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Becoming A Game Informant- The Way There

Since starting my year at Ohio University, I’d kept a lookout for games journalism internships. I knew about Kotaku’s internship in 2017, and had even briefly talked with the intern online. Waypoint, GameSpot, Paste Magazine, and a few others had posted about internships in the past, but as the days drew ever closer to summer, I only saw two posts about internships from gaming sites: Polygon and Game Informer.

I knew how competitive these internships were, and didn’t for a second believe I would realistically get either one. But I figured it would be good practice for putting together a resume and writing a cover letter when the stakes were lower, so I went to our university paper’s Slack and asked for help. I was put in touch with the paper’s past editor in chief, and she pored through my cover letter and resume with a fine-toothed comb. In total, I spent hours upon hours determining how everything should be presented, what to cut, and how to phrase everything without being too wordy or sounding too full of myself.

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But of course, life went on while I was working on this, and before I knew it the deadline for both internship applications was the following day. My resume and cover letter were more or less finished, but I needed to put everything together and find the writing samples I wanted to include.

At 11 p.m., as I was still working away, our dorm’s fire alarm went off. I had to stand in the rain for 15 minutes – and I forgot my shoes. By the time I got back, I was grumpy, wet and tired. The last thing I wanted to do was work for another two hours on an application for an internship I was certain I wouldn’t get.

Needless to say, I’m glad I finished that application.

I was previewing our university’s production of Romeo and Juliet, and checked my email during intermission. Mere seconds before the theater faded to black for act two, I caught one message out from the corner of my eye: Ben Reeves, senior editor at Game Informer magazine, wanted to interview me about the internship.

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The acting for the play was impressive, but the hardest acting anyone was doing in that room was me trying to not lose my mind.

Just a couple days later, I sat down in a reserved study room in our hall with a black dress shirt and pants (because I was told some people are asked to stand up to prove they’re not being lazy; this did not happen), Skype loaded up and ready.

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And there they were: Ben Reeves and Jeff Cork, two editors at Game Informer whose faces, voices, and words I had seen, heard, and read, talking to me. Fortunately, they were both super easy to talk to, keeping things mostly light and humorous. I quickly opened up and did my best to talk to them casually, while still slipping in interview-y stuff like experience, qualifications, what I’d be good at, etc. at a fairly consistent pace. Before I knew it, we were signing off, and that was that. I still held no delusions about landing the internship, but was so pumped about getting to talk with two industry professionals for half an hour that I almost didn’t care. If that was the end of my story, it was still a pretty cool story.

A week later, I got a call from Ben Reeves. Not having his number, I figured it was a telemarketer and declined the call. Thank god he left a voicemail. I called back as soon as I was able.

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I got it.

I was happy, of course, but surprisingly not as ecstatic as I imagined I might be if this were to happen. A bit of me was numb, not fully comprehending what had just happened, what was going to happen. To be honest, I still feel a bit of that numbness when I enter their office each day. Perhaps it’s better that way.

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I had talked with my parents about what I’d do if, by some wild chance, I’d gotten one of the two internships, but it was so pie-in-the-sky that we didn’t really have a clear plan in place. There was a rush of securing a place to stay and the money to pay for it, while I was also doing work for my university paper and keeping up with classes. For about three weeks, I stayed up until around 1 a.m. most nights doing work, even on Friday and the weekend, just in order to keep on top of everything.

But somehow I made my way here to Minneapolis, biking to the office for my first day. I met Blake and Emma, the other two interns, and we nervously took our first steps inside.

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Starting off SixTAY Days strong with a late-night post! I hope to document my journey through Game Informer through these diary entries, which I hope you’ll find interesting. Don’t worry; not all of these will be as long or melodramatic as this first one!

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