A Look at the People Behind the Words at GameSkinny
Have you ever wondered about the person behind the words on your screen? Why they do what they do? What inspired them to pick up a keyboard and write? Do they actually play games? If they could do this forever, would they?
Well, some of our interns had the chance to ask and/or answer some questions similar to those above, and more. This article will highlight a small selection of their answers. The writers that will be under-the-knife this time will be, Yasmin Curren, Shawn Malone, and myself.
Oh, and if you would like to be one of the interns in the future, then check out this article that explains how many pints of blood & sweat are required on a weekly basis, and maybe you can be the one who is wondered about.
Money, Fame, and Oranges
All three were asked a variation of "What inspired you to take the mantle of protector of GameSkinny, the Italic Knight?", and here is what they had to say:
Yasmin: In theory my pen never left the paper! Since I was a child I've been concocting imaginative short stories and making detailed files of my imaginary friends different personality traits and appearances. (I had some real friends too... I swear!)
When I grew older the pen was used as an emotional outlet for anything I was going through and I excelled in English within school. So when I saw the opportunity to write about games and gain something from it for my future career I jumped at the chance to get involved. I love games and I love writing so it just made sense :)
We all have had imaginary friends, Yasmin, but not all of us kept an X-Files style library of them. I, for one, wish I had though.
Shawn: It was suggested by someone already in JTP as a way to explore a different spectrum of the game industry.
That someone is GameSkinny's very own Venisia. We are thankful for both them both. (I was not paid to say that.)
I Used to Smile, That Was before I Worked in Retail
A lot of writers have other jobs, or have worked in areas that gave them inspiration to move into the writing field. Shawn was asked: "How do you enjoy game journalism as compared to your past experience with game retail?"
Well I enjoy both. I like in journalism how I can express my love of games through knowledge and research. I love researching into each piece and informing readers.
The difference between that and retail is that, it’s not as personal. In retail, if I recommended a game for a customer to purchase, I’d be exposed to them coming back into the store thanking me for it and sharing what they loved so much. I got the chance to build relationships with my customers. I don’t have that in journalism. Yet at that the same time, I don’t have the corporate pressures that come with working in the retail end--the pressure for sales, pre-order quotas and the like.
I feel your pain, brudda.
There Can Be Only One
Interviewing a fellow industry professional is no easy feat. So, when asked "If you could interview anyone from the games industry, who would it be and why?", Yasmin was torn between fandom and professionalism.
Do I have to choose just one?! D: I would originally want to choose Notch because, well, who wouldn't?! He's a genius and so freakin' humble as well it's crazy! But there are already so many interviews to watch online and books to read about him... Also if I did see him I'd probably turn it into a session of me attempting to sponge knowledge from him.
Instead I would choose Michel Ancel just so I could slip in some pestering about Beyond Good and Evil 2; I need that game!
We all need that game, Yasmin. We. All. Need. Beyond Good and Evil 2.
Does It Hurt?
I was asked: "Is this your first time doing the JTP?"
It is not, I have been here since January 2014. It's been an interesting 7 months, each session brings a whole new set of learnings for me.
To expand on my initial answer a bit; GameSkinny have had the displeasure of my company for 7 months. I initially wasn't going to return, however some elements changed between the last session and this one. Mainly, the addition of 'Senior Interns.' This new role has allowed several former interns the chance to see more behind the scenes; it's a real eye-opener.
(W)Rapping It up, Freestyle
Let's dive into the deepest, darkest, parts of the psyche of our subjects. This is where it can get real dark. You have all been warned!
First off is Shawn, "As an artist, what is your impression of how far art has come in video games?"
I think they have come very, very far from the days of the Atari 2600. Where games didn’t have very much concept art, where as today, you have multi-million dollar projects. It’s as if you’re watching them make a movie. Thanks to the advances of hardware, you can now have in-game art look as amazing and highly detailed as the concept art.
Shawn is absolutely correct, he also has some skills. Check out this example, the cover of For the Love of Words, which was penned by a fellow writer of GameSkinny, the Queen of Geeks, Venisia Gonzalez.
The advancements over the past 3 generations of console is amazing, indeed. Just take a look at what Blur are doing with the Halo 2 Anniversary cut scenes.
Yasmin may be a writer, a collector of imaginary friends (the ultimate precursor to Skylanders), but that doesn't mean she has reached her limits. She has a YouTube channel, and when asked about it:
Ah yes, YagmanX. My YouTube channel is my passion and has been a real blessing since I started it last October. I enjoy all forms of creative media and had just finished a well-rounded media course and pursued a career in coding. But I missed filming, editing and using my imagination so that's when I started my channel.
I've already met some amazing people on there and use it to my advantage to get in touch with people from all sorts of industries as it shows my enthusiasm for certain areas of work (like games!) Overall it's just fun! :D
Here is hoping that she can take the skills that have been learnt in the realm of YouTube, games journalism, and mix them together.
Well, that escalated quickly.
Lastly, I was asked what job I'd select if I was granted the ability, by President Obama, to pick any in the world?
Creative Lead for first party and expanded universe products, at 343i.
I hope you all enjoyed this small peek behind the curtain. All that is left for me to do is give thanks to my fellow interviewers and interviewees, Rocky and Venisia, and Yasmin and Shawn, respectively.