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LONG BLOG

Black Red Gaming is Winding Down

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After over five years of writing at a near-consistent level, I am announcing today that things are going to be slowing down here at Black Red Gaming. Normally, I try to put a lot of my blog announcements as a short announcement in a Ten After Ten, but I believe this announcement is a lot bigger than that. While I said I had no plans of changing anything in my five year anniversary blog back in September, a lot has changed for me since then.

To be clear, this is NOT an end to Black Red Gaming. I still enjoy the act of writing about video games, and there are still things I want to do. That announcement could be in the near future, but for now I have no planned date on ending my writing. I’ll make another blog for if or when I decide to put a stop to all of that, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

So, what is this blog all about? I have been trying to write at a consistent level for years now, trying to put out around 8-10 blogs per month. Three Ten After Tens, two blogs in between each Ten After Ten, and a Top Anticipated Games of the Month would make around ten blogs per month. Before Ten After Ten, I would try to put out writing once every three days. The writing, website management, news watching, comment responses, and so on took up a large chunk of my free time (and money), but I was glad to do it because I loved it and I still enjoy doing it.

Nowadays, however, I cannot and do not want to invest that much time into all of it. The primary reason for this is because I am not actively pursuing a career in games journalism anymore. While I enjoy this writing and had no intentions of turning Black Red Gaming itself into a career (unless you call losing money a career), I did consider Black Red Gaming as my portfolio for a hopeful career in the field. This hopeful career was a pretty big motivator for my writing, but that motivator is now essentially gone, and the more I try to keep up with my usual writing output, the more I feel that trying to keep up with it is futile. Some blogs are more enjoyable to write than others, but I still wrote all of them just the same to prove that I can keep up with the work and can cover a wide range of formats from news to reviews to features and so on, but who am I proving that to anymore?

The second reason for this announcement is that I simply just don’t have the time or energy to keep at the pace I’ve been going at. My free time has been rather limited lately, and while I was able to write at a higher output when I had similar levels of limited free time in high school, I simply don’t want to invest the limited time and energy I have now because of the reason stated above.

So, after over five years of telling myself that I would become a games journalist, what changed? Well, my belief in a games journalism career was pretty rock solid for most of that time. My belief in this career started in high school, and this belief is what led me to pursue journalism in college. I started college in 2019, and I largely held onto that belief through most of that time. As I took classes and learned about the journalism field, however, I started to see and hear about greener pastures: public relations. I know that some journalists consider the switch to public relations as a “sellout,” but it’s hard not to when looking at the current state of the journalism field. Hell, a lot of the journalism classes I took talked a lot about the doom and gloom of the field. Low pay, volatile work environment, mergers and acquisitions that would eventually lead to budget cuts, and so on.

For games journalism in particular, I found that if I did try to enter the field, my options would either be to freelance (which I don’t want to do because I don’t want to work from home) or to move to one of a few select cities where these outlets are located (which I don’t want to do because I’m not a fan of where a lot of them are located). In other words, my options felt limited, and mixing that with the general state of journalism left me feeling doubtful about the prospects of any career in the field. I told myself that maybe I could try a local news outlet and try to at least go for the movie/entertainment section, but I don’t think this is all that feasible either.

With my degree, I am required to take an internship in my senior year, and I had to start thinking about all of that a couple of months ago. A friend of mine who graduated with a Bachelor in Journalism told me he took a public relations internship, and that is what sealed the deal for me. I noticed that a lot of PR positions hired journalism majors (and really any major that falls under communications), so rather than switch my major and have to take a bunch of extra classes, I decided to just finish with a journalism degree but intern for a PR position and look for PR jobs as soon as I go job hunting. Journalism and PR are pretty similar, so the jump from one to another isn’t that far of a leap.

With my choice to pursue PR, I found that my options broadened tremendously. Just about every company needs PR, and I don’t feel limited to just video games. I chose video games for journalism because it felt like the most feasible journalism position out of all my interests, but all of my interests need PR so I feel as though I have way more options. Plus, PR seems to be better paying and more stable (which isn’t saying much considering journalism). I still love video games and would love a PR position in the industry, but I could also see myself working for a number of other industries all over the country, so I don’t even know if I’ll stick to a games career in the long run. So while this shift towards PR may be recent, it’s one that I know I’m going to stick with.

So with all of that said, what is going to change? For starters, I’m putting an end to Ten After Ten. I still strongly believe in the idea of Ten After Ten and I believe it’s my best blog format as it recaps the games industry in a short and compact way while also giving the rest of my writing a schedule. Since I can’t keep up with any writing schedule, though, Ten After Ten is unfortunately the first casualty. For now, I’m still going to stick with the monthly anticipated releases blogs, but the BRG Collection is going to become more sporadic. While I don’t even know if I’m going to continue writing by the time E3 happens, I don’t think I’m going to keep up with it as much as I did in the past. Some of my franchise rankings may go dormant. Speaking of which, while I planned on announcing it in another blog, I might as well announce it here and now that the Yakuza ranking is cancelled. Also, don’t be surprised if the Metal Gear one gets cancelled too. I don’t have any plans to axe any of my other blog types, but do expect a heavily reduced output of writing overall. There is going to be no schedule and no blog threshold I want to hit, so I can’t even tell you how much I’m even going to put out.

Again, to be clear, this is NOT the end: it’s the beginning of the end. I’ll announce the end when that time comes, but for now I need to pump the brakes. There are still things I plan on and want to write about, but now I’m writing purely out of hobby compared to writing for hobby and career/portfolio. I’m saddened to see that this work will amount to essentially nothing and see it begin to wither away, but I do not regret doing any of it. At the very least, Black Red Gaming helped me navigate through a sea of career options towards a path I am content with. It has also given me a better understanding of both the games and communications industries, and I’m sure I can come up with a list of other things it has helped me out with. It’s crazy to think that after half a decade of writing, I’m finally starting to slow it down. Thanks to those who have supported me throughout the years, and I guess I’m sorry to those who I have disappointed with this announcement.

-Ben Guthrie

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About Black Red Gamingone of us since 9:35 PM on 01.08.2020

My name is Ben, and I started writing blogs back in 2016. A few years later, I changed my name to what it is now, and started my own website. Now, I mostly do game reviews, a little bit of news recap, and Twitch streaming. You can find this content and more at blackredgaming.com.