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Week Two as an Intern

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Hey GameSpot. First off, apologies for not posting sooner, been a bit hectic at the office. I should catch you up on what I have been doing before discussing how week 2 is going.

One thing you learn very quickly as an intern is that each company has its own unique style, and there can be an adjustment period before you learn it and incorporate it into your own writing, which is why having great editors is vital. The team at GameSpot are great at providing support and helping out when it comes to developing as a writer. I have received invaluable advice on how to improve my articles, and feel like I am improving every day. Particular thanks go to Jane Douglas for lending me a book which has proved extremely useful in learning how to cut down on the length of my articles, a problem I have always suffered with (as readers of my last blog entries will confirm). So the end of the first week was more of learning processes, getting accustomed to the GameSpot approach to writing, and of course, playing Dark Souls for the mini-guide. I also learned how to write in HTML (a basic skill which has sadly alluded me until now), I am still learning, but hopefully I will master the craft soon.

Then came week two, and I started to write more articles. Hopefully you have had a chance to read some of my work, and I hope you like it. These articles would not have been anywhere near as good as they appear on the site if it wasn't for the excellent editors at GameSpot, as I pointed out earlier. You may have also heard my voice on the last two podcasts. I was very nervous during my first appearance, and will apologise now for my poor pronunciation (I'm working on it, trust me!). I have really enjoyed being on the podcasts, they are such great fun and the questions people put forward are very good, encouraging some in-depth discussions.

This week I've been working on articles regarding community nights the UK team are hosting, promoting our Gears of War 3 Game Night and Battlefield 3 event. If you aren't aware of these, look up the articles. In short, next Monday, Jane, Guy, Mark and I will be playing Gears 3 with the community from 5-7pm (UK), so if you are interested, get involved.

As always, any questions or comments you have, post them in the comments below.

Brett :-)

Dark Souls, Podcasts, and FIFA Tips: Day Two at GameSpotUK

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Hey GameSpot! I'm back to tell you about what I have been up to on my second day as an intern. Firstly I should tell you what I did after my first day, as it was something I was first ecstatic about, followed quickly by frustration, anger, devastation, and back to elation again. I am, of course, talking about playing Dark Souls. Mark Walton was kind enough to lend me his copy of the game, as I spent a large part of the day talking about my love for the game, and how many hours I had put into its predecessor (I wasn't hinting or anything, I swear!). When I got home I couldn't wait to play it, immediately booting up the PS3 (before telling my family how my first day was, eating, or any of the regular things one does when getting home). After creating my character, my early experiences with the game were promising. I managed to navigate through the first 15 minutes of the game without dying, having played through this part previously at an expo. I managed to get to the first boss without dying (I know, right?) but it soon ended my run, with a swift blow to the head via it's massive club-hammer. After defeating this boss, I was taken to the next part of the game, this is where the trouble started... Over the next 30 minutes, I died 10 times...a death every three minutes GameSpot, shocking statistics, but stats don't lie. This is a game which encourages persistence, but also a game that is relentlessly devious. After the tenth death, I finally came to the conclusion that the enemies I was facing were too advanced for my character, so there must be another route. There was, and it was staring me in the (back of my) face the whole time. All I had to do to progress, was go backwards... when I started in this new world, it threw me into a position where it SEEMED I had to traverse forward, when in actual fact I had to go down a staircase BEHIND me!! This is why I both hate and love this game, as do millions of gamers. Now I have vented my little frustrations, onto my second day at GameSpot. I had the honour of observing and having a little cameo role on the GameSpot UK podcast. I have been listening to this podcast for years, and now to become part of its history is something I will treasure for a very long time. I hope you all enjoy it, and that my (minor) contributions are enjoyed by you lovely listeners. Make sure you leave some love in the comments section for me so I can come back and do it all again! In terms of writing, I'm currently working on a FIFA 12 Tips and Tricks article along with a few other writers. We are compiling loads of useful little tidbits that will hopefully help players learn some new tactics. We are all working really hard to turn you into Rooney's and Vidic's quicker than Arsenal's season can turn into a relegation dogfight. Anyways, that was my second day at GameSpot, again feel free to leave comments and questions, if you want anything covered in the FIFA 12 article then let me know in the comments section! Brett :-)

Diary of an Intern: Entry #0

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Hi GameSpot! My name is Brett, and I'm the new intern here at GameSpot UK. As this is my first post, I feel I should introduce myself and tell you lovely people a little bit about myself. I have been playing videogames for the past 18 years, my favourite games range from Mass Effect to Goof Troop (if you haven't heard of that game, I highly recommend you check it out). I studied English Language and Communication at King's College with a view of becoming a videogame journalist once I finished, but in my naivety, I didn't start writing until I graduated. I began throwing out applications to any company that would take them, and unsurprisingly, came to no avail. I started writing a few articles (unpublished), first a review of InFamous 2, then moving on to small news pieces, in order to have a portfolio to show potential employers. I was then given, what I consider to be, the best piece of advice I have ever had, which I will pass on to anyone reading this and looking to make it in the industry. When I was applying for these jobs, all I was stating in these cover letters was how much I loved videogames, how long I had been playing them, and rambling about my long history of hours in front of the TV with a controller in my hand (an experience which many people share). After finding myself consistently getting knocked back, I wrote into a podcast for advice, asking how to stand out from the crowd. They told me that ALL they hear is how people LOVE games, but what they WANT to hear is ideas, people pitching articles to them, showing a critical mind, a different approach to videogame journalism. THAT is how you portray yourself as the journalist you truly are. Once I was given this great advice, my whole approach changed. I began pitching an idea of an editorial piece I had for a while to different publishers, and GameSpot liked it enough to consider me for their internship programme. I was invited to interview for the position. I have to confess, this was only the second formal interview I have ever had, so I had no concept of interview etiquette or how to excel in this situation. I will also admit that I tend to talk a lot when I'm nervous, so when asked a simple yes/no question in the interview, I went on a 10 minute monologue, realising after 5 minutes that I was going on a bit, then taking another 5 minutes to shut myself up. I left the interview with no idea how I did, and after what seemed like an eternity (a few days) I got an email stating that I got the internship. I was the happiest I have ever been, I called everyone, from my family to my friends to random strangers just to tell more people. Now, here I am, on my first day, experiencing my dream job at the biggest company in the world. I hope my tale and advice will help some of you who are looking to follow a similar path. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave comments.