So I just got finished writing my final post for SLRC, it’ll be up by the time anybody reads this.
And here’s the thing, I wanted to say something about videogame journalism after Michael Walbridge’s recent post “So You Want To be A Games Writer: Don’t”. But I don’t really have anything to add except a resigned sort of agreement with Walbridge.
It’s a tough gig, this we know, but until very recently (think, since Crispy Gamer went down) the prevailing narrative has generally been along the lines of “If you’re good enough, try hard enough, for long enough, you’ll make it into something eventually”. This prevailing narrative is now highly suspect at best, an outright fabrication at worst. After reading Walbridge’s post and linking it on Twitter, N’Gai Croal noticed it and spread it around a bit more before linking to this post by a guy in pretty much the same position as Walbridge, but who has been at it for a lot longer – waiting ten years to ‘make it’ as a games journalist is a long, long time.
Then in the Sunday Papers I think someone (or perhaps Gillen himself) linked to a World of Stuart blog post looking at videogame magazine numbers and their meteoric plummet into obscurity and irrelevance. As I said in my final post at SLRC – blogs are to blame! No really, think about it – if we’re giving it away for free (and there are so many people that are) why is anyone going to pay? It’s an economic reality acknowledged by so many of the professional journalists that come out of the woodwork to comment on Walbridge’s piece.
But we’re not going to stop blogging are we? And even if ‘we’ did, no one else would, so other economic or social or technological model needs to be devised. Enter, Rock Paper Shotgun.
On his personal site, Jim Rossignol writes about how the four horsemen of RPS have worked to create the RPS community and how it really has payed dividends. Heck, I love what the site is doing so much that even I’m a subscriber. It’s interesting to me, however, that even as a community site RPS has to police its comment threads. Again, that decision has payed dividends by elevating the community and the quality of discussion. RPS comment threads can be counted on to be some of the best out there on the net (as long as neither piracy nor DRM gets a mention – which is itself such a well known fact amongst readers that it’s become a running gag and another testament to the sense of community the site has engendered).
One last cool thought by Mister Rossignol, “Online readers begin to regard certain sites as bases from which to head out onto the web from.” Facebook, Twitter, and (for PC game enthusiasts) Rock Paper Shotgun. The holy trinity.