This year’s Games Media Awards on October 15th will see the games media vote on the night for their ‘Journalists’ Journalist’, from a shortlist of six industry standouts.
Ahead of the big night, nominee Guy Cocker tells MCV about his work with the BBC, why rewarding the games media is important for rising stars and how games journalism is widening its appeal
For the unaware, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Guy Cocker, and I’m a games journalist specialising in mainstream and broadcast coverage.
I write for Wired, T3 and Stuff magazines, and talk about games on BBC 5 Live and Sky News.
I host events for BAFTA and chair the games panel on the upcoming London Screenwriters Festival.
I’m also a development consultant for a new BBC drama focusing on one of the world’s biggest video game developers, which will air as part of the BBC’s Coding Season at the end of next year.
What does it mean to be nominated for the Journalists’ Journalist prize at this year’s GMAs?
It means a lot, especially as the shortlist is compiled by my peers in the industry, and voted for by those same people on the night.
The judging criteria – quality, industry standing and integrity – are all things that I strive for.
What is the importance of recognising the achievements of the games media?
I think the GMAs do a really good job of rewarding the best writers and outlets in the industry.
One of the key developments in recent years is that it puts a spotlight on people who usually don’t get that many accolades.
It means that winners like Dan Douglas, who won last year’sGames Writer of the Year, and Francisco Dominguez, who entered the Games Media Academy, get to reach a wider audience.
"Games coverage in mainstream media and particularly TV is still limited or badly executed, but it’s getting better."
Which parts of the industry are you most interested in covering and why?
I like to cover both the business and artistic elements of making games.
I’ve been asked a lot this year about the economics of making games—why there are so many public betas, why so many people buy GTA V, why Minecraft is worth so much money to Microsoft.
I’m also really interested in new and emerging technology such as virtual reality.
My main passion, though, is covering video games culture and explaining it to a broad audience on TV.
What games are you looking forward to this Winter?
If next year still counts as Winter, then there are a few really amazing-looking games coming, such as Bloodborne and The Witcher 3.
I’d say Dying Light is looking really good from what I’ve seen.
Evolve is also deserving of all the awards—it’s great fun to play.
Ubisoft have a couple of really strong releases at the end of the year with Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4, and I really hope Sunset Overdrive turns out well.
I’ll definitely be playing through GTA V again when it hits PS4 in November.
I’m a PC gamer primarily, so with an eye on that, Silence: The Whispered World 2 looks stunning.
What are the biggest changes currently affecting the face of games media?
I think that YouTube has taken over the role of a lot of traditional games media, and that’s a major contributing factor as to why so many journalists now find themselves out of a job. Only a few people—Matt Lees springs to mind—have made the transition.
Games coverage in mainstream media and particularly TV is still limited or badly executed, but it’s getting better, with dedicated tech and gaming shows on the likes of Sky and BBC 5 Live.