Sat down to write down some thinkin’ about the business of writing words about video games and kept getting lost.
My mentor in college — an Asian American Studies professor who is about as hippy-dippy as they come — told me something that stuck:
"First you secure funding, then you do the work."
The current form of games journalism, as a profession, is a very specific game, with very specific rules, and a very specific set of optimal builds. If you’re going to play it, play it to win. Be ruthless, be mercenary. If you’re willing to do this, there are lots of people out there who can help.
Don’t go into it with any illusions that you’ll effect change, because you probably won’t. Instead, go in with the plan of learning as much as you can about why the game works the way it does so that you can effect change elsewhere.
If you can’t do that — and make no mistake, it’s not easy — secure funding elsewhere and do the work you want to do when you can afford to do it. Because right now, this game is the only one in town, and if you don’t want to play it, you’re going to have to make your own. Which takes time that you probably don’t have.
Take care of yourself. Secure the funding, do the work, make something beautiful. We can’t do that last part if we’re killing ourselves to make rent. We can’t do it if we’re losing our smartest people to burnout and churn after just a few years. I think we’ll be lucky if we can effect just 10% of the change we want to see in the next ten years.