The Real ABCs of Games Journalism

Posted by Mat on 23rd February, 2014

Aftermarket Cybernetic Upgrades: You’ve started a career in video games journalism and received the requisite necessary post-human robotic merger as is standard for all freelance work, but you’re quickly beginning to realise the beginner spec doesn’t entirely meet your needs. The Mark.II advanced neck-servos are an important investment to minimise the lag between viewing one of your wrist-mounted display units and your primary work monitor.

Brackets: Some people call them Parentheses (but not you). Use a lot of them. They make it seem like the point you’re trying to get across is so good that it needs defining even further (people will think you’ve got so much to say (like, enough that you can’t fit it into what you were already writing)).

Casper, Friendly Ghost: Print out this photo and hang it on your wall. You have much to learn from it.


Dib-Dabs: Buy, like, thirty packets of the fucking things and keep them by your desk. They’re jet fuel for getting audio editing work done. Scrubbing through your podcast? Shove a lolly in the sherbert and lick the thing while you cut out all the awkward pauses and jokes that don’t land. Don’t forget to put it all on your taxes! They fall under travel expenses, because they’re a bare-knuckle roller coaster ride to a land of productive work.

Etcetera: Never finish lists. Always have the audience assume there are more examples than you can think of, you can do this in reviews, previews, features etc.

Fly: You are imbued with the power of flight. Did… did no one tell you? Fuck. The rest of us have all been bloody zoomin’ around with our hollow-avian-journalist bones and you’ve been hanging out on the ground. No one should have to hang around there. That’s where all the dirt is, dude! Gross!

Gin: It’s a mistake that writers all drink Whisky. They do, I’ve seen it and done the personal research, but summertime rolls around and brings with it tonic and limes. Have seventy of them and sit out in the sun. Why not.

Hove: Listen to nothing but Jay-Z.

Inspiration: What kinds of things do you like to read? Poems? Allegorical Novellas? Sounds nice. I like that Dan Brown myself. Really has a flair for prose.

Japes (aka: Hijinks): Sometimes you should spend an hour writing practically a thousand words as a joke making fun of a piece of shit someone else put genuine malicious effort into.

Killing: The only game mechanic worth discussing and, honestly, the only real game mechanic anyway. That’s all that games should even try to do and anyone who disagrees or wants to talk about anything else is probably some kind of social justice weirdo trying to “not actively be a shitty butt to other people”.

Libel: All Games Journalists do gross farts!! I will not apologise for this remark you will have to lock me up in sing-song. I’ll do the nickel with a smile, get out and say it again. You can lock away a man but you can’t lock away what he knows to be the facts.

Mondays: I hate ‘em. Like Garfield. Ha ha. He’s an ornery cat with a lot of things to complain about.

No no, no no no no, no no no no, no no: There’s no limit.

Obelisk: The thing all the apes touch at the start of 2001: A Space Odyseey. What if I told you… it’s real. It’s… it’s me. Touch me. Please.

Pokémon: You’ll probably write about it at some point. I dunno.

Qwerty: Throw that shit right out and get yourself a DVORAK keyboard to help yourself with typing speed. Never mind that it’ll fuck up the keybindings for all your games, get used to moving your fictional characters around with a game of hand-twister.

Realism: Literally the only thing a graphical style should aim to meet.

Sound: If you’re watching a trailer and the soundtrack doesn’t go all, like “BWAAAAAOOOOUMMM. CHUCKA CHUCKA DUN DUN DUN” just turn the thing off. It’s probably some kind of European Truck Sim.

Truck Sims: Oh. Oh these are actually alright? Shit. Sorry.



Virtual Boy, The: Y’know? I think it was probably a little underrated. This is honestly a real pitch here amongst all this bullshit. I’d really like to see a retrospective of the Virtual Boy closer to when the Oculus Rift gets a real consumer release. It’d be great to see the impact and spread of goggle-based virtual reality over the years with that as the initial focal-point. I don’t want to write it myself but someone probably should. That one’s for free.

Weezer: The first album is still alright. I liked Pinkerton for a while but I’ve really gone off it since I started actually thinking about what Rivers is actually saying in a bunch of the songs. You want a subserviant asian woman who only wants to hang out with your forsaking the entire rest of the world? You’ve got a problem, dude!

X: Always end your text messages with one. It is very cute lol x

Yuck: If you make a joke about cum you’ll probably get a laugh out of it.

Zealotry: Your opinion is the best because you’re the smartest and everyone else cares too much about weird things that don’t matter.

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