Guest Post: Getting Into the Gaming Industry

Breaking into the gaming industry all on your own can be a bit daunting, but we all love gaming here and if you make it into the right space then working within the medium you love to bits is incredibly rewarding. Andrew from Disconnected Gamers is here in a guest post to tell you how he’s found success and some sweet easy tips you can use to do the same!

My name is Andrew and I’m doing a guest post on Leaping Tiger’s blog to help people who want to find their way into the video game industry. A lot of people want to be a part of this industry, and hopefully this blog post will help jumpstart your path or at the very least give you a place to start. There are tons of ways you can join the industry; journalists, YouTubers, Twitch Broadcasters, or working for a game-studio. The simple fact is that there are some fundamental tools that will help you get started and on your way. If ever I can bestow some advice to you, it’s this: nothing can truly stop you in this industry if you really want to be a part of it.
One thing I can’t stress enough about the video game industry is that it’s very close knit, but also very community oriented. If you really want to start getting involved and start pursuing a career within it, just start somewhere. The more friends you make, the chances are they know other people they can introduce you to, and so on and so forth. I’ve decided to write a short list of things that are simple, inexpensive (or free) ways you can start getting involved if that’s what you want to do. Looking to be a broadcaster, community manager, developer, or content creator? Keep on reading.
Consistent Social Media Branding (Applies to everyone)
This is an important first step. Being new to the industry, it’s hard to get noticed. It’s even harder if you’re creating content across several social media channels with different names. For content creators it’s even more important your YouTube and Twitch match. It can be tough for people to realize you’re one and the same if you use a different twitter from Twitch. (sidenote: my social media doesn’t match and I am well aware, but I’m also stubborn. The point here is don’t be like me.) This isn’t a hard-fast rule, however there are always exceptions (i.e. GamertagUser0101 for twitter/insta/YT but then GamertagTV for Twitch or something along those lines). It’s also good to be aware of others in the industry who have similar usernames to yours, and to double check that a particular name is available across all the social media platforms you’re going to use. Even if you’re not going to use a particular form of social media, it’s best to register the account just incase.
Start Writing a Blog (Community/PR & Journalists/Developers)
While this one seems pretty straightforward, many people don’t realize the benefit to consistenly writing content, even if it’s not published. If you’re trying to build creative writing skills (either about gaming, development, or engaging with a community) the more you write, the better you will become at it. Start a free wordpress blog and even if it doesn’t look amazing, it becomes a great resource for you as you build a portfolio of content. You can house written content and video content there which will help if you’re considering applying for a job that will want to see your work. And besides, you can always fine-tune the aesthetic as you go.
Also remember this: Just because you’ve written it, doesn’t mean you have to post it. Get into the habit of writing about games you already have, rather than saying “I can’t get new games every month to write about.” Get a friend to proofread things if you’re nervous about it, but the ultimate goal is to write as much as you can as often as you can so that the habit grows on you.
Connect with People (Applies to everyone)
This one is a 100% no-brainer. Start interacting with like-minded people in the area you want to be in. Reach out to companies and see if you can start a dialogue. Some of my best friendships in the industry have started because of a single tweet. Thank people for speaking at events you attended (panels at things like PAX or Comic-Con are easy wins) and who knows what could happen. Does this mean you’ll always get a reply? No, but Wayne Gretzky once said “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Take the time to say hello, and they may reach out back to you. If they don’t, don’t get disheartened either. Just keep an open line of communication with everyone you can.
Create Positive Content
This one is more of a personal note. For content creators, think about the content you watch and WHY you watch it. Because it makes you laugh? Makes you feel welcome and part of a community? Perhaps the broadcaster or creator makes you feel like you really matter to them (because you do, just fyi). Harness those awesome feelings and then channel them into the field you’re hoping to be in. Does this mean every game review you write has to be stellar? No, sometimes games just don’t jive well or you have to play a game you don’t like. It also means sometimes maintaining a positive attitude when people criticize your own work. I wish it wasn’t a thing, but you’re going to end up dealing with a person who is just unreasonable and it can be super frustrating, but remember that you’re not alone in this industry.
That said, if you have any questions or want additional direction, reach out! Leave a comment, shoot a tweet, carrier pigeon, etc and I’ll do my best to try and answer any and all questions that come my way.

Andrew Sullivan is on Twitter @soafterisaid, founded @thedgcast and facilitates awesome people doing cool stuff in the gaming industry. He spends his life creating cool content!

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