John Walker's Electronic House

So You Want To Be A Games Journalist – Uncut

by John Walker


This is the first in a seventeen thousand part series on becoming a games journalist. In this part we will explore what writing about games journalism is, and the “easy” way to enter the anus of the industry. In the following sixteen thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine parts we will explore why I am so important. Some would recommend that you not read this, and instead get on with what must be the most painfully obvious job of all time, but they are stupid and wrong. Read on to find out why I am the greatest ever, ever, ever.

Mark Blowhard gave a very complicated view of the profession of games journalism in his introduction to the games industry, “Who Am I Again?”. In the spirit of not trying hard, I’ll quote it hear as it saves me doing the work:

“The games journalist is someone who plays videogames and then writes down if they’re good or not.”

I’ve met over seven people in my life, and of the four that would speak to me, two of them wanted to be involved in games journalism – that’s at least 50% of the population of the world. No career is more coveted, not even being an astronaut or the president of an incredibly important company. Simply put, I am one, and you are not, and it is important that you note this. I play games for a living, while you probably have to put things on shelves, or even use a mop. You poor things, you must so desperately want to be me. I play games for a living.

What is the Point of This, Exactly?

I am a games journalist, and I play games for a living. You can never forget that, because you so desperately want to do it, but you don’t and I do. But don’t think all I do is play games for a living, even though I do, because sometimes playing games for a living can be very hard indeed, and one time I even wanted to have a bit of a cry. It’s actually incredibly super-difficult, and if you’re not as great and clever as me, you’ll fail, and then you’ll cry all the time while I am playing games for a living.

A games journalist, which I am, is someone who plays games and gets paid money for it, which you don’t, but you want to, so you’ll keep reading about how I do because you think it might help you become as great as me. The main purpose of a games journalist in life is, when you boil it all down, to tell other people how you are a games journalist and play games for a living.

Am I Still Here?

What I pretty much do all day long is write about how I play games for a living, while telling other people who don’t play games for a living how I do and they don’t, and how it’s actually super-hard sometimes and they probably wouldn’t cope with it as well as I do.

But don’t think it’s simple to play games and then write down if they’re good or not! Oh no! It’s incredibly difficult and that’s why I am so exceptionally important and why it’s essential that I tell you all how to be a games journalist even though you’d never cope. Sometimes games aren’t good, and playing them isn’t as much fun as it could be. Those are difficult days to get through, and without my steely determination and iron constitution, you would probably just give up. Dealing with PR people, otherwise known as “people who confuse me and make me think I like games that I thought I didn’t like using beer and hotels”, can really get you down.

Really, I Am Important?

But if you thought I wasn’t amazing yet, and that you could possibly be a games journalist, you haven’t even thought about “deadlines”. See, because when you do games journalism you don’t just get to do it when you like, but you have to get the work done by a certain time! Some people actually die because this is so hard. I don’t. For example, one time I had to stay up an hour past my bedtime to get a review finished before the “deadline”, and it was incredibly tiring.

And don’t even get me started on what it’s like to have to go to America for free and stay in a hotel for free and play games at a conference for free while getting free food and all the alcohol you can drink for free because sometimes you have to queue up for stuff, which is way too awful to even think about. Could you cope with all this? I doubt it, but I can.

what Will it Take to Make me Go away?

To be like me and a games journalist who plays games for a living while you don’t, there are some things you have to be able to do that you wouldn’t have thought of if I didn’t tell you.

1) You have to have a computer or a console machine.

2) You have to have at least one hand.

3) You have to be able to write as good as I.

You wouldn’t believe how many rubbish idiots think they could do the job I do but can’t because they write stuff that’s just rubbish. This does not mean, however, comma, that if your grasp on the language in which you will be writing is tenuous at best and at worst that the least at which you’ll have will be that you will never be a games journalist.

Becoming a Games Journalist FUQ

Will I need to be as great as you to be a games journalist?

Well, I am a games journalist and I get paid money to play videogames for a living which you don’t, so it’s already going to be tough for you. If you’re not as great as me, then you will struggle with all the difficult bits like when a game is boring or if you have to talk to another person.

How did you come to be so great?

I get asked this question about fifteen or twenty times a day in my job as a games journalist where I, and not you, get paid to play games for a living. It’s hard to say exactly, but I think it has something to do with how incredibly important, clever and handsome and generally outstanding a human being I am, and perhaps a small part down to luck. Except not the luck part.

Can I be your friend?

I’m afraid not, as you don’t play games for a living like I do and probably won’t.


It must be hard to be you, and not me, what with how you don’t playing games for a living every day while I do. But don’t think I have it easy, because like I’ve said, it’s a tough job and only people as brilliant as me can do it. Playing games and then saying if they’re good or not is way, way, way difficult, and you probably don’t have the skills or stamina to cope how I have. I play games for a living.

John Walker is the most important games journalist who has ever existed, and no one else will ever come close to being as great as he is. Keep reading his guides to how to play games and then write down if they’re good or not until the day you die. He plays games for a living.