One Year Ago I Started Gaming And Now I Work In Video Game Journalism
For budding players out there, the gaming industry can seem immense. For 22-year-old me, it seemed like a world I could never be a part of. I felt like Squidward looking out the window at my SpongeBob and Patrick gaming friends who were having in-depth conversations about their favourite games and consoles, whilst I had no idea what they were saying.
A year ago, I had no idea what words like DLC or MMO actually meant. I pretended to, to try and sound cool, but I didn’t. Yet, I really wanted to start playing. For someone whose last console was a Nintendo DSi XL, I had no idea where to begin and it all seemed a bit intimidating.
However, I was very lucky to have friends who threw that red PS4 controller in my hands. Now, one year later, here I am sitting in an office writing about games for a living and having arguments with my colleagues about whether the PS5 is a next or current-gen console.
“Girls Play Sims, Not Halo”
When I was little, my cousin and I were banned from joining in with the lads playing epic shooter games in the living room because ‘girls play The Sims, not Halo’. So, that’s exactly what we did. We played The Sims 2 and had a bloomin’ great time with it whilst the lads were having full-blown rows about who stole whose Warthog.
My Nintendo DS consoles were my pride and joy. My brother and I would stay up at night chatting away on PictoChat through the walls and I would save up my pocket money for months to buy those sweet, sweet game cartridges to the point where my collection was really quite great.
My Nintendogs were my loves and I felt utterly ashamed of myself when I had a break for a day and I’d come back with them covered in fleas - looking at me with shame. MarioKart DS was an absolute gem of a game and it still makes me sad that I never got to finish The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
Then, one day, my DS just stopped working and I just fell out of it all. I’d play Star Wars: Battlefront II with my brother on his PS2 every now and then, but sadly, that was it for me and video games.
The Greybeards Came Calling...
It all changed during the chaos of 2020. When my housemates and I moved in together, I was really struggling to find a job after finishing university during the Coronavirus lockdown. Spending a lot of time alone in the house, getting one rejection email after another was really starting to get me down.
Then, my friend told me that Skyrim was on offer on Steam. I wasn’t completely unaware of the Elder Scrolls franchise, I’d seen my brother play Oblivion and Skyrim a few times. So, I gave it a go and I was hooked. I still am. I might not have been able to meet my mates for a coffee, but I could be roaming around Tamriel in my Ebony Mail battling dragons and draugr with my Khajiit pal Kharjo.
A Year Of Games
My housemates were horrified to learn that I had never heard of The Last Of Us, so they got me to play it straight away. What. A. Game. I haven’t cried that much since the Doctor Who's 'Doomsday' episode. Then, there was Red Dead Redemption 2, oh my street Tahiti I love it, words can’t describe how much.
When I was having a break from job-hunting I went about discovering as many games as I could, including, Detroit: Become Human, Portal 2 and the absolute beaut that is Stardew Valley. Gaming actually provided me with a great way to socialise.
I might not have been able to see my partner but we could build a camp together in Don’t Starve (that’s if I’d make it one day without dying). I loved having gaming nights with my housemates screaming like Toad every time a walker grabbed Lee or Clementine in The Walking Dead. If it wasn't for my great housemates, it's safe to say, I wouldn't be what I'm doing today.
I even ended up doing a virtual workshop on acting for video games. I got to learn all about the world of mo-cap suits, facial expression markers and, creating a character’s voice.
My Favourite Video Game
Choosing my favourite game out of all of them is honestly so hard. It’s a real toss-up between Red Dead 2 or Skyrim. You know what? I won't decide. They’re both beautiful in their own way. In my opinion, Red Dead 2 has the most stunning design, brilliantly written characters, performances and, fantastic dialogue: "Hahaaa, found you, Lenny!"
Although, Skyrim continues to be the perfect game for me on a miserable rainy day. The game’s landscape is still gorgeous in my eyes, and just the Elder Scrolls world is so extensive, it’s hard not to be blown away by the creativity behind it. Also, the mods are just insane and I can’t get over how genius they are.
Working For GGRecon
Here we are, one year later, and I’m now incredibly lucky to be working with GGRecon and spending my time writing about video games five days a week. There’s still a lot I have to learn and there’s still a whole load of games I need to play, but I can’t wait to discover more about the gaming industry.
I know it’s been around since 2013, but buying my own second-hand PS4 the other day felt incredibly freeing. If you’re new to gaming or hoping to get into it, it’s never too late to make a start. Now, to quote Arthur Morgan in THAT scene: "Thank you".