About the long absence. You see, what had happened was… Hell, let’s be honest, it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. I do sincerely apologize for not updating sooner, but if you’ve been following this blog for a bit – or taken a look at the archive dates – then I’m sure my sudden silence was no surprise.
There’s no excuse. I should’ve been updating the blog daily and I haven’t been, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my reasons. Before inundating the site with a barrage of content, I thought I’d give you an update on the last couple weeks and explain my overall absence while giving you a little glimpse of what you can expect in the next few days.
One of my regular clients recommended my services to a tattoo magazine that needed a writer for their website. After some negotiations and a couple trial articles – which, to be clear, I was paid for – they’ve decided to hire me regularly, or at least for the next couple weeks. They pay pretty decently too. Not “Get my life back together” money, but it’s a step in the right direction.
My other regular client, the one who recommended me to the magazine, seemed to drop off out of the blue. Turns out it was just a little holiday miscommunication and I should start writing for him again in the next couple days.
Ultimately, I’m slowly but surely building some decent regular income again. It means more client work will be taking up my time, which makes updating the blog slightly more difficult, but it’s all positive in the end.
My Foray into Proper Games Media
One of the large reasons I’ve been quiet recently is because I chose to seriously pursue procuring a position in games media. I found a variety of start-up websites looking for literary talent, a few of which were willing to pay for content, and decided to apply. I thought I could use some article ideas, particularly an interview article that includes official statements from Red Hook Studios, as selling points to hire me, but the idea turned out to be better in theory than in practice.
I didn’t hear back from most of the sites – whether that’s due to the holiday season or their unwillingness to hire a “blogger”, I don’t know – but the one I did get an “interview” with the CEO of a budding games media site that made me lose all hope in ever officially working in the industry.
I knew something was wrong when it turned out to be a group interview via an instant messaging chat on Skype. Not a call or video chat, just messaging. (For those of you who think that’s okay, it’s highly unprofessional and not how you interview talent if you’re looking for quality over quantity.) After talking about how he’s looking for people with “a ton of time on their hands to play and review games”, he casually mentioned his site’s pay rates were $0.25 per article. Outsourced writers from India who don’t know English get paid more to write than a bloody quarter per article.
Was I expecting the site to pay as much as my freelance clients? No, but what he offered was outright insulting. I wanted to chew him out for the ludicrous nature of his offer but my inner professional told me to just say “No, thank you, I wish you the best of luck” and leave.
What’s even worse is that the other interviewee was okay with being paid a quarter per article. He claimed to be an indie games developer, which of course caused me to immediately wonder why he was interviewing to write for a website to begin with, and didn’t bat an eye at the outrageous nature of the supposed “paid” work. The guy was probably a teenager or someone who otherwise doesn’t have to pay for their food. He clearly wasn’t a professional writer by any means, and that’s who these greed-fueled games media sites prey on.
Had the site CEO simply posted the want ad as a volunteer position, everything would’ve been fine. But he didn’t. He offered paid work and then wasted my time with a ridiculous offer that wouldn’t even afford me lunch after writing for his site all day.
I’m not going to mention what site it was. The greedy, disgusting unprofessional asshole doesn’t deserve any semblance of free publicity. He’s just one of hundreds of games media site and publication owners who mistakenly believe writers should be thankful for the “privilege” to write about video games.
The millions of words and thousands of hours I’ve spent cultivating my ability to create copy is not a privilege, regardless of what I’m tasked to write about. It’s a cultivated skill and I’m no one’s slave. If that’s what it takes to write for games media then I guess I’ll never officially work in the industry.
Even after my ridiculous interview, I still found myself wanting to write for a proper games media site, which is where the idea to approach MMOs.com came from.
MMOs.com is a site built by gamers, for gamers. It’s run, and I believe owned, by Omer Altay, whom you may remember from MMOhuts.com reviews years ago – you know, back when the site was actually a decent resource for all things MMO. The site’s brand new with a crew of about four to five people who are all clearly gamers with a passion for massively multiplayer online video games.
If I’m going to write for ridiculously cheap, or possibly free, I want it to be a site I can get behind, so I decided to email Omer and see if they wanted a writer. He got back with me surprisingly fast and, after the site’s editor gets back to me about the article idea I’ve proposed, I’ll probably start writing regularly for MMOs.com.
It won’t be much money, if any at all, but they also don’t expect me to work for them any more than I desire to do so. I even offered my marketing experience as a consultant free of charge, because I believe gamers need a site that’s owned and run with quality and other gamers in mind before profits.
They have a good beginning. I’m just hoping to help the site grow even further.
What I’ve Been Playing Lately
I GOT TO PLAY FALLOUT 4!
If I had to choose one reason why blog content came to a standstill, it’s because of Fallout 4. I was able to play it and dumped 70+ hours into the game on Survival difficulty. There’s a lot to say about the game, and you can expect a review article soon.
Other than Fallout 4, I’ve been enjoying the Tree of Savior closed beta. It’s essentially the spiritual successor to Ragnarok Online, which isn’t a surprise considering it’s being developed by RO creator Kim Hakkyu. The action RPG MMO is very hardcore and reminiscent of old school MMOs in all the right ways. I’ve been having a ton of fun with it and it’ll probably be the focus of my first published article on MMOs.com.
Other than that I’ve recently started playing Mabinogi Duels on my phone, which is by far one of the best TCG MMOs I’ve ever played. I like it more than Hearthstone. It’s much more skill-based and the game’s UI and art style are so good it’s like someone’s showing off. The game’s servers are also really strong compared to a few other online Android games I’ve tried playing recently. I’ll probably write an article about it soon as well.
Speaking of articles coming soon, first and foremost will be an interview article focused on Darkest Dungeon’s most prolific modder, the creator of Pitch Black Dungeon and Lighter Dungeon. That article should’ve come out weeks ago, and I feel bad it’s taken this long for me to finally decide to get it out. I was hoping to get it published on a more recognizable site for the game’s sake, but that’s clearly not going to happen.
After that you can expect articles on Fallout 4 and a variety of other games and gaming related topics as usual.
Sorry for the silence but I’m back now, and just in time for the holidays! I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and be sure to check back soon for the highest quality games writing you’ve ever seen from a homeless bum.