The Beginner’s Guide to Writing in Games Journalism

Uncharted

Everyone starts their foray into writing differently. Some go to college and pursue a degree; others make connections by networking and getting to know the right people. If you’re anything like me, you happen to stumble upon favorable circumstances. A stroke of good fortune can be the start of a series of learning experiences and opportunities that once seemed unfathomable.

A year ago, I would not have considered myself a writer, nor would I have thought that I would ever enter the field of games journalism. Since writing for FemHype, many doors have opened for me. Because I had my work published, I accumulated a portfolio of clips that I was able to send to a local online publication, which landed me a freelance gig where I write weekly. I will begin freelance work for a major publication in the coming weeks as well. Everyone starts somewhere.

Building up experience wasn’t the only circumstance that put me where I am today. Emailing editors and networking led me to be a contributor for The Mary Sue, where I have been able to concentrate on lifting the works of projects or causes that I’m passionate about. The perk of writing for an established publication with a wide audience allowed my work to be seen by multiple outlets, industry professionals, fellow writers, and students.

In the short year that I have been writing online, I have learned so much. Through constructive criticism imparted on me by wonderful editors as well as experiencing rejection, I feel qualified (enough) to offer the advice that I wish I had been given when I first started out. I’d like to stress that I am still a growing writer, but I feel confident that I have learned enough over the past year to share my experiences with you in hopes that you’ll become more comfortable putting your work out there and to start pitching.

Continue reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Writing in Games Journalism”

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5 Easy Steps to Get Women to Write for You

Step 1: Put the word out there! Let us know that you’re looking for our voices. We’ll gladly send you our pitches.

Step1

Step 2: Great! Now we can—wait … no. I can’t write for IGN. How could I have missed that? This space is for guys only! Seriously, it says so right on the website.

Step2

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‘Life Is Strange’ Sparks Crucial Discussion on Cyberbullying

Life Is Strange

[Tw: Discussions of suicide and bullying. There will also be spoilers.]

For those of us who have finished the four available episodes of Life Is Strange, we know that the game touches on a lot of heavy issues. From dealing with loss, coping with depression, and struggling to fit in, the game captures the hardship that a lot of adolescents and young adults face on a daily basis. While playing through Episode 1 and 2 within hours of receiving the game from a friend, I found that bullying (both on and offline) and suicide were major plot points within those episodes.

Kate Marsh was bullied for her religious beliefs and for being an abstinence advocate. After allegedly getting intoxicated at a Vortex Club party, footage of her actions from that night were released without her consent to YouTube and spread through Blackwell Academy (we find out later that she was drugged). There are little warning signs throughout the first two games that give hints as to what Kate is planning. She stopped playing the violin and hanging out with her friends. Victoria and Kate throw crumpled up paper balls at her during class, and the whiteboard outside of her room is defaced. She has a strained relationship with her mother, and feels a tremendous amount of shame and guilt.

For me, I saw a lot of myself in Max Caulfield for a number of reasons. Back when I was 18 and still in high school, I was into my third year of photography. I frequented thrift stores so that I could dress myself differently than my peers and sought out old, vintage cameras to drool over. I even received an instant camera and some film at one point during the school year. There’s a wall dedicated to all of the photos that I’ve taken of my friends and I—very similar to the “Max Caulfield Photo Memorial Wall.” I wasn’t confident in my photographs, and I wasn’t exactly “popular.” I was incredibly shy and doubted myself constantly. Max’s inner dialogue and own insecurities mirrored my own. I sympathized a lot with Kate, but found more of myself in Max.

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Bioware Ladies Apparel: ThinkGeek Responds

When I wrote about my frustration over the lack of merchandise for women, I hardly thought that anything would come from it. It was more or less a way for me to voice my opinions through a platform that I saw fitting. Apparently, I underestimated the power of being able to contribute to a site that garnered a lot of traffic. Within the span of a day, a representative from ThinkGeek contacted me.

First

Needless to say, I was ecstatic! It took a week or so before I was able to get in touch with Steve Zimmerman, head of PR at the company. I remember pacing back and forth, staring down expectantly at my phone as I waited for it to ring. Finally, I received the call. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Should I stand up straighter? Would I need to make myself sound more professional over the phone? This was new territory for me. Nothing I’d ever written had grabbed the attention of an important industry figure before.

We chatted for a little while. There was more nodding on my part, but he told me that there had been plans in the works for a line of clothing exclusively for women. I zoned out for a bit as soon as he mentioned Bioware, as I knew that meant more Mass Effect merchandise that I’d be able to throw my cash at.

Before saying our goodbyes, he told me to keep all of the information he had confided under wraps. I pressed my back against the wall and slid down the length of it until I was sitting on the floor. I happened to be in public, and any strange looks I garnered were immediately dismissed. This was a lot to take in. I was beyond excited to hear that there was going to be more merchandise for women. Frankly, it’s about time. The only problem was that I had no idea what the clothes were going to look like!

Continue reading “Bioware Ladies Apparel: ThinkGeek Responds”

Can We Stop With the Jiggle Physics Now, Please?

Street Fighter

The phenomenon that has been dubbed as “jiggle physics” was brought to my attention back in June when I saw a GIF on Reddit of Chun-Li and Cammy. This GIF was a preview from Capcom’s newest Street Fighter installment that was showcased during a Twitch livestream. In the GIF, both women are shown onscreen posing, getting ready for battle with a quick animation of their fighting stance. Cammy is off to the left, looking relatively normal, while Chun-Li, on the other hand, has some … issues.

Her boobs are out of control.

Quite literally, her breasts seem to have a mind of their own. With every move she makes, they seem to follow after her. They flop around in circles for a few seconds after she pauses, but they never stop moving. Even after Chun-Li stops posing, her boobs do not. They keep jiggling around in an unnatural way. Cammy’s boobs don’t move around, but in another clip when she’s to the right of the screen, they move ever so slightly, but noticeable enough to grab my attention. The developers claimed that Chun-Li’s movement was a glitch in the animation, but I’m not sure If I’m quite convinced or not.

It’s not just Street Fighter that seems to have some jiggle action. There are other games where creators have deliberately gone out of their way to animate the important aspects of the game, like the boobs (obviously). There’s the Dead or Alive: Volleyball series, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur, King of Fighters—but, wait! You say. Those are fighting games! There’s lots of jumping and moving! Okay, sure. Let’s assume that these women who are fighting aren’t wearing sports bras. Even if you’re well-endowed in the chest department, I can assure you that your boobs don’t tend to do this thing where they follow your body when you move—no matter how vigorously you kick or punch.

Continue reading “Can We Stop With the Jiggle Physics Now, Please?”

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