If my career as a writer for The Daily Campus were a video game, this would likely be the last scene, just before the credits roll. You might have some DLC in the form of the graduation issue coming out on May 10, but this, for all intents and purposes, is it.
When I was a boy, I spent a lot of time reading magazines like “Nintendo Power,” “Electronic Gaming Monthly” and “GamePro.” Back then it was the best way possible to get news on upcoming titles.
My favorite part, however, was the game reviews. Without great access to the Internet, reading published reviews was my only way to ensure that the games I scrimped and saved for were worth the money I would be spending on them. I was 11 years old – I couldn’t afford to waste $60 on a bad game – it would likely be the only game I purchased for a long time.
As time went on and the Internet became more prevalent, I let my subscriptions to these magazines drop. I could watch videos online and read other users’ comments if I wanted to know whether a game was worth the money – I didn’t need to spend money subscribing to these magazines anymore. I still read the occasional review online when I was looking into older games, but for the most part I allowed the collective knowledge of the Internet decide what I would or wouldn’t buy.
I guess it might be a little surprising then, when I say the first thing I did upon joining The Daily Campus was make a beeline for writing about video games. The article I ever wrote was a long criticism of EA Games, shortly after they were deemed the worst company in America – something that still holds true (in my eyes, anyway).
Over the last four years, I’ve taken every article about games I could get my hands on – reviews, spotlights and retrospectives – you name it and I was writing on it. Why wouldn’t I? I was literally getting paid to write about and play video games, my truest passion in life.
But what I loved the most about the job was the feeling that I was getting to help improve an industry that I love. While I recognize the fact that my influence on the gaming industry as a writer is likely just above that of an ant who finds a CD an uncomfortable place to sleep, I couldn’t help but feel that each time I put out an article, I was slowly exerting influence on an industry I fully feel can and will see improvement, helping direct consumers on what to get and what not to get, with developers and publishers responding accordingly to the way the market was moving. Can you blame me? When you love something, you want to see it thrive and be the best that it can be. I want to see the video game industry truly grow and develop into more than just another entertainment form. In fact, videogames are not just entertainment, but art.
It’s what I’ve been doing for the last four years and now, sadly, I must retire. I’m not going to be a journalist. I spent my four years here at UConn studying economics, and I fully intend to break out into that field. Reviewing games is awesome, but in the end I’d rather just sit down, play them and enjoy them, confident that others will be fighting the good fight as I enjoy journalistic retirement.
So I challenge you then, reader, to write just one gaming article for The Daily Campus or any other publication that will accept it. Put your ideas and influence out there – make the industry bigger and better than it is now. Help to show the world that games are a beautiful and interactive art form that can nary be matched by television or literature.
And now, as my final article comes to a close, I can think of nothing better to end my tenure as a gaming writer than with the two most cliché words in the industry: