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Manning the Newsie Bullwhip

Phillip Clayton

Working for RPGamer can be tough business. We in the New Updates (news and media) department bear the burdens of a lot of negative things: criticism for not covering some random, obscure RPG by some small development house, complaints that we don't cover the occasional story fast enough, lack of appreciation of the fact that we all spend hours upon hours of our spare time every week doing this, and the pressure to one-up the competition, to name a few. Though even so, working at RPGamer, or heck, a lot of the gaming fan sites out there, can be a very enriching and rewarding experience, even though said rewards may not be of the monetary type.

As a staff member at RPGamer, I get to talk the talk with people who make the games I play, hear about news before 90% of the rest of the world and inform the masses of the news I heard, work with people who I have respected for years, and have come to call close friends in the year or so I've been on board, and rock faces at E3, which are all very enjoyable things to do, as you would imagine. While I realize that RPGamer doesn't cover absolutely every single bit of news out there at times, it makes me feel good to know that, even though the staff at RPGamer are unpaid and most have full-time jobs outside of their online life, we give the big name sites a run for their money with the depth of our RPG coverage. You usually won't see IGN or GameSpot translating details from Famitsu or Jump scans as often as RPGamer does, and it makes me proud to know that you won't find some of the things we post at very many other places on the web.

For me, the typical day at RPGamer goes a little something like this. First, I'll usually browse around to check and see what all types of stories are out there, be it from English sites, or foreign sites where I may be able to get the gist of the information by running it through babelfish. Online translators almost always have a pretty hard time with Japanese sites though, so I'll usually only browse around those types of sites for media while making note of things we should get our lovely Japanese translator, Adrienne Beck, to look over whenever she comes around. Afterwards, if there's nothing particularly pressing to take care of, I'll troll around the boards and our various IRC channels, purely to satisfy my craving to socialize. Then, I'll generally slap some newsies into doing a story or two if there's stuff to do and they're just hanging out with no real purpose. More often than not, I'll throw my own hat into doing whatever needs to be done as well, partly because we need to get stuff up, but mostly because I love writing these things.

Being one of the heads of the department means that a lot of other miscellaneous things fall in my lap quite often as well, from responding to emails to or, to planning future features on RPGamer, for example.

All in all, it does have its trials and tribulations; there have been many times where I've burned myself out, and I needed a break to collect myself. But, of course, this happens with just about anything you spend a good amount of time doing. So in the end, if you're into games, writing, and keeping up with all the latest internet gossip on video games, you should inquire into getting yourself a job with a video game fan site, RPGamer or different. It can be a very, very rewarding adventure.

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