Maybe some women are successful at game writing because they’re legitimately better at it than you are
Facebook can be a terrible place sometimes (though it’s actually pretty mild when compared with the rest of the Internet). I know this because I spend inordinate amounts of time on my own Facebook profile, doctoring photos of myself so I look like a unicorn-riding rock star (unicorns not pictured, but you can tell they’re standing just outside the frame) and hoping all my ladyfriends will notice that I’m growing a sexy, sexy beard.
But I found an interesting thing that my friend Britt posted the other day, and I wanted to share it with all of you smart, beautiful, completely awesome GameZone readers.
Now, to put this into context, let me tell you a little bit about Britt Brombacher. She runs a site called BlondeNerd.com (and you should totally check it out) where she talks about video games, zombies, and a lot of other nerdy things that are awesome. (She’s also a denizen of several podcasts, including We're Not Dead and the n00bketeers.) To top it off, IGN blogger Holly Grand recently did a neat interview with her.
I promise you, Britt loves video games. Like, she loves loves LOVES them. Like, she plays more games than I do, and I spent over two and a half years writing about video games for a full-time living. So it seems weird to me that random commenters would try to call her out for being a “fake” gamer.
But here’s that thing she posted on Facebook the other day, in which a random commenter totally tries to call her out for being a “fake” gamer:
Now, I could easily retread the whole “sexism in the gaming scene” debate here, and that’s what a lot of lesser men would do in my position. (And that would have allowed me to post this meme of Old School Lara Croft almost completely naked:)
Still, I’m not going to that, because I’m pretty sure there’s far more to this than just blatant sexism.
So here’s a new angle to ponder: One of my favorite things that has ever been written for the Internet is this Cracked article that will break you as a human being and change your life. Toward the end, the author talks about how any time you make an effort to create anything of value, the world will relentlessly try to tear it down.
Really, that’s what’s going on here. Britt’s going to cool events like E3 (I will confirm this, as she gave me a gigantic hug when I ran into her at E3 2013), and IGN user Terminator91 isn’t (no E3 hugs from Terminator91, folks). Britt spent a lot of time and work building a site that a lot of people like to read, and she gets a few perks that go along with that. Like getting into E3. Terminator91 writes degrading comments about other people for no reason and expects the same perks.
Now, let me explain something: To make a living doing game journalism – or even game blogging – you need to work your ass off. There’s so much more to it than just playing lots of games. You need to get a halfway decent education. You need to work on your writing skills. Relentlessly. You need to build a portfolio of writing samples to impress people that are really hard to impress. You need to market yourself, pitch articles to gaming publications, get rejected by those publications hundreds and hundreds of times, do tons of work for free or for almost no pay, and so on. It’s a thing you work toward for years, and if you’re lucky enough to break into a full-time gig, you’re going to be poor forever. You will work more hours than any of your friends, and very little of that “work” is actually spent playing video games. Have you ever had to edit poorly written copy for 18 hours straight? I have. On several occasions. I’d generally come out of those 18-hour edit-fests wanting to toss myself down an elevator shaft. However, that’s just one of the horrible things I did to get my proverbial foot into a tightly shut door, and I'm happy that I somehow made it to where I am today.
Britt went through the same process the rest of us do. She worked damn hard for years and years before she saw any results. (You can read more about the story of how that came together for her here.) Does it help that she takes her clothes off every once in a while? Probably. Still, that doesn’t negate the absurd amounts of work effort she’s put into her career.
When you get down to it, forum user Terminator91 isn’t contributing anything meaningful to the discussion of video games, and Britt, in her own weird little way, actually is. And she’s looking damn good while doing it.
So cut us writers and bloggers some slack. We worked hard to be here. If you work hard too, you might end up working alongside us. But if you just want to get paid to play video games all day long, well, you’re probably going to be pretty disappointed by what life tosses your way. Especially if you refuse to write anything other than hateful comments on video game blogs.
But fret not. If any of this is disillusioning for you, then watch this adorable video of pug puppies reenacting Home Alone to cheer yourself up:
Yes, I probably stole that last joke from Cracked.
Josh Wirtanen writes all sorts of things about gaming and technology. He also writes adorable indie folk music and draws cartoon monsters. You know you want to follow him on Twitter @joshuajwirtanen