Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Devil's Advocate

It's quarter past ten in the morning, and I'm sat at the PC with a packet of Budgen's salt 'n' vinegar crunchy sticks and a glass of wine, because I; a) need to calm down, and b) have something to celebrate.

This morning I got an e-mail from Mark Donald. For the few of you who read this who don't know who the hell Mark Donald is, he's the editor of PC Gamer UK. Why, you may ask, am I getting e-mails from the editor of PC Gamer, and why would I be excited about it?

Whilst I was on holiday in France, I took my trusty A4 pad of paper and a pen and did a little writing. One of the things I wrote was a review of The Sims, which will be going up onto the State website a little later today/this week. The other thing I wrote was a Devil's Advocate column. PCG have been publishing these Devil's Advocates columns for about two years now, and they're one of my favourite features of the mag, because it's all about hot-button pushing. As a veteran gamer of some 20 years and more, I have a lot of hot-buttons to push. One thing that hasn't been covered in Devil's Advocate is game interfaces, and I decided to finally sit down and write something about them, expressly to submit it as a Devil's Advocate.

I won't pre-empt the contents of the article here, because the e-mail I got from Mark this morning said that he'd like to use it. As you might expect, I'm rather thrilled about this. I'm even going to get paid for it. Which is a nice bonus, as normally I do it just for the love. (Or the abuse, depending on the reception of the piece)

This is a bit of a dream come true for me - not just to appear in the mag (I've done that already with a few Uncensored readers reviews), but to appear in it with a genuine feature in the magazine. It's a bit like getting your spurs as a cowboy - you don't really feel until you've made it as a "proper" games journalist until you've really been recognised and printed with a column in a genuine publication. State doesn't really count, seeing as a) I own it, and b) we're so desperate for content an illiterate chicken could get stuff on the site. Not that this is to put State down - we've had some really wonderful pieces go on the site, but this is a whole level above that for me. It's great to see that State has had a definite influence on PCG though - certainly the reverse has been true often enough, what with a whole bunch of PCG staff writers and freelancers frequenting the site - so it's nice to see that things like the Bow, Nigger and The New Games Journalism articles we posted on the site are having an influence in the mainstream press. So much so that Mark asked me to put up this - an open letter asking for more opinions based pieces to be submitted to PCG. It's certainly an interesting move by PCG. There's never been a better time to get involved with videogames journalism.

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