GSWW: Challenge 1.3 – “Game of the Year”

Welcome back to the GameSkinny Writer's Workshop! In this challenge, we're writing op-ed pieces and picking our games of the year!
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The winner for this challenge was Zach Long. Read his article about Civilization: Beyond Earth here.

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Hey folks! Welcome back to the GameSkinny Writer’s Workshop

During your last challenge, you all wrote about Kickstarter campaigns. Before we dive into our next challenge, let’s take a moment to congratulate Eric Nicolai for being the GSWW 1.2 winner. You can check out his article about the That Dragon, Cancer Kickstarter here. If you missed last week’s workshop stream, follow this link to catch up

For your next challenge, you’ll be writing opinion pieces.  

Writing about games doesn’t always mean sticking to facts and reporting game news. Writing opinion pieces is an important part of journalism. As a writer, it’s perfectly fine for you to have your own opinions. It’s also perfectly fine for you to express that opinion in your articles. 

When you want to express your opinion, the key to success is presentation. It’s all about how you go about saying what you think. There are good ways to get your point across – and sometimes you can even persuade your reader to agree with you in the process.

But expressing yourself poorly or using bad arguments can not only dissuade your reader from agreeing with you – it can also hurt your credibility as a writer. 

Learning to write opinion pieces successfully takes practice – and it helps to take baby steps. So your GSWW 1.3 prompt is going to be a beginner’s opinion piece. 

This week, you’ll be writing an article about your personal “Game of the Year” for 2014. 

Lots of different publications and organizations name their own Game of the Year – and now it’s your turn to name yours. 

Think back on all the great games that came out this year. Which ones did you most look forward to? Which ones lived up to your expectations. Which one was your favorite?

Once you decide on a favorite, you’re ready to start your article. But it’s not enough to know which game is your favorite – you also have to know why. The key to writing successful opinion pieces is being able to back up your claims. 

What was it about that particular game that made it stand out to you? Flawless combat? Beautiful graphics? Killer storyline? Multiplayer? Really examine your favorite pick, then decide on a few features (ideally at least 3) that made the game so excellent. 

Now that you’ve got that down, you’re ready to start structuring your argument. The most basic argument structure looks like this:

  • Claim (this is your overall opinion)
    • Reason 1
      • Evidence (specific data or examples that support your reason)
    • Reason 2
      • Evidence
    •  Reason 3
      • Evidence

If we wanted to put this into practice, it would look a little something like this: 

Dragon Age: Inquisition was my Game of the Year because it had such a large open world with so many things to do. The main story alone boasted about 50 hours of gameplay, and more than 100 hours total. 

See how that works? The overall claim is that Dragon Age: Inquisition was my favorite game of this year. One of the reasons it was my favorite was the open world. I support that reason with an example of how many gameplay hours were actually available. 

If you want to look at another example, check out this slideshow. This writer outlined the top 10 games he played in 2014. Although not each of these games was actually a 2014 release, the writer does a pretty good job of explaining why he enjoyed each of these games. 

When writing opinion pieces, it’s important to remember that you must present your opinion logically (remember the basic argument structure), and civilly. If you rant or lose your cool, you won’t convince anyone to see things from your point of view. Bashing or insulting other opinions reflects poorly on you, and will quickly disengage your reader. 

Now it’s time for you all to give it a shot. 

Mission Objectives

  • Articles must be at least 150 words.
  • Articles must have a claim, reasons, and evidence.
  • Don’t rant or throw insults – stick to your structure and what you can support.
  • Fill out all parts of your Bonus Points tab.
Remember to invite your friends to join our GSWW challenges!

And follow our tag, #GSWW on Twitter, Facebook, etc. for updates, hints, and questions.

Again, this week’s tag is: GSWW 1.3

(We can’t keep track of your piece if your tag isn’t there!)

The winner of this challenge will be announced during our live GSWW stream. During these streams, I (your loyal weekend editor) will sit down with you all to workshop, promote, and feature some of your articles.

This week’s stream will go live Sunday, Jan 25th at 9:00 pm EST. To watch, click here.

Good luck, gamers. And happy writing!

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Auverin Morrow
Resident SMITE fangirl.