I find it ironic that earning my "video game writers club membership card" comes down to pitching editorials when chances are they are not what I would be writing if and when I get a job writing about video games. That would be quite fine by me, I think, because I still maintain that the quality of one's writing about video games (in terms of thoughtfulness) has a direct and inverse relationship to whether or not one can write full time about video games, due to the nature of the audience.
I'm not even sure that *I* fall into that category of readers who looks for thoughtful content in the video game media. Coming at this purely as a reader, I want my "news" about video games to be directly about the video games. I view video games the way I view movies - I recognize that there are some brilliant video games that have artistic validity and therefore may interest me on that basis, such that I'm very happy to discuss those games with the appropriate audience...but the audience for those conversations is limited. Most video games I play are purely for entertainment's sake, have no artistic value whatsoever, but also have no pretensions as to artistic value.
I enjoy thinking deeply about video games, but mostly when that thought is applicable directly to video game production and quality. For example, I'm pitching a piece right now about fairness in multiplayer gaming not because I want to have a deep discussion about fairness for its own sake, but because I'm sick of playing multiplayer first person shooter matches where half the other team are snipers. Playing against snipers is fucking boring.
Or needing one guy on our NHL 10 team running his laptop next to him because even though we're in the "Casual" league, we still regularly encounter hyper-competitive teams who have no compunctions against using the well-known glitch goals to score, i.e. the shots that almost always work due to holes in the programming that make the goalie lose his fucking mind when those shots are taken.
Having a conversation about fairness in multiplayer gaming, and where the programming priorities of developers ought to be along these lines, is likely to be a very thoughtful discussion that I am going to have to research quite thoroughly. I even have a counter-argument from a good friend, who is extremely brainy, such that I can work that into the piece. I pitched it to Kill Screen but may have to wait until their sports-themed issue runs next year, if they have room for me in that issue, and if no one else buys the article before then - but this would not be a philosophical, intellectual discussion for its own sake, as far as I'm concerned. It would have real, direct ramifications on how games are developed if acted upon, for the sole purpose of making them more fun.
Having been on Game Kudos for a few months now, and having access to the site analytics, I'm beginning to learn about the audience for the video game media, and they seem really fucking lazy, both in terms of willingness to read and how much they want to think about what they're reading.
I don't know whether it's the usual average human propensity for not wanting to think deeply about anything, or whether the legitimacy of video games as something to be taken seriously is as much an issue within the body of video game fans as it is within the general public.
A N4G story about Olivia Munn had 670 degrees of heat. She couldn't be less relevant to video games anymore. I was privy to a conversation with a renown video game journalist who said they would have to turn down any interest Olivia expressed in writing for them as, having posed in Maxim and Playboy, she's lost all credibility as a video game writer. I couldn't agree more...and that was before my wife wrote her piece about Ms. Munn which I also agree with.