In a PAX East panel “Get Hired in Video Game Marketing“, Vice President of PR and marketing at Bethesda Pete Hines, President at Fearless Media Cara Scharf, and Account Director of AKQA Ed Davis gave a hard dose of a reality check for those who seek a high position in the industry. They assure us that the only way to get ahead is through wrap around, mistakes, lucky shots, but most of all deep passion. Surprisingly, most PR and marketers don’t know much about games or don’t know much about marketing, but what makes them great candidates for the job are their creativity, criticism, and passion.
Landing the dream job isn’t about sucking up to the big man, but how you can make the big man’s company a better one. Video game marketing is a ‘rare beast.’ The skills needed are not only different from other industries but changing rapidly. Advertisement, PR, media, or community skills can be applied to marketing. There is no straight line to landing a job in the video game market, but passion is named the most important aspect that is duly noted. This isn’t to say honesty, punctuality, talent, and knowledge are not also critical but they all come as a result of someone’s passion. Those who are passionate are more likely to be motivated to be honest, punctual, grow in knowledge, and produce valuable work.
The following panel, “Why would you want to be a Video Game Journalist?” freelance writer Dennis Scimeca, Kotaku writer Jason Schreier, Joystiq News Editor Alexander Sliwinski, Destructoid Editor-in-Chief Dale North, Ars Technica Senior Gaming Editor Kyle Orland, and Polygon Managing Editor Justin McElroy gave a detailed analysis about the challenges and pitfalls of getting into video game journalism from inside the industry. They discussed at length how difficult it is to get in and that once you’re in, you may have to push a bit more, requiring a significant amount of experience and proof of ability before you’re handed a title, like writer for Kotaku or Joystiq.
A substantial amount of articles related to news, a good volume of readers/viewers, and a consecutive number of essays touches only the surface of it. Knowledge is a given, but you’d be surprise how much goes into journalism. Most people believe as a journalist you’ll be playing a lot of games when in actuality it’s the opposite. You’ll be playing games for work and not for fun, and at times it might not be the games you’d like to play but have to. Tough nuggies, though we must ‘play the game’ in order to get hired.
Narz is CEO/ Founder at Girl Gamer Vogue and Video Game Columnist at KnickerBocker Ledger.