Games Writing  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Games Writing  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Apply to GameSkinny's 2018 Journalist Training Program Sessions! Tue, 17 Nov 2015 02:37:23 -0500 GameSkinny Staff

There's a lot of content online. Personal blogs, YouTube videos, length forum posts, and more news outlets than you can count. Which means that unless you're running with the big dogs or have made your own way in the games journalism industry, a lot of that content is getting lost, overlooked, or drowned out. 

We think that's lame. 

So, we've built a place for intelligent folks like you to have your opinion heard, shared, discovered, and discussed. We believe in giving gamers their own spaces. And that's what GameSkinny is all about -- it's a publishing platform built for gamers from the ground up. 

Anyone can post on GameSkinny and get the full attention of our editors, but we also have educational resources available for passionate gamers who are looking to level up their writing skills. Our Journalist Training Program (JTP) is looking for applicants who want to gain real experience in games journalism and online publishing. 

Participants will work in an online newsroom environment throughout their nine (or ten) week sessions. You did hear us right -- online. Much like the online classes that we all took to avoid going outside, you can do the entire program in your pajamas if you want! And you still get all the experience and course credit you would get from an on-site training program. 

And the benefits don't end there. JTP members who complete one session are allowed to continue on in additional JTP sessions as veteran members or senior mentors -- which offers seasoned JTPers the opportunity to help manage new writers and get on-site editorial experience. 

If you want to jump to a specific part of our overview or go straight to the applications, use the links below to do so:

What will you get out of the JTP?

College students can use the JTP as an internship credit, and the program is suitable for listing as a professional experience on a resume. The JTP is not a paid program, but there is the opportunity to earn a little extra cash through our Bounty Program. It is also a 100% remote program -- so you can do your work at any time from anywhere in the world!

Assuming you successfully complete all requirements of the JTP, here's what you'll get out of it:

  • Valuable (and hard-to-get) skills and experience in digital journalism. You'll learn about various types of article writing, research, SEO, interviews, guides, and more!
  • A professional referral from the editor in charge of the JTP, which you can use on resumes and job applications. 
  • College internship credit. If you indicate your intent to seek credit on our application, we'll work with your college advisor and fill out any paperwork you need to receive course credit for the JTP. 
    • Note: This can apply to various disciplines of study. Aside from the obvious journalism credit, we've had JTPers seek credit for everything from regular ol' English degrees to disciplines like Marketing. 
  • The option to apply for a leadership role after successfully completing the program. We have a fantastic team of senior mentors who get further training in editorial, content generation, and the other mysterious behind-the-scenes skills that keep an online newsroom thriving. 
  • Consideration for current openings at GameSkinny when applicable. 
  • Earn money for views through the GameSkinny Bounty Program. 

Still not convinced that the JTP is right for you? Read some of our testimonials from past JTPers who finished the program and loved it!

Your Responsibilities in the JTP

In this program, we don't ask for much. As long as you show up, learn from the course emails, and do the work, you'll be in tip-top shape! As for the actual workload, here's what you'll be expected to do:

  • Writing 4 quality articles per week. You'll be writing five weekly articles of a few given types, according to the assignments laid out in your lesson emails. 
  • Reading lesson emails. Each week, you'll receive 4-5 lesson emails that you'll be expected to read thoroughly and understand, as they'll be invaluable in properly completing your assignments. 
  • Spending time in our team chat. You'll be asked to sign up for a few time slots a week that you dedicate to being present in our online chatroom, engaging with your fellow JTPers and picking up breaking news assignments. We're flexible, so we'll work with your schedule for these time slots!
  • Self-reporting your progress. You'll have specialized forums where you post weekly reports of what you've written, how you're progressing, and whatever you might need help with. 
  • Accepting assignments from our editorial team. Every now and then, our editors will hand out assignments based on your interests and strong suits. These assignments help feed our grand, site-wide strategy, so they're an important job you get to undertake. 
  • Other miscellaneous duties. There are a lot of other things that go into a successful voyage in the GameSkinny JTP. But fortunately for you, it's mostly fun stuff. Like...
    • Taking occasional breaking news assignments
    • Generating interesting and engaging content ideas
    • Interacting with the GameSkinny community in the comments section
    • Promoting your own content on social media
    • Communicating with editors and learning how to effectively listen to feedback
    • Meeting deadlines
    • Being a part of our awesome GameSkinny team!

It might sound like a lot, but we give you lots of time to adjust to how things work in the program and get you started on the right foot. You'll have a full set of staff and senior mentors to help you out every step of the way. 

Program Requirements

Here are just a few tips on how to apply, and what skills you'll need to be successful in your JTP session. 

  1. All applicants are required to fill out the application survey located at the bottom of this page. (Make sure you're applying for the right session/dates when you click!)
  2. A 15-20 hour time commitment each week for the duration of your session. This includes your time slots. (Remember, we're flexible!)
  3. A positive and adventurous attitude!
  4. Strong written communication skills. 
  5. A drive to improve your own abilities. 
  6. The ability to self-motivate and work independently from home...most likely in your Pikachu pajamas. 
  7. A thorough understanding and passionate love of the Oxford comma. (We kid...mostly. The Oxford comma is pretty great...)
Preferred, but not required:

The following qualifications are great to have and will help you immensely during your session, but are not required to participate. Most of the skills listed here will be taught through our lesson emails at some point during your session:

  • Gaming experience
  • Working knowledge of the games industry
  • SEO knowledge
  • Degree (working on or completed) in Journalism, English, Communications, Media Criticism, Game Design, or other related field of study
  • Previous writing experience (huge bonus!)
  • Writing samples published here on GameSkinny

All Program Dates for 2018

By clicking the links below, you can fill out an application for any of the upcoming sessions, so long as the application deadline has not passed for your session of choice. Each session is named alphabetically, and we accept applications on a rolling basis. Most sessions are 9 weeks long. But this year, there is one special 10-week sessions --  at the end of the year. 

Depending on how many spots and applications we have each session, you may not be accepted into the program until 2 weeks before your program start date. So if it takes a while for you to hear back from us, all hope is not lost! We're probably just waiting until a little closer to your session start date to get back to you. 

All Program Dates for 2018

Jester Session
    • October 15 -- December 21 (2018)
      • Application deadline: October 8
      • Note: This is a 10-week session

Click to Apply (October 15 - December 21)


Have further questions? Email Jonathan ( with "JTP" in the subject line. Do NOT send applications to this email address. Gmail's gatekeeping dragon will bury them deep in her inbox, never to be seen again. 

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture Intends to Improve Storytelling in Games Sat, 06 Jun 2015 17:30:01 -0400 CallSignDriver

Game developer The Chinese Room is known for creating rich, atmospheric first-person experiences such as Dear Esther and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. Dan Pinchbeck, creative director for The Chinese Room, recently posted a blog entry on the developer's website entitled "Rapture, Story, and Open World Games." In it, Pinchbeck lists his criticisms of contemporary storytelling in games--what developers do right, what developers do wrong, and how their new game Everybody's Gone to The Rapture aims to improve upon those shortcomings. 

"Let’s talk about Nosgoth."

When it comes to exposition, Pinchbeck believes that less is more, citing games like Soul Reaver: Legacy of Kain and Shadow of the Colossus as prime examples of subtle atmospheric storytelling. Locations like Nupraptor's Retreat and the ruins of the Forbidden Land serve little to no practical purpose in these games, and yet their presence lends depth and mystery to the worlds they are found in. I, myself have wandered through the unused locations of Shadow of the Colossus wondering, "why is this here?" Players exploring these locations won't have these questions answered by secret journals or bonus cutscenes.

"The lack of knowing exactly what has happened allows you to fill those gaps with your own interpretation," Pinchbeck explains. "It’s the old horror adage that there’s nothing as scary as the monster you create yourself. Games might be awesome but they have nothing on player imagination."

Building a better narrative

Pinchbeck compares this to the tired narrative format of the average contemporary video game. Rather than encouraging players to arrive at their own conclusions, most games are more cinematic in their approach, using cutscenes and dialogue to explicitly convey as much information as possible. This is made worse when games use story as a means to justify otherwise bland and repetitive gameplay. 

The Chinese Room means to remedy this by making Everybody's Gone to The Rapture the kind of game that facilitates exploration, imagination, and discovery in order to drive exposition. Here's what the blog post had to say:

Here’s the two key components underpinning what I wanted to do with Rapture’s story:

1)      focus on inferred story by foregrounding absence and inspiring you to use the most powerful tool in our design kit – your imagination – to create a story together (rather than offering what usually transpire as meaningless, frustrating branches where I’m actually forcing you to accept my inevitably limited reading of events rather than letting your imagination flourish)

2)      play down a central linear plot that is all about solutions, or tied to goals or serving gameplay as a mechanic, and create a space for those small moments that really create depth and a rich, full capacity for emotional signposting to be the core of the experience.

From here, it's starting to look like The Chinese Room's narrative vision for Everybody's Gone to The Rapture resembles that of a D&D campaign more than a traditional video game, attempting a story that is found and not just told.

"It’s your story, as much as mine," Pinchbeck elaborates. "I wanted to write a story that left you free to form your own emotional connections that let the core of the experience be about how you felt about what was going on, that didn’t restrict your imagination to branches or a pre-defined slot, and where what you found and how you felt about it was given room to breathe. A genuine collaboration between the game and your imagination."

Look forward to seeing just how well they managed when Everybody's Gone to the Rapture releases later this year.