Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Definition of "Yeah Right!"

Well today I had the unpleasant experience of having the chance of the perfect job land in my lap…only to have its magical promise crumble and turn to dust like a vampire who forgot his sunblock.

I’m an avid reader of the online comic Ctrl-Alt-Del.

Well, the creator of Ctrl-Alt-Del (henceforth known as CAD), Tim Buckley, recently started a sister website called CADmedia, basically a video game review site. He’s currently looking for writers to work as video game reviewers.

That is my perfect job. I’ve got a BA degree in English Language and Writing Studies, A-Levels in media studies. I love to play games and love to write.

(I know plenty of my readers are currently thinking I’m over-estimating my writing skill. For the record, I tend to write this blog as it comes to me, and don’t even read over it any more. If I was being paid to write reviews that would be read by a few million people, instead of about 15…my writing would be a lot more ‘polished’)

But imagine that job. It’s an e-commute, meaning I could write from home. I could play games for most of the day, and it’d be work. Sunny could no longer tell me to get off the computer, because hey! I’m a workin’ man. Me spending 6 hours playing this game is what keeps food on the table! I don’t complain because you go out to work every day, so get in the kitchen and bake me a pie, woman!

Also, as an official video-game journalist, I’d even be eligible for (delighted shudder) a pass to E3!

(Sorry, I just had a nerdgasm).

Then I did the thing that makes all dreams crumble. I read the small print.

Tim Buckley was adamant that people should only apply if they’re completely serious about becoming a video game journalists. In other words, no time-wasters.

Then he goes on to state that not only will successful applicants not get paid, they’ll have to buy their own games to review, and ‘make their own industry contacts’.


Let me get this straight. You want someone to completely and totally devote themselves to this job, go out and buy their own games, spend hours ‘networking’, then actually spend the hours necessary to write a review…and the only ‘pay’ we’d get is out name on the website?

Ok, the only good side I can think there is to this is that if I applied for this job, got a good few reviews posted, it would look great on my CV. Basically, he’s not offering a job, he’s offering an internship.

However, this is the equivalent of getting an internship in an office, and them telling you that you have to supply your own computer, printer, paper, applications for the computer and do absolutely everything out of your own pocket, with no compensation whatsoever.

It’s like getting an internship at a restaurant, and them telling you to bring your own ingredients, and then presenting you will a bill for the electricity and gas you used to cook them.

Ok, I’d understand this a lot more if the ‘offer’ was along the lines of “Played a decent game recently? Write a review and send it to CADmedia! If we like it, we’ll publish it, and you can say that your work has been read by hundreds of thousands of people!”

However, saying you want a dedicated writer, who’s willing to put in all the time and effort of an established video game journalist for free?

Pull your head out of your ass, Mr. Buckley. Welcome to the real world (Although I still love your comic).

1 comment:

MC Etcher said...

Yeah. He's been trying to do too much with too little for a while now. Charging for the animated CAD is kinda lame, which the PA guys enjoy teasing him about.

I guess it would be a good job for a kid in high school - but good luck to them making the 'industry contacts'