It’s the end of the year, a week before Christmas and a time to reflect. This year games journalism has taken a huge leap in maturity. It’s come out of its unthinking, blundering and arrogant teenagehood. There are good and bad things about losing one’s arrogance. Questioning one’s own wisdom is a useful and important thing but the self doubt that comes with it can be crippling if we allow it to overwhelm us.
Let me give you a microcosmic example. The writing staff at Ready Up are a diverse lot. Each writer brings different skills and viewpoints to the website. All of our writers are in some way peerless. Their families have likely always thought of them as an “indigo child” – different, driven by a special purpose, somehow a little otherworldly. We try to cultivate and refine their gifts but it is difficult because so many of them struggle with their self-esteem. I constantly have to deal with the firmly held assumption of many of them that they aren’t on the team for the same reasons as the others, that they were just lucky or think they somehow cheated their way in, that we’ll realise eventually that they don’t have the same gifts as the rest. The fact is of course they weren’t recruited for the same reason as the others and don’t share their gifts. None of them do. That’s the point of Ready Up.
The whole games journalism community has been shaken by a fear that we are not the deeply ethical, searingly honest reporters we should be. A misapprehension has taken hold that this is somehow endemic in our industry, that it’s a collective problem. That though, is entirely contrary to the most fundamental tenet of journalism – personal conscience. Mirroring the current national press regulation debate, many of us seem desperate to be governed. You only need to follow the principles that burn within you so brightly that they drove you to dedicate your life to journalism. You are obligated only to the truth. You are loyal only to the reader. You may fear you can be swayed, you may doubt yourself but I do not. I hold you in the high esteem that for some reason you do not hold yourself.
So my Christmas message to you my colleague brethren, my lobby of friends is a hope that you can learn how to be you entire. Have a great Christmas.