Video games, and why I (don’t) write about them.

Posted: March 10, 2012 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives

I suppose it’s time that I just came out and said it already.

I write about video games.

It’s taken me quite some time to actually admit this- I’ve only recently decided this about myself. I still haven’t had the occasion to actually mention it out loud to someone else more than six times. It’s a new development and I’m fragile.

I never set out to write about games. Not professionally, at least. I didn’t want to get caught up in that stigma, deal with the weird looks from my family, or wonder what the gorgeous girl who writes about indie rock would think if I told her what my beat was. I saw games as a hobby, nothing more.

I worked at a video game store for about five years. During that time, immersed in gamer culture, I met some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and entertaining people I’ve ever encountered. My coworkers, to this day, are some of the best I’ve had at any job. But I also saw a lot of what gives games and gamers a negative perception- not just from the people buying and selling games, but from the people making and promoting them.

But for every story about how one person can misrepresent the entire community, there’s two more about people trying to change things, to try and do something wonderfully different.

Like Martin Hollis, who spoke at this week’s Game Developer’s Conference and is urging developers to  “make love games, not war games”.

Guy’s crazy. But he’s my kind of crazy.

The reason I want to write about video games is because I sincerely believe you want to read about video games, and very few people out there are paying any attention to you. Most of them are writing for people who are already gamers, or for soccer moms who watch cable news and want you to believe that they’re responsible for everything from obesity to Mad Cow Disease.

But you don’t play video games. What’s the point? Well, I don’t really watch or play team sports, but there are an abundance of worthwhile stories and great journalism that have arisen from people in those fields, writing not just for fans, but for everyone. It wasn’t all that long ago that the internet was abuzz with the name Jeremy Lin, and there’s a great story or two that resulted from it.

There are wonderful, worthwhile things happening with games every day- things that can only be achieved through games. Things that are worth your time.

Let me tell you about them.

-Joshua Rivera


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