Here we are. A full decade.
Ten years ago today, Monday, July 13, 2009, I started writing professionally about games, beginning what would be my transition from enthusiast wrtiting to paid, professional writing as I began writing news on Mondays for VG247 as part of training for a stint to cover the site for gamescom 2009. I was asked then to stay on as freelance after that and at the end of the year, I got a job offer to stay on permanently. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, I’ve gotten to write over the shop for some of the best outlets on the planet: VG247, Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Official Xbox Magazine UK, PC Gamer, Kotaku, Polygon and more. And especially in particular two outlets that mean the world to me in different but unifying reasons: Eurogamer and GameDaily.biz.
Eurogamer was one of the reasons, if not the primary one, that made me want to write about games and being able to write for them has been a literal dream of mine. I can’t say enough incredible things about that site or that team. I love them and parent company Gamer Network so hard, not just for the fact it was a Gamer Network website that gave me my start, but in ways I will never, ever be able to describe coherently. But in turn, GameDaily, although not as big as Eurogamer, does have a team and MO that I truly believe in just as hard and love just as much. I’m the only person on the news team based outside North America, but even when communicating through Slack or Twitter, we back, help and support each other in ways that has led to an awesome bond between everyone on the team.
In the past ten years, I’ve written about the three games that mean so much to me across the three publications that inspired me and meant a lot to me through the years. That’s one of my biggest achievements. And I’ve gotten to write a book that was published! And I created, hosted and produced an award-nominated podcast too! If 14 year old me who suddenly realised he wanted to be part of the games industry found this out, his tiny brain would explode.
I’ve learnt so much in the past ten years as a person thanks to this industry, let alone as a games journalist. Hell, I’ve learnt even a lot in the past five years. I’ve gone through so much shit that it has made me a lot more reisilent in a way, including with my mother passing, which honestly fucked me up a lot, and a dual depression/anxiety diagnosis, as well as not being able to see people that I cared so much for face-to-face for the longest time until fairly recently. It’s been rewarding, heartbreaking, difficult, stupid, idiotic, incredible, fantastic, all the idioims and other things you can describe it as. And truthfully, for all the times I’ve wanted to walk away at times (they’ve been there), I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
I’m always looking ahead too. Projects, goals, amibitions in mind. You never stop. You can’t stop. Otherwise, what’s the point in doing all this? I guess now is a good time to mention I’m currently working on another project. And it’s not so much a project or even a big project as it’s THE big project. The sort of thing that legitimately scares the shit out of me more than writing a book or working on something like My Favourite Game. I’m not gonna talk about it for now (okay, I’ll give you a tidbit – its codename is Mapel), but if you see me at EGX in October, come find me and depending how cool you are, I may let you in on what I’m doing privately. That is if I don’t talk to you about it beforehand in possibly September!
Next year is my fifteenth anniversary writing about games full stop when I started writing as an enthusiast (though I like marking this occasion more than that because of the fact it truly jumpstarted my career) and I think by then, I’ll be in a place where I think I’ll hopefully be able to be creative fulfilled and challenged.
For now, the focus is on GameDaily and the project (Mapel), as well as any additional freelance work that comes my way. And well, if the next ten years is anything like the past ten (only without the awful shittiness that came in the middle of it), it’s going to be a good run-up to the twentith anniversary.
Like five years ago, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few people who’ve been constants for me in providing work and support from within the industry across the past ten years. They are incredible people and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I just want to mention them to say I see you and thank you for everything you’ve ever done for and to me, whether giving work, providing support and advice, a generally awesome person in the industry or just been a wonderful friend. You’re all amazing. To name a few:
Korina Abbott, Alex Moyet, Amanda Farough, Christian Donlan, Hollie Emery, Reb Valentine, Kristin Knillmann, Tom Bramwell, Pat Garratt, Tim Clark, Alex Donaldson, Svend Joscelyne, Steph Nunneley, Chiara Woolford, Lauren Aitken, Joe Knoop, Sam Desatoff, Mike Futter, Ginny Woo, Ana Valens, Liz Lainer, Sarah LeBoeuf, James Brightman, Oli Welsh, Martin Robinson, Wesley Yin-Poole, Vic Hood, Cassidee Moser, Anna Hollinrake, Natalie Flores, Matt Pellett, Kate Johnston, Chris Scullion, Mim McDonald, Jen Simpkins, Paul Watson, Bee Wakefield, Tatjana Vejnovic, Vicky Potts, Vikki Blake, Hugo Bustillos, Sarah Moffatt, Mark Robins, Steve Merrett, Stefan McGarry, Adam Merrett, Gareth Williams, Cat Channon, Ellie Gibson, Adam Cook, Caroline Miller, Bridie Rose, Aimee Hart, James Binns and so many more I can’t keep count at this point!
Here’s to the next ten years. xx