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In the past, video-game journalism was clear cut. Professional writers and editors had exclusive access to game previews, interviews, and trade shows. They typically lived in the busiest areas related to the industry: California and New York.
Then the Internet came along and changed everything.
A new offshoot of journalism emerged — led by those who commented from afar. Websites became a collection of one-liners, blurbs, and headlines. Being in Manitoba or southern Ohio no longer limited a person's ability to observe and respond.
Many of these new-school writers are wishful thinkers, reaching for a pipe dream. And some are seasoned journalists who interned, struggled, and worked their way up through the pulp and ink of the printed word.
As magazine and newspaper sales decline and the world of game writing changes, the barrier for entry remains intimidating for many of us.
I am never going to live in a busy, tech-based metropolitan area. I am never going to attend E3. I predict I will never sit down with Hideo Kojima and Shigeru Miyamoto to discuss their absurdly brilliant visions.
Despite all this, do I consider myself a member of the gaming press?
Allow me to break my case down even further. I have a journalism-related degree, work in the newsroom of a major newspaper, and have a portfolio full of articles.
So am I a journalist?
I can only answer that question through my dedication. My passion for games has never faltered, contrary to my parents' wishes. In my writing, I attempt to provide a unique and honest point of view with some wit thrown in. Most important, I have the drive and will to keep trying.
As with any craft, a drive and ability to improve must exist. Stagnation sinks even the most talented people like a ship hitting a jagged coastline.
For now, I have the ambition to continue.
Until the day comes when writing becomes boring, I will keep trying to get better.
Originally written for and posted on www.digitalhippos.com/gaming.