas than at my own desk.

What advice would you give to someone currently looking at a career in games media?

Forget it: it may sound glamorous, but it’s a thankless task, especially if you’re freelance. But if you’re sufficiently passionate to ignore that advice, exercise all your journalistic skills to get as many articles published as possible.

What’s been the best advice you’ve ever received?

I’ve never really had access to anyone who felt inclined to give me any advice. The only good advice that sticks in my mind is: “Never use the word ‘seriously’.”

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

Being The Big Breakfast’s games expert during its final two years on air. Writing vast swathes of articles for The Sunday Times in the early 90s,The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror in the mid-to-late 90s and The Guardian in the late 90s and beyond. Tracking down Nolan Bushnell for his first interview in decades, and befriending Ken Kutaragi. Baiting Brexiters in The New European. And writing some seminal games-meets-pop-culture cover stories for Edge when the PlayStation first came out (as I will reminisce about in the forthcoming PlayStation From Bedrooms to Billions film).

And what has been your biggest challenge?

The web’s poisonous effect on proper journalism. Even newspapers nowadays pay a tiny fraction of what they used to in the 1990s and early 2000s. It took the web until about a year ago to realise that it actually isn’t all about brain-dead clickbait.

Which of your competitors do you most admire and why?

I don’t really feel that it’s a competition, although it used to really annoy when I’d have a feature idea rejected by The Daily Telegraph’s Connected supplement, only for Hari Kunzru to write it up a few weeks later. Like my fellow Connected freelancer at the time, Dan Pemberton, he went on to greater things than games journalism. Among the current crop of writers, Metro’s David Jenkins and of course the wonderful Keza Macdonald, now my commissioning editor at The Guardian.

Who’s your favourite non-games writer/presenter?

That would have to be a man who I went on various games press trips with back in the day when he was a games journalist, Charlie Brooker. The late Hunter S Thompson was a formative influence. And my all-time favourite writer is Thomas Pynchon.

If you weren’t working in games media, what would you be doing?

Either working in the oil industry – I have a Geology degree – or making electronic music and DJing (which I do anyway).

Nominate yourself for a Games Media Brit List award here – it’s quick and easy and finalists attend the event, held on May 17th at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, completely free!

 

‘Every day is different and presents new challenges’ Eurogamer dep ed Wesley Yin-Poole explains his love of the job

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Wesley Yin-Poole, deputy editor at Eurogamer started out volunteering before getting hired on Pro-G. In the next in a series of Games Media Brit List interviews, he tells us about getting into journalism, keeping up in a fast changing industry, and the daily variety of working in games media...

How did you first get into the games media?

A lovely chap called Tom Orry hired me to work on a lovely website called Pro-G after a stint as a part-time volunteer writer. I had some newspaper experience, which I suspect helped convince Tom that I knew what I was doing. Little did he know...

What advice would you give to someone currently looking at a career in games media?

Specialise and learn what it is to find an angle and tell a story. The best publications are interested in cool stories about games, be it investigations, making ofs or reporting on game communities. If you can unearth these stories and tell them well, you'll be of value.

What’s been the best advice you’ve ever received?

The features editor of the Mail on Sunday told me to quit my junior role there, train to be a journalist then climb the ladder. She taught me the value of hard work and getting out and about.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

If I helped anyone working at Eurogamer in any way with anything, just a little bit, I'm delighted!

And what has been your biggest challenge?

Working out how to make Eurogamer not just relevant, but popular. Things move so quickly in this industry that the answer to that question changes on a monthly basis.

Which of your competitors do you most admire and why?

I think Kotaku does fantastic work, and I'm constantly impressed by the journalism they do. They have nailed the relevance and popular conundrum. In fact, they nailed it a while ago.

Who’s your favourite non-games writer/presenter?

The Guardian's senior sports writer, Barney Ronay.

If you weren’t working in games media, what would you be doing?

Probably editing a B2B publication of some description. Cabinet Maker, perhaps. Or Chemist + Druggist. No, The Publican!

Best and worst thing about the games media?

The best thing is the variety. I love my job because every day is different and presents new challenges. The worst thing about the job is having to listen to Martin Robinson bang on about Arms.

Nominate yourself for a Games Media Brit List award here – it’s quick and easy and finalists attend the event, held on May 17th at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, completely free!

‘You're so proud every single month of this beautiful thing you've made’ – Edge dep ed Jen Simpkins on working in games media

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Jen Simpkins started her games media career blogging and freelancing, and soon after joined the ranks of Official PlayStation magazine. Now Deputy Editor on Edge, she discusses the camaraderie of a magazine team, the dangers of too much overtime, and Mario vs Modernist literature…

 How did you first get into the games media?

I was sort of dancing around the edges of it when I was at university: I wrote for various hobby games sites and magazines, attended a handful of industry events, and made sure I wrote each week for my own embarrassingly amateur WordPress blog. I graduated and got a job at my local Co-op, and then a friend posted on Facebook that Official PlayStation Magazine UK were looking for a staff writer. I thought I'd give it a shot despite having limited experience, nervously babbled my way through a two-hour interview, got the position and my break. It probably wasn't because of the nervous babbling. Please don't do that in your interviews.

What advice would you give to someone currently looking at a career in games media?

Write regularly, even if it's just setting yourself a weekly post goal on a homemade blog: you're proving to yourself that you're serious about doing this, holding yourself accountable to deadlines, and hopefully developing your own personal voice. Get on Twitter (which is terrible, but also useful), follow editors you admire, and look out for freelance opportunities. When pitching, do your homework on the site or magazine you want to write for, and make sure the pitch suits. Don't copy-paste the same thing to multiple editors, because we can tell. And get a staffer role as soon as you possibly can: working under an editor that can offer you consistent, focused feedback is a surefire way to become a better writer.

What’s been the best advice you’ve ever received?

I once got some stellar advice from Matt Sakuraoka-Gilman – he was editor of GamesMaster magazine at the time, and something of a mentor to me. He always advised against making a habit of working overtime, and said it was important to always remember who you're really working for. Working in magazines – and in something you love, like games – means there's a lovely atmosphere of camaraderie in the face of deadlines, but it's also easy to convince yourself to pull crazy hours and burn yourself out because you don't want to let your teammates down. Of course, if you're working for a company, it's all in service of something much higher up on the food chain, so it's sensible to keep that in perspective and make sure it's not at the expense of your sanity. I think a lot of people my age are particularly bad at that, and could do with looking after themselves better.

 

It’s easy to convince yourself to pull crazy hours and burn yourself out because you don’t want to let your teammates down.
— Jen Simpkins

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

Honestly, the nice thing about magazines is that you're so proud every single month of this beautiful thing you've made, that you can hold in your hands. I tend to think of my proudest moments in terms of covers and the stories behind putting them together. The No Man's Sky cover for OPM was my first big feature, so I'll always be proud of that; the 'Can Indie Games Save The World?' cover feature for Edge is sort of symbolic of a lot of achievements in my career coming together. But it's hard to pick just one thing, really, because I'm proud of every magazine, and every mad month that goes into it.

And what has been your biggest challenge?

Being a woman. Writing is cake compared to some of the nonsense I've had to deal with because of my gender.

Which of your competitors do you most admire and why?

It's hard to think of any real competitors, because Future Publishing basically owns all the gaming magazines now, and online publications often have a wildly different approach to covering games. But as far as mags go, I love both PC Gamer's personality-driven stuff and its unique features. Their team is one of the strongest in the industry right now. Online, Eurogamer has my favourite overall games coverage, which is somehow both rigorous and approachable. I get my indie gaming tips almost exclusively from Rock Paper Shotgun: they always know what's up.

Who’s your favourite non-games writer/presenter?

This is where I realise I live in a games bubble. Does Louis Theroux count? I'm obsessed with his interview persona – it's completely genius. I'm always fascinated by how other journalists coax out stories from people, and Theroux is the master. I'm still very much working on my own approach.

If you weren’t working in games media, what would you be doing?

I probably would have somehow convinced myself to go back to university and become a full-time academic, which would have been disastrous for me. Turns out I'm much happier writing about Mario than Modernist literature.

Nominate yourself for a Games Media Brit List award here – it’s quick and easy and finalists attend the event, held on May 17th at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, completely free!

‘Don't burn your bridges’ – veteran Julian Rignall reflects on 35 years in games media

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Julian "Jaz" Rignall is amongst other things an award-winning editorial director and content strategist, having launched and managed market-leading consumer websites and publications. He started his career writing about video games back in 1983 and has been involved in one capacity or another ever since.

In the first of a series of Games Media Brit List Interviews, Rignall reflects on his career in games media, inspiring young writers, and on staying relevant in a changing medium…

How did you first get into the games media?

It's ancient history now, but I made a bit of a name for myself by winning the 1983 Computer and Video Games National Arcade Championships. Afterwards, I leveraged my credibility as a top player to write gaming hints and tips, which were published in magazines such as Computer and Video Games, and Personal Computer Games. Chris Anderson, editor of PCG, noticed my efforts, and when he was given the opportunity to launch a new Commodore 64 magazine, he offered me a position as a junior writer. I couldn't believe my luck!

What advice would you give to someone currently looking at a career in games media?

The games media is a very tough business to break into, so be prepared to be persistent and face a lot of rejection. Take the time to create a showcase for your talents and creativity – perhaps a website, blog, or a YouTube/Twitch presence that enables people to see what you're capable of. Then do your research. Look at the kinds of stories run by websites and publications that you want to write for, develop interesting, compelling, and original pitches and submit them. I'm a firm believer that if you have the talent, you'll be published.

 

The games media is very much a young person’s industry, and staying relevant and interesting as one of the oldest games journalists around is a constant challenge.
— Julian Rignall

 

What’s been the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don't burn your bridges.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

Over the years, numerous people have told me that my magazines of yore inspired them to join the gaming industry as programmers, artists, and writers. It's both humbling and amazing to hear that.

And what has been your biggest challenge?

I think I'm facing it right now. The games media is very much a young person's industry, and staying relevant and interesting as one of the oldest games journalists around is a constant challenge.

Which of your competitors do you most admire and why?

I enjoy reading much of the content produced by Eurogamer and Polygon. They present interesting and thoughtful perspectives on gaming that few other outlets can match.

Who’s your favourite non-games writer/presenter?

Can I nominate an editorial team instead? As an ardent car nut, EVO magazine is my favourite publication. It's a terrific example of enthusiast press that's very well written and enables its readers to live vicariously through the exploits of its editors.

If you weren’t working in games media, what would you be doing?

I'd love the opportunity to teach games journalism and the history of gaming. Fat chance that'll ever happen, but it's a nice pipe dream.

Nominate yourself for a Games Media Brit List award here – it’s quick and easy and finalists attend the event, held on May 17th at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, completely free!