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Archaeology: Tales Of A Fossil


Working at RPGamer is a little like level grinding in an RPG; it's rewarding for the type of person it appeals to but it requires a hefty investment of time, effort, and energy. Throughout my career with this website I've held a number of job titles and done a little of everything else there is to do, to boot. If you're interested in knowing what it takes to get a job here and finding out how survive the job longer than almost anyone else, you're talking to the right guy.

When I was originally hired in August of 2001, RPGamer was an almost entirely different entity than it is now; Mistress Nightshadow was the Editor, Googleshng was the Head of Interaction, and Stom was the Head of News. My place in that proverbial "Golden Age" of RPGamer's history - when our competition with The GIA was at its most heated - was as Paws' assistant in Points of View. If you can imagine having to read fifteen pages of amateur writing per week in addition to proofing said writing, offering feedback, and then properly HTMLizing the whole lot, you can easily understand where on the RPGamer totem pole I sat. At some point in early 2002 Paws decided to step down as the Points of View curator and the job then fell on me.

It takes a lot more work than it otherwise seems to run the reviews section of RPGamer, so when I set a long held record for consecutive updates throughout 2003, I was quite proud of myself. Given that I effectively compiled the content for and wrote nearly 100 updates to Points of View I have always felt as though it were my pet project. Having done so much work of an identical nature for so long a period of time, I naturally began to feel the need to branch out in my efforts, and it just so happened that as Roku took over the curatorship from me, the Head of Interaction position became vacant.

So what exactly does the Head of Interaction do? Quite unlike the Heads of New Updates, Alethea and Martyr, whose job entails them doing a fair amount of the same work that everyone else in their department does, e.g. writing news stories, posting media, etc., the Head of Interaction job is almost entirely a task of organization and planning.

I try to organize the weekly meetings that the staff of RPGamer use to share information, while also keeping tabs on the submission flow and various other aspects of each section of my department (all of which can be found under the "Community" tab on the left side of each page on RPGamer) so that I can try to suggest potential changes and ways to improve the readership that each of them receives. I do tedious record keeping to make sure that each of the people working in the department are actually doing work that is up to the standards that are set forth in the guidelines we keep for such things. The Head of Interaction is also in charge of setting the title text on the RPGamer index so it can be used in our long running Q&A game, and updating the RPGamer poll as close to once a week as is feasible. I also try to help improve the overall quality of RPGamer by helping perform maintenance on our release database, cracking the occasional "update or be injured" whip on people, and creating all the handy dandy symlinks that make navigating our game pages easier for all of you (although a good portion of you probably don't know what that means).

I also perform several other tasks for the site, including Morale Officer, Merchandising Manager, Developer, and currently some Designer functions. What all of that sums up to is I send birthday cards, holiday greetings, and E3 swag to everyone to help keep people happier; I work with our affiliate companies to improve the amount of money that RPGamer makes so that maybe we can get paid for this some day; I help conceptualize new scripts and offer advice about improvements on currently existing software like the archive systems for Theme Central, Fan Art, and Points of View; and I occasionally make review images, a new page or two, and/or logos so the New Updates department has a good looking one to use.

After working here for four years, I've basically become a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-some. If you're ever interested in some advice about what you can do to break in to the gaming industry or otherwise just want to talk, just hop on over to our IRCFAQ and look me up.

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