Latest in Gaming

    Image credit:

    Anti-Aliased: What it's like to sit in the staff chair


    So I drove the Aion community up a wall again. I seem to do that a lot when I talk about the game. AionSource was a little miffed at the "disappointment" award the staff and readers gave them, and decided to rip into me. So, in an effort of good faith, I dropped by the flame thread and tried to lighten things up while explaining my position on the game and how it isn't all doom and gloom.

    Well, after having 9 pages of people not reading what I was writing and electing to call me a nyerking nyerk, I bowed out with a new column topic on my mind: my job. If there was any common theme in all of the screaming, it was how I sucked at my job because I said Aion had a grind, I sucked at my job because I was only level 17 in Aion, everyone on that fansite could do a better job at my job than I could, and I was the reason mainstream reviews were going downhill. (Awesome.)

    Amazingly enough, I too thought pretty much those exact same things before I got a job here. But writing here for two years has been one heck of an experience, and maybe today I can give you some insight to the things I see on the staff side of the fence.

    A little background before we begin

    So, hi, I'm Seraphina Brennan. I'm a contributing editor here, which means that I post a lot for the site and can write feature articles in addition to my work as an opinion columnist. Even though I'm only a freelance writer, this is pretty much my full-time job. I've been here for two years, but I've been using this job as my "real job" since last December when I graduated college.

    How did I get hired here? Well, it was luck combined with a love for MMOs and paired with good writing. When the site had opened I found the desire to apply here as a writer, and just before the call went out for more writers I was contacted by the site's network boss Elizabeth Harper (now called Editor-In-Chief) to write a column here while I was in college. I accepted, started writing this funny opinion column called Anti-Aliased, and you can see how things turned out.

    Time management is insane

    There are lots of things that I do everyday that you guys just never see me do. If you thought all this job was was just playing video games and casually writing about them, you'd be mistaken.

    On the average day, I'm not only writing opinion stories, I'm also interfacing with public relations groups to get interviews set up and arranged, I'm writing or doing those interviews when they come up on my schedule, I'm creating graphics for the stories that I write, I'm e-mailing and talking with developers, I'm piloting my personal twitter and sometimes piloting's twitter, and I'm keeping an eye on the news on a huge number of games to listen for breaking stories or report interesting developments.

    There's a lot of researching that goes along with this job. More than you realize. While I'm very familiar with a large number of MMOs, there are still many, many games which I just don't know everything about. Before I write about them, however, I have to go through and learn about how they play, how much you have to pay for them, what's the item store like if they have one, what are their dungeons like, what people are talking about on the forums, what does all of their game vocabulary mean, etc. You never assume anything. Assuming means you're probably going to get it wrong.

    Beyond all of that, I still have to keep my game on. At any one time, I'm subscribed to around 5 MMOs. Right now, that list is Aion, Age of Conan, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, and Champions Online. I actively try to get around and play all of them, meaning that I don't progress that far in one as much as I'd like to, but I still get enough time in to understand how they play and make informed decisions on them.

    From around the web

    ear iconeye icontext filevr