The Game Beat
Observations and lessons from two decades writing about games
Game journalism is young enough that we’re still trying to collectively agree on the answers to some pretty fundamental questions. What makes a good review? Should we be evaluating games as consumer products or works of art? What role should scores or grades play in the review process? How should we deal with Metacritic’s outsized influence? How close should game journalists be with the publishers and developers they cover? How can journalists get around the information control of the PR machine? How should outlets handle gifts and publisher-sponsored junkets? How are we supposed to make any money off any of this in the age of the Internet? The Game Beat catalogs years of my own scattered attempts to answer those questions, and many more that continue to vex the field, through dozens of blog posts, columns, newsletters, and interviews focused on the art and craft of writing about games. In the process, this book also serves as a sort of public diary of my own education in and advancement through the world of professional game journalism, from eager outsider blogger to hustling freelancer to entrenched staff writer.