Thursday, March 5, 2009

A letter to Mr. N'Gai Croal

I feel like N'Gai takes a very critical slant to his reporting of video games, opening up new ways to explore games through writing.  I admire his extremely developed and in-depth style of reporting and analysis, a style I hope to adapt within my own.
Here's the letter I've written to him, hopefully I'll hear back (I hope he's not too busy exploring his new career!)


I was just writing to let you know that you have allowed me to look much more seriously at the games industry as a legitimate field to make a journalistic pursuit into.  As a young writer I was always confused by the difference between sites that focused on the "Top 7 Hottest Girls in Gaming" and your Level Up blog which looked at gaming in a more critical manner, trying to make serious out of something that everyone has and continues to considered a child's pursuit. In my mind, we are not children anymore, and I'm tired of looking at games from that perspective.

In that regard I just wanted to thank you for making something out of games journalism.  You and your peers (Stephen Totilo, Brian Crecente, of note) have helped me understand the intricacies of working as a member of a burgeoning enthusiast press.  But I still have a few questions....

I write a blog, mostly for practice, and I have questions for my favorite writers (one of which is you).

Having seen where games journalism has been, where do you think it will go?  How will writers balance the way we and our readers react to the industry?  How does our relationship with the creative side of the industry affect how readers see us?  I've long thought that games journalism are a double-edged sword to developers.  We build up their projects and then when they fail to meet expectations we don't mince words in our reviews.

How do you think the fractioning of the gaming audience has affected the industry?  For better or for worse?  How does the massive "casual" audience affect the way the "hardcore" plays games?  Why does the core player feel so alienated?  I think that it might have to do with the idea that gaming has always been something that people were alienated about, a nerd-subculture, and now that its is becoming more accepted, the core gamer is quick to jump to conclusions about their industry.

While in college, what did you learn that has helped you most in your career as a games journalist?

When you started writing, was there anyone significant who helped you, or gave you a key tip?

I hope I haven't taken too much of your time.  I also want to thank you in advance for any answer or consideration you give to me.  I've been trying pretty hard to balance school with my writing and gaming at the same time.  I'm just looking to get my feet wet in the enthusiast press and I thought that asking for advice would be the best way to get some.

Thanks again,
Daniel Bischoff

P.S.  I'd also like to ask you for two more things.  If you're so inclined, could you stop by my blog?  Maybe critique what writing you see fit to?  I'd also like to ask you if its OK that I publish any answers you give me?  A large part that the blog plays in my writing is that its documenting what I do while I'm studying for my B.A.  I've made several goals for myself this semester and asking for advice was one of those goals, so I'd really like to document that advice.

Thank you again for your time, hope to see you wherever you're working next!

What should I write about while I wait for a reply?

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