A lot of new game writers get stuck at the very first step in their new career. You need a resume to apply to jobs, but you need experience to build a resume. And how are you supposed to practice game writing unless you have a job?!
When you’re just starting out as a game writer you don’t need professional credits to land your first few gigs. All you need is proof that you’re a decent writer. That can be done in a number of ways, all of which are simple, straightforward, and free.
Below, we’ve outlined a few ways you can practice being a video game journalist. Start any or all of them today; it’s never too early to practice writing.
Create a Gaming Blog
This is one of the most common pieces of advice given to new game writers, but it’s also the most important (and the most frequently ignored).
There is immense value to starting your own just-for-fun blog before seeking out professional gigs. Writing reviews, opinion pieces, previews, etc. on your own personal space will help you figure out your writing style and improve it as time goes by. There are no rules or constraints, no publishing schedule to stick to, just you and your game writing.
Seriously, start with a small blog of your own if you really want to practice being a game journalist. Don't worry about promoting it or getting traffic or anything like that. Just write what you want, and write it well.
Review Games on Steam, iOS, Android, etc.
If you buy a game from a distribution platform, something like Steam, GOG, or the console and mobile marketplaces, there’s always a spot where you can leave a star rating and write a few words. This is a surprisingly good place to practice your game journalism writing skills, even get a little feedback from other players or the developers themselves. Your writing will definitely get seen by other players, as well.
But wait, do these really count as writing samples? They may or they may not, but you can easily turn reviews on third-party platforms into legitimate sample work by copying them over to your personal blog. In this way, third-party platforms like Steam serve as a public forum for your writing, while your personal site acts as a portfolio of work. Everyone wins.
Write about Games on Social Media
Did you get a game the moment it was released? Are you one of the few people who enjoys a certain genre or franchise? Social media is a great outlet for sharing your written thoughts, especially if you represent an unusual corner of the gaming kingdom. Start writing informal reviews or impressions on your personal social media channels. You’ll get plenty of practice, and you might get a few fans in the process.
To make the most out of this outlet, you should also copy reviews over to your personal blog so it acts as a portfolio or repository for your best work. Use social media as a way to interact with the world, but don't forget to collect your best writing somewhere centralized and safe.
Create Gaming Videos
YouTube videos that focus on reviews, top ten and best-of lists, and related themes don’t just appear out of nowhere. Someone has to sit down, do the research, and write out a script. You don’t have to be a good video editor to do this, either. Focus on the script, make it as engaging and interesting as possible, then go from there. Even if you never actually make the videos but create a handful of scripts, you got in some great practice for being a journalist.
Write on Reddit
There are countless subreddits that both accept and encourage reviews and impressions of games. You can write short roundups of your favorite titles, create entire review posts, talk about new releases or hidden gems, and much more. Just follow the rules of the subreddit and make your post as interesting as possible, it’s an amazingly effective way to practice.
Join a Fan Site
A lot of people are passionate about the games they play. You probably are, too, which is why joining a fan site and volunteer writing is a good way to practice your craft. You’re likely to get a lot of feedback from the site regarding your writing, maybe even suggestions from an editor.
Ready to get started as a game writer? Get your practice in, then find great game journalism jobs right here!