So, already, I probably broke one of your misconceptions -- that I sit on my hands all day and only play video games. Or, if you're a troll, you probably thought I did nothing all day. Surprise! I honestly wish I had more time. A lot more time.
Secondly, I've learned that no matter what, I'm always wrong. If I have to say something about a game, I will always be wrong and my e-mail inbox will always be filled with people being angry over what I said in X sentence about X game. It never ends.
Like, for example, Darkfall. When I said something bad about Darkfall, I can be sure my inbox will be filled with the irate voices of the Darkfall community. Yet, when I say something nice about Darkfall, I can be sure that I'll get irate voices from the Aion community, or just gamers in general who will explain to me how stupid I am to not see that their game is the obvious best choice in PvP or how I was so wrong about X statement.
" No matter what I say, I'd still have someone telling me that they could do my job better than I could."
Then, I got in here, and reality hit. No matter what I say, I'd still have someone telling me that they could do my job better than I could. People even make odd stuff up about me, even when I can refute it. I've been told that I've never played a game with grind (Final Fantasy XI, Phantasy Star Online) or I've never played an old-school MMO (Meridian 59, EverQuest, Ultima Online) or that I suck at my job because I suck at PvP (I do suck at PvP, true story, but it doesn't make me suck at this.)
Third common misconception: Everything you do will be awesome. No, this job isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes you just have to sit down and play a game you will probably really hate. But you can't stop playing it -- it's your job to play it. How many of you would like to play Darkfall? Anyone want to do news stories on Lineage II? Or perhaps another Asian grinder?
But we do it. If we didn't do it, we wouldn't be doing our jobs. We do it because everyone deserves a fair chance and because everyone needs some news coverage. Amazing things happen in games you probably don't even think about every day and we need to be there to talk about them.
So what do I think of this job?
This job isn't easy. It's long hours, I have to play games that most people wouldn't touch with a 30-foot-pole, and my inbox is filled with people telling me that I suck on a daily basis. I've even gotten a few death threats over my opinions of games. It sucks when the people you want to communicate with -- the very gamers that you want to speak with -- want to eviscerate you if you doubt their game for a sentence.
People tell me that I'm being bribed by game companies every day. If I post good news about a game, it has to be an obvious lie. If I don't post that good news from "X Game", I'm a horrible person who needs to stop writing about games. You'd think after all of this, day after day, that I would hate this job.
Let me tell you something -- I love it. I love my damn job to bits.
I get to meet the developers behind these great games. I get to go to amazing places and cover the news the moment it happens. But, most of all, I get to speak with you guys -- people who are just as passionate about games as I am -- and learn new things. (I think I've become a better PvPer from talking with PvPers, for example.)
I love working in the game industry, I love my readers and I even, to some extent, love my trolls. All the negative sides of this job don't matter, because I get to do what I love each and every day.
Sometimes we may disagree, but when it all comes down to it, we're all here because we love these games.
Seraphina Brennan is the weekly writer of Anti-Aliased who is a reasonable person, once you get a'talkin' to her, which she highly encourages! When she's not writing here for Massively, she's rambling on her personal blog, The Experience Curve. If you want to message her, send her an e-mail at seraphina AT massively DOT com. You can also follow her on Twitter through Massively, or through her personal feed, @sera_brennan.