MCV talks to the previous winners of a Games Media Award. This week, it's Alec Meer from Games Blog winner Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
How did it feel to win a Games Media Award last year?
Pretty good! It is the largest single lump of plastic I've ever had in my home.
What do the GMAs mean to the games press community?
This depends entirely on who you ask, and I suspect you’d get a very different answer from a site or publication that was part of a larger company, or indeed a games writer employed by a larger company. Bagging a GMA would quite rightly help them be noticed internally by managers who often otherwise ignore them.
It's obviously jolly pleasant to be noticed and appreciated by our peers and the UK industry, but it's not got quite the same sweetness as would an award from readers. Not to mention that the various lobbying, partnerships and rivalries within the games press mean you couldn’t always say with absolute certainty why you’re winning or losing.
Other than winning a GMA, what has been your biggest achievement to date?
Setting up Rock, Paper, Shotgun with Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol and John Walker, and somehow making it work. We proved that a successful games site doesn't have to be part of a big firm, doesn't have to slavishly follow marketing cycles and doesn’t have to censor itself. I mean, we're basically a fanzine, but run by 30-somethings with sensible-ish haircuts.
Which of your competitors do your admire and why?
Anyone who's done it themselves – so obviously Eurogamer stands out there. Quick disclosure – Eurogamer expertly sorts out our ads for us, but we're not partnered otherwise. IndieGames.com is a tirelessly impressive source of wonderful games, Gamasutra has excellent chats with developers and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of smart folk out there writing amazing blogs purely for the love of it.
Who’s your favourite non-games writer?
It's probably cheating to say Kurt Vonnegut, isn't it? Oh well. So it goes.
What’s the best press trip you’ve been on?
Far Cry, Ubisoft, circa 2002. A very, very odd one. It involved pole dancing, being shown penis piercings, daring the developers to put monkey knife-fights into the game. Not to mention that it was an all-too-rare instance of being shown what would turn out to be a brilliant game in great depth, with tons of developer access. Ah, those days.
And what advice would you give to someone hoping to become a games journalist?
Go your own way, be proud, don’t let yourself be locked down somewhere where you’re treated like disposable meat who can be replaced with someone younger, cheaper and keener if you don’t toe the line. If you’re good, you’ll be able to attract the attention of someone better. Don’t compromise. Find what works for you, not simply what you can work for.
If you weren’t a games journalist, what would you be?
I’d probably be fixing people’s PCs, and be sickeningly rich for it. Or a drunk. Yeah, probably a drunk.
Who would be your Games Media Legend?
The Games Media Awards, in association with Grainger Games, will be held on Wednesday October 26th at the super chic Vinopolis venue near Borough Market. Greg Davies, top stand-up and star of The Inbetweeners, will be the host for the evening.
Grainger Games has signed up as headline sponsor of the event, with other sponsors already signed up including Sony, EA, Codemasters, Green Man Gaming, The Games Tribe, Sega, OnLive, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Nintendo, Konami, NC Soft, Konami, Rising Star, Namco Bandai and Gamescom. A limited number of additional packages are available. Caroline@indigopearl.com can tell you more.
Up to 350 guests will attend this year's Games Media Awards, including nearly 200 media. A limited number of trade tickets will be available at £99 per person. Contact Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk to find out more.
You can follow the GMA Twitter feed at @GamesMediaAward.