GMA Hall of Fame: Dave Cook

MCV talks to the previous winners of a Games Media Award. This week, NowGamer’s Dave Cook talks to MCV about life as a games journalist.

How did it feel to win a Games Media Award last year?

Unexpected as always. I thought my first win back in 2008 was a one-off, so it came completely out of the blue. I’m very, very appreciative for everyone who voted for me in the end.

What do the GMAs mean to the games press community?

It’s a recognition of excellence certainly, but I think it stands for something bigger as well. It’s a neat calendar event that lets the games press and PR side of the business come together in the name of our trade. That in itself is a very special thing.

Other than winning a GMA, what has been your biggest achievement to date?

Just breaking into the role of a paid games critic in the first place. It wasn’t easy certainly, but I’m thankful for having the chance to be in this line of work. It’s literally my dream job.

Which of your competitors do your admire and why? because they have risen to such prominence in a comparatively short stretch of time. They absolutely deserve all the praise they get, plus they are great folk to know as well.

Who’s your favourite non-games writer?

Armando Iannucci’s columns never fail to get me thinking about life in odd ways and making me laugh uncontrollably. He’s an utter genius.

What’s the best press trip youve been on ?

Definitely a toss up between a recent excursion to Canada and my first E3 this year. Both were enjoyable and resulted in a lot of great work that went on to do well for NowGamer. They did result in a lot of unwanted weight gain though.

What’s the best advice youve been given?

Stay active. The industry never sleeps, so staying on top of the news is key, especially when writing for an online outlet. Also from a productivity standpoint, keeping the work ticking over at a solid rate is important in both getting that first foot in the door – in that it is a major plus point on your CV – and it helps to stay busy to avoid being snowed under when a new game is announced or something massive breaks.

And what advice would you give to someone hoping to become a games

Same as the above. Staying active and showing to potential employers that you keeping busy is vital. The best advice in that respect is to start a blog to serve as your online portfolio of work, so you can showcase all of your talent in one place.

If you werent a games journalist, what would you be?

Either a PR person, which I did for two years self-employed before working at NowGamer, or in another form of writing. Possibly creating scripts.

Who would be your Games Media Legend?

Retro Gamer’s Darren Jones. His work on the mag is just incredible, plus seeing his face light up like a wee kid whenever he plays a new game is awesome. He’s never lost that passion for games that is so important to this job.


The Games Media Awards in association with Grainger Gamesevening 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, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Nintendo, Konami, NC Soft, Konami, Rising Star, Namco Bandai and Gamescom. A limited number of additional packages are available. 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 to find out more.

You can follow the GMA Twitter feed at @GamesMediaAward.

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