Colin Campbell x

Here’s a List of My Recent Work

I update this page whenever I post something new, most usually to IGN (where I work) and almost always about videogames. I’m also on Twitter which is the best way to send messages and have a chat.

MAY 2012

Best Games Quotes of the Week - June 2

Including that whole thing with the nuns.

What Makes Diablo III So Darned Good?

Played the game and had some thoughts about it, so really felt obliged to write something.

How Steven Spielberg Inspired Today’s Top Shooters

Some good quotes fro a great little book made a nice story.

Are Porn and Games Basically the Same Thing?

This was fun to write. Smart people saying stupid things feeds my kids.

Best Games Quotes of the Week - May 26

Messin g around with the heads and pix with these features is great fun. To be honest, there’s probably a daily feature here with at least five entries. Wish I had the time.

Can Bungie Re-Invent Shooters, Again?

Despite thin details on the game itself, there’s a lot to be said about the challenges facing Bungie and the state of shooters today. Their hour-long documentary has about five minutes at the end which also added some insight.

Ten Appalling E3 Conference Gaffes

I have at through dozens of these events. I deserve this.

Best Games Quotes of the Week - May 19

More quotes.

Deep Silver Denies Dead Island 2 Plans

Spent almost an entire day chasing this story, which turned out to be almost nothing at all. That’s how it goes sometimes.

Gamers Reveal Next-Gen Console Desires

Massive feature looking at the results of a recent survey. Tons of work. I hate working with numbers, but tis was pretty interesting.

Road to E3: Darksiders II

These features can sometimes just be a load of rehashed info from previews, so I wanted  to try something different, while handing over as many facts as possible. i including some few tidbits I gleaned from THQ.

Most Gamers Cool with Same-Sex Themes

This was a large feature looking at various aspects of IGN readers’ relationship with social issues, but we pared it down to the one issue that is of the moment.

Best Games Quotes of the Week - May 12

Gaming bods making this wekend feature a stayer.

The Walking Dead: Why Lee Everett Really Matters

Loves this game and loved this character, It’s always nice to write about gaming experiences that feel important and personally rewarding.

Could Next-Gen Consoles Cost $99?

Called a few pals in Analyst-Ville to talk about the idea of consoles being subsidized by service subscriptions. I’m not saying its 100% going to happen, but it all makes sense.

Best Games Quotes of the Week - May 5


APRIL 2012

Best Games Quotes of the Week - April 28

Fourth week in, and some of the comments are suggesting that this column used to be better, back in the day! I spend all week collecting the quotes, which is a great way to stay on top of opinion and events.


Five Sure Signs of an Awesome Game Trailer

I’m always fascinated by how ads are made, and I like talking to the people who make them.

Nintendo’s Wii U Price Headache

Got talking to IGN’s Rich George, Audrey Drake and Peer Schneider, and banged this out on a Monday morning.


Will the Next-Gen Consoles Fail?

Interviews with some analysts on how those consoles are likely to sell. 

Best Games Quotes of the Week - April 21

Trying to find the right format for this. 15 quotes seems to be about right, assuming the material is available.

Apple is Set to Change Gaming

Opinion on that company’s likely plans in what we call the console market. It’s happening, but Apple is always likely to surprise us.

Murderous Psychopaths Play Games

Opinion-piece on Anders Breivik and his weird relationship with videogames. Touches on media reaction, but I find this less interesting than the man’s own habits.

Why the Two-Hour Game is the Future

Interviews with some interesting game developers on why short games are going to be huge. Great talking to the makers of hits like Journey, Dear Esther and Limbo.

Best Games Quotes of the Week - April 14

Still a lot of good quotes coming through from recent live events.

How to Get Insanely Rich Making a Massive Hit Game

Based on a DICE chat with Phil Larsen, one of the guys behind Fruit Ninja and an excellent interviewee.

Is Your Local Donut Shop the New Place to Trade Games?

Spoke to these games-trading start-up guys while they were at PAX East. Ended up being a bigger piece than first planned. I really wanted to use the pic of donuts, and it felt like a good angle.

Best Games Quotes of the Week

New weekly column. I spend a lot of time reading and I like to collect this sort of stuff. Seemed to make sense.

Hot Coffee: Gaming’s Greatest Story

Proud of this book review about Rockstar and GTA. I find those guys fascinating.

Opinion: Your Local Game Store is Going Bust

I’m always happy to talk about retail. The Internet has given us a major behavioral change in how we buy things, and I think it’s mostly good.

Larry Comeback “Won’t be Porn” Says Publisher

Quick chat with the guys behind the original - and the new - Leisure Suit Larry.

Game Developers’ Next-Gen Wish List

Cribbed quotes from a good piece in Gamasutra. Not ashamed to give our readers good stuff like this, especially if it means linking to my pals at Gama or other great trade sites.

Is Sega Really in Trouble?

Analysis of Sega after its recent lay-offs. Shame they didn’t want to participate. Great opportunity to explain things away from the usual canned statements. All these companies are pretty much the same in this regard.

Are Consoles Dead?

I was only going to go back to April 1 for this list, but this was a biggie that dropped mid-March. It was our fifth biggest story of the month and the second biggest non-review (behind the Mass Effect ending controversy).

The Price of Whitney Houston

I read a tweet this morning that has bothered me all day. On iTunes (UK) the price of Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits has been increased from 5 pounds to 8 pounds. The person who tweeted this used one sarcastic word to sum up his feelings - “classy”.

Thinking on whoever decided to hike the price of this dead woman’s work I settle upon a man in his late 20s; ambitious, not without ability but utterly lacking in the splendid stuff Houston sold the world. This music industry exec has targets to hit and bosses to impress. There is little danger that this decision will displease them. Only a media conflagration can sweep trouble into his life and, well, we’re all just too tired to make a fuss about another tiny act of inhumanity.

Did he feel any sense of self-loathing when he went to his computer and entered into whatever CMS is used to flick a few keys and change the price of music? Perhaps he had received a late night call from a boss, breathless with the power of petty action pressed against great events far away? Maybe he felt some sense of the hatefulness of this ugly facet of his own existence, the doing of shitty things because, y’know, bills have to be paid. 

This commercial decision, the recognition that Houston’s work is worth more on the market today than it was yesterday, is not an act of violence towards the artist, nor even her memory. She sold records. She lived and possibly even died according to the fluctuations of popularity, of demand. Our chinless young man entered the new data into the machine merely as an inevitable reaction to a change in the market. It means no more than the sudden popularity of a very-much-alive new band. It means no more than a severe frost in the orange groves of Florida or an insurgency in the diamond mines of Burundi. Music is a commodity.

I think of the young man switching off his laptop and returning to the grayness of his London-apartment bed. On Monday he’ll take the tube into work. At the morning meeting he’ll maybe get a nod for quick thinking; or there’ll be some dark, semi-approving jokes about his callous ambition.  

Then I wonder if this is all just me trying to process a nasty irrefutable monetary value, connected to a woman - in life, beautiful, giving, tragic - lying dead on a slab in Beverley Hills.

Perhaps there is no young man. Perhaps there’s a much more terrifying reality, that the online music vendors have some Google API or whatever-the-fuck they are called, that connects news coverage of an artist to price of the artist’s work. That when Twitter and Google News exploded, cold machines began calculating and Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits just clicked up 80% in price, just slid silently through the invisible data-levels from F to A, from legacy to front-page, and an alert went out to the art department and something appropriately sombre was created. Maybe there’s a machine that takes a ‘Best Of’ album cover and adds a tasteful purple overlay and the hideous acronym ‘RIP’. Rise in Price. 

Comments? Use Twitter

(I made slight corrections to clarify that music prices are not just set by Apple.) 

25 Tips for the Young Games Journalist

Last year I became the proud recipient of a Games Media Legend Award. It was also my 25th year since I began working in games journalism. So I felt the weird urge to write 25 tips for the young games journalist, based almost entirely on the mistakes I’ve made over the last two and and a half decades, and which I continue to make. I hope these are useful. You can send me feedback via Twitter.

1. You’re a Journalist - Deal With It

Games journalism is journalism. We write about something that really matters to lots and lots of people. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that “journalism” has to be about exposing dodgy deals in D.C. It’s also about making the effort to get the facts right about a new Pokemon game. Journalism is there to root out pomposity, corruption, stupidity, and there’s plenty of that stuff in the games business. Get your hands dirty. Even so, lots of what we make has a shelf-life that would embarrass a nectarine. Don’t expect to be taken too seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously. 

2. There is No “In”

You landed a job? Congrats. Now the hard work begins. No, I don’t mean the hard work of writing about games. I mean the hard work of keeping your job. Because sooner or later, it’ll be gone. Some fatheaded fool will be given the keys to the spreadsheet, and will slice a pen though your name in order to snaffle his crummy bonus. Some sales whizz will become your boss and, having never been paid to write a single article, will insist on telling you how it ought to be done. No-one survives forever. Always know where the emergency exits are.

 3. It’s Tough, But Be Cool

Your career depends on understanding that you have lots to learn. Process criticism without whining. Don’t ever lose your temper.

4. Power Has Influence

Your job is to inform and entertain readers. Your job is not to please corporate interests like console manufacturers, retailers or games publishers. Don’t ever allow yourself to become confused about this. Because, by means subtle or crude, they really will try to turn you to their agenda.

5. Books are Friends

Read lots. Writers who don’t read are like athletes who don’t exercise. I once knew an editor who said there was “no point” in reading newspapers. I couldn’t fire that dull dog fast enough. 

 6. PR People

PR people have a tough job to do. Return their calls and be polite. Take them to lunch for a change. Don’t be an asshole.

7. Freelance ‘Opportunity’

Beware the lure of your house-coat. The freelance life is boring and precarious. Only hustlers and weirdos survive for any period of time. The relationships with editors you believe will keep you working forever will be gone within three years. So might you.

8. Arf

Write something funny. It is almost impossible to resist hiring a writer who makes people laugh.

9. Don’t Work for Those Guys

When an employer tells you her company is “like one big family”, run like hell. This family means to kidnap and brainwash you. Then they’ll turn you out onto the street because of “a temporary softness in the advertising business”.

 10. Get an Alarm Clock

Don’t be late. When it comes time to lay talent off, the lazy bastards who regularly saunter in after 10am are the first to go. Last in, first out. Bye-bye sleepy-head.

 11. Booze

Industry parties are not ‘parties’. They are opportunities to make lifelong contacts and connections. Have fun. Get mildly drunk. But don’t get wasted. Don’t be the slob who pukes on Will Wright’s loafers. He doesn’t like it.

12. The Advertising Team

Hang out with the ad sales people. They will teach you how to deal with difficult people (aka ‘clients’), they will improve your tolerance for alcohol, they’ll make you laugh. Despite appearances to the contrary, they are not aliens.

13. ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

Avoid public debates on ‘The Dismal State of Games Journalism’. You think you’re smarter than everyone else? How fascinating. State your case through your work, not through tiresome, self-aggrandizing editorials. 

 14. ‘Fans’

The readers who send you letters do not represent your audience. Be nice to them but always keep in mind that people who write to journalists or send reporters goofy gifts are unusual. Most of your readers couldn’t care less about you. That’s the natural order of things.

15. Freebies

Sometimes companies will give you a free goodie. If this ‘generosity’ makes you feel weird, send it back, or take it to the charity shop. But don’t act like a dick about every free drink and tchotchke. It’s just business. 

16. Cock-Ups

When you fuck up, own it. Don’t make excuses. Just admit that you fucked up and move on. 

17. Make Friends, Not Enemies

If you are still working in this business in 20 years time, your ability to feed your children will depend on the relationships you make right now. Everyone I have worked for in the last five years, I knew in either the mid-1990s, the 1980s and in one case (true story), the 1970s.

18. Negative Norma

You are employed to produce content. You are not employed to find reasons NOT to produce content. Every news room has a pudding who’ll tell you why each and every story isn’t worth covering. Don’t be that bore.

19. Computers are Useful

When I began back in the 1980s, it was all typewriters and galleys. Now those things appear in antique shops and historical novels. Learn to use new tools. If an old goblin like me can write HTML, use Photoshop, edit audio files and shoot video, so can you. Get involved in anything video-related. The writers who really get this stuff are the future.

20. Learn to Negotiate

Journalists are chronically underpaid. If you are really sure you are under-valued, ask for a pay-raise. Most journalists I have worked with are extremely poor negotiators, so learn the basics of dealing with tight-fisted bosses.

21. Know Your Business

Guess what - money talks way, way louder than you do. So take the time to understand how the news business works. When the time comes to decide whether to fight your corner, cave or compromise, you’d better know where you stand and what’s at stake.

22. Words and Punctuation

Admit to yourself that you don’t fully understand how verbs work or where colons live. Buy a book and try to figure it out. This stuff matters. (I still don’t get it, and I’ve been learning for decades.)

23. It Won’t Bite

Use the telephone. Seriously. Pick that fucking thing up and call someone. The telephone is a magical box that’s full of stories.

24. Play Games - Lots

You are paid to write about games. Play them. Think about them. Talk about them. It’s really too easy to get bogged down by process, planning and writing. 

25. Don’t Forget - You are Incredibly Lucky

Tell yourself this, every day. ‘I get paid to sit in a comfortable room, with smart, agreeable people, talking and writing about video games. There are millions of people who would love my job.’ Celebrate your good fortune. Be great at what you do. Have fun.

I work at IGN with an awesome group of people. I’m very happy. Also, I’m on Twitter @colincampbellx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game Theory Podcast is BACK!Back in the day, there was this podcast called Game Theory, co-hosted by Gary Whitta and me. Once a week we talked about the games industry; the business, the people and the companies, and all the wonderful and awful things that they do.It did well. I guess we had around 10,000 listeners a week and along with our producers Jeremy Williams and Kris Graft, we tackled some big-name guests from the biz.The show ran for a few years and then we stopped. Gary was busy with his screen-writing career (if you haven’t seen The Book of Eli, then you should) and I was busy drinking and raising hell (by which of course I mean ‘working and raising kids’).So anyway, long story short, we’re back. The show is returning next week, thanks to my employer IGN. We’ll be recording in IGN’s podcasting studio on Wednesday and IGN will host the new show later in the week.It will be slightly different. We want the show to be a punchy, inside-the-biz conversation, no longer than 30 mins, in which we cover as many hot topics as possible. It may have a different name; we haven’t decided on that yet. Ideally, we’d like the show to appeal to gamers who also like to listen to the sort of radio we like, such as NPR, BBC Radio 4 or ESPN’s best podcasts.Personally, I’m really looking forward to getting together with Gary and chewing on gaming and the games biz. He is never short on opinions. One big difference is the show will be created in a studio, instead of recorded via Skype.We’ll pilot the show and if the audience is big and noisy enough, we’ll carry on at a monthly frequency, just to begin with. So we’re really relying on you to listen to the show and to give us some feedback. Follow me on Twitter @colincampbellx or follow Gary @garywhitta for more news on this. Feel free to let us know what you’d like.

Game Theory Podcast is BACK!

Back in the day, there was this podcast called Game Theory, co-hosted by Gary Whitta and me. Once a week we talked about the games industry; the business, the people and the companies, and all the wonderful and awful things that they do.

It did well. I guess we had around 10,000 listeners a week and along with our producers Jeremy Williams and Kris Graft, we tackled some big-name guests from the biz.

The show ran for a few years and then we stopped. Gary was busy with his screen-writing career (if you haven’t seen The Book of Eli, then you should) and I was busy drinking and raising hell (by which of course I mean ‘working and raising kids’).

So anyway, long story short, we’re back. The show is returning next week, thanks to my employer IGN. We’ll be recording in IGN’s podcasting studio on Wednesday and IGN will host the new show later in the week.

It will be slightly different. We want the show to be a punchy, inside-the-biz conversation, no longer than 30 mins, in which we cover as many hot topics as possible. It may have a different name; we haven’t decided on that yet. Ideally, we’d like the show to appeal to gamers who also like to listen to the sort of radio we like, such as NPR, BBC Radio 4 or ESPN’s best podcasts.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to getting together with Gary and chewing on gaming and the games biz. He is never short on opinions. One big difference is the show will be created in a studio, instead of recorded via Skype.

We’ll pilot the show and if the audience is big and noisy enough, we’ll carry on at a monthly frequency, just to begin with. So we’re really relying on you to listen to the show and to give us some feedback. Follow me on Twitter @colincampbellx or follow Gary @garywhitta for more news on this. Feel free to let us know what you’d like.

What is ‘News-worthy’?

You rarely hear the word ‘worthy’ any more? It’s stuffy. It smacks of snobbery. Today, it’s mostly used sarcastically, to describe someone who aspires to elitism. ‘Worthies’ are self-important people. Whatever good they do, they do mostly for their own good. 

But in the news business, you hear it every day.  

“Is this news-worthy?” It’s a question raised for two reasons.  

Firstly it asks if the story ticks journalism’s usual boxes. Is it new, true, relevant and interesting? In this respect, it’s a synonym for “Is this news?” This part of the question is binary and sacrosanct. No story should ever break these rules.  

Secondly, it asks if the story matches the publication’s criteria for what is appropriate. Is it scurrilous, vulgar, sensational or odorous? It becomes a synonym for “Is this worthy?” It asks if we, the publication’s gate-keepers, are not above this sort of thing. It’s a matter of opinion.

The definition of news is, of course, elusive. It depends on the audience. If you read People Magazine, Kate Middleton’s wardrobe is news. If you read The Wall Street Journal, the price of mangoes may be a matter of import.

All publications operate within fairly well-understood areas. National Geographic will not run many stories about souping up in-car stereos. ESPN tends to stay away from the mating habits of Ibises.

But it’s at the margins where disagreement occurs, where the limits of the publication’s domain is disputed, often passionately, by editors and readers. 

Usually, these margins are defined by the issue of popularity. Are we sacrificing the brand’s seriousness in order to scrape up some extra readers? At the other extreme, are we spending too much time gazing up our own behinds, forgetting that the business of journalism is not words, but readers.

For me, news is whatever people are talking about, whatever they are sharing with one another. I’m always agitated when journalists look down on a story, even though it’s evidently a matter of fascination for lots of readers. If something is vulgar, or if the provenance of the story is disputed, these are merely part of the story, not reasons to ignore it.

I work for a videogame website, and there is a whole world of stories that are 100 percent going to get told. New trailers. Developers going bust. Console price-cuts. Squabbles between publishers. But there’s also a great world of stories that //might// be told. Rumors. Fan-art. Marginal games releases. Opinions.

Internally, these are debated every day. How some get through, while others are rejected, is where we stand apart from all the other publications, because they are also making the same decisions. This is where we war.

There are some outlets that specialize in fan-art, cosplay (people dressing up as games characters), rumors and outlandish opinions. Although these sites are often entertaining, despite their crassness., we as editors, must ensure that the IGN brand does not become dirtied by the hosepipe of shit they direct at the world.

Other outlets like to think of themselves as worldly and sophisticated and erudite. They make it their business to look down on the popular, the better to enhance their own hipster image. Sometimes they are interesting and the world would be a poorer place without them, but their appeal is limited.

IGN is, undoubtedly, a popular site. No other games site attracts anything like the same audience numbers. So we don’t want to miss out on the things are readers are sharing and reading - funny memes, fascinating rumors, strong opinions - even if they are faintly vulgar or scurrilous.

My instinct is to tell as many stories as possible, the more colorful, the better. I’m attracted to the outlandish, the thing that makes us say ‘gee, whiz’ (assuming they are true). If a story makes me feel something, I’m compelled to pass it on (as long as that emotion I’m feeling isn’t contempt.)

This is why I mistrust too much ‘worthiness’ in the news-gathering business, because it leads to turgid, leaden publications that lack soul or life. Those outlets commit the most grievous crime in journalism, they go unread.

I like fan-art and cosplay, within reason. I like them when they are so awesome you just want to share them. I like them when readers react positively, when they light up social media or the comments pages, or they compel readers to create something wonderful themselves

I also love rumors, as all journalists should. This is where great stories begin. Where has this come from? Why is it coming out now? Who has most to gain from this rumor? How can we get more information on this? How can we cover this, how can we offer this to the reader in a way that’s entertaining, timely and responsible? 

Give me that sort of bone to chew on, over a press release, any day. 

Obviously, there are limits. All treats should be consumed in moderation. We do not want IGN to become over-run with images of videogame-themed cakes, or splattered with every wild opinion that tickles the fancy of a fat-headed freelancer.  But nor do we want it to regress into writerly self-indulgence and navel-gazing, an over-abundance of seriousness.

Journalism is about picking up awesome and creating awesome and passing it onto the reader. Our job is to spend time finding and telling the best stories and that often means bringing an open mind to what constitutes a great story. 

Good journalists don’t waste time focusing on what is worthy but on what is fascinating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I’m Going Back to the News-Room 
 I’m wetting my pants with excitement about a new job, ‘head of news and features’ at IGN. These people are going to pay me money to write about video games, to hang out with a bunch of smart, funny journalists, designers, film-makers. 
For the past couple of years I’ve been working in marketing, creating blogs and news platforms for brands. It’s been fun and it’s been a creative challenge, but even when marketing is trying to tell true stories, to posit itself as journalism, it’s still marketing. It’s an entirely different profession.
Ultimately, I love news-rooms. There’s no better place to work. They are edgy, competitive places but also collaborative, friendly and noisy. Famously, news-rooms are places where deadlines rule, where the pressure is always on, where moods swing according to an endless influx of outside events, outrages, fuck-ups. News-rooms do not tolerate the kind of office-speak, jargon BS that disfigure other businesses. They are places where plain speaking is just as important as tight copy, where individualism, skepticism and good humor are always in demand.
Even though I’ve been working in marketing, I’ve also been freelancing for Gamasutra alongside a terrific team of journalists led by my great friend Kris Graft. It’s been a reminder to me that we should all try to do the things we really love. 
While writing for Gamasutra, I went to visit IGN boss Roy Bahat and we enjoyed a spirited conversation about the future of the media and of games journalism. I popped my head into the news-room and felt a dizzy certainty that this was the kind of place where I’d happily spend 40-odd hours a week. I felt a strong desire to belong to something exciting.
More recently, I’ve spent time with IGN’s team-members; funny, serious, ambitious, talented men and women who want to entertain and inform their audience.
There’s no doubt in my mind that whatever the future of games journalism and of the media, IGN will be at the forefront. There is so much work to be done, so many opportunities to tell fantastic stories using a wide array of forms.
IGN operates in the games business, which is never, ever dull. IGN is blessed with tough, competent, creative challengers, like Gamespot. In the ferociously competitive games media market, it faces hundreds of ambitious, excellent competitors like Giant Bomb, Ars Technica, GameLife and VG247; like my pals in the B2B space including MCV, Develop, Gamasutra; like its own sister sites 1-Up, UGO and Gamespy. 
IGN creates stories, videos, podcasts, infographics and more, and pours them into a seething media milieu around the clock, around the globe.
So yeah, I’m pretty buzzed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why I’m Going Back to the News-Room 

 I’m wetting my pants with excitement about a new job, ‘head of news and features’ at IGN. These people are going to pay me money to write about video games, to hang out with a bunch of smart, funny journalists, designers, film-makers. 

For the past couple of years I’ve been working in marketing, creating blogs and news platforms for brands. It’s been fun and it’s been a creative challenge, but even when marketing is trying to tell true stories, to posit itself as journalism, it’s still marketing. It’s an entirely different profession.

Ultimately, I love news-rooms. There’s no better place to work. They are edgy, competitive places but also collaborative, friendly and noisy. Famously, news-rooms are places where deadlines rule, where the pressure is always on, where moods swing according to an endless influx of outside events, outrages, fuck-ups. News-rooms do not tolerate the kind of office-speak, jargon BS that disfigure other businesses. They are places where plain speaking is just as important as tight copy, where individualism, skepticism and good humor are always in demand.

Even though I’ve been working in marketing, I’ve also been freelancing for Gamasutra alongside a terrific team of journalists led by my great friend Kris Graft. It’s been a reminder to me that we should all try to do the things we really love. 

While writing for Gamasutra, I went to visit IGN boss Roy Bahat and we enjoyed a spirited conversation about the future of the media and of games journalism. I popped my head into the news-room and felt a dizzy certainty that this was the kind of place where I’d happily spend 40-odd hours a week. I felt a strong desire to belong to something exciting.

More recently, I’ve spent time with IGN’s team-members; funny, serious, ambitious, talented men and women who want to entertain and inform their audience.

There’s no doubt in my mind that whatever the future of games journalism and of the media, IGN will be at the forefront. There is so much work to be done, so many opportunities to tell fantastic stories using a wide array of forms.

IGN operates in the games business, which is never, ever dull. IGN is blessed with tough, competent, creative challengers, like Gamespot. In the ferociously competitive games media market, it faces hundreds of ambitious, excellent competitors like Giant Bomb, Ars Technica, GameLife and VG247; like my pals in the B2B space including MCV, Develop, Gamasutra; like its own sister sites 1-Up, UGO and Gamespy. 

IGN creates stories, videos, podcasts, infographics and more, and pours them into a seething media milieu around the clock, around the globe.

So yeah, I’m pretty buzzed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things I’ll Miss About Living in the Forest
After a year living in a remote, wooden house in the hills above Scott’s Valley, we’re moving back to a relatively normal house in Santa Cruz. because even though we love small town life and the redwoods, we love the ocean more. Even so, these are just some of the things I’ll miss…
1) Seeing weird animals in your garden, like a boar or an immense deer or hearing strange creatures at night that I can’t identify.
2) During a storm, lying in the bathtub looking up at the sky-light windows, watching the giant redwoods swaying above and huge drops of water falling at you like bullets.
3) There’s a steam railroad nearby. The train’s whistle gives off a 19th Century bellow that bounces off all the trees and makes your spine tingle and you feel, just for a second, like you’re part of America.
4) Walking in the forest at dawn, wet mist and loud birds.
5) Lounging out in the dappled afternoon sunlight, drinking a beer and listening to the leaves and the woodpeckers and the kids screaming and running wild.

Five Things I’ll Miss About Living in the Forest

After a year living in a remote, wooden house in the hills above Scott’s Valley, we’re moving back to a relatively normal house in Santa Cruz. because even though we love small town life and the redwoods, we love the ocean more. Even so, these are just some of the things I’ll miss…

1) Seeing weird animals in your garden, like a boar or an immense deer or hearing strange creatures at night that I can’t identify.

2) During a storm, lying in the bathtub looking up at the sky-light windows, watching the giant redwoods swaying above and huge drops of water falling at you like bullets.

3) There’s a steam railroad nearby. The train’s whistle gives off a 19th Century bellow that bounces off all the trees and makes your spine tingle and you feel, just for a second, like you’re part of America.

4) Walking in the forest at dawn, wet mist and loud birds.

5) Lounging out in the dappled afternoon sunlight, drinking a beer and listening to the leaves and the woodpeckers and the kids screaming and running wild.

Inspirational Corporate Bio
I’ve read a few corporate bios, usually of companies that are at least a hundred years old, like Ford or Coca Cola. ESPN is only 30 years old, but this bio - told almost entirely by the people who shaped the company, -  is packed with intrigue, adventure and egomaniacs. I love the way the authors switch from one protagonist to another, so you can enjoy different perspectives on the same events. Especially enjoyable when the individuals despise each other. ESPN is a specialist media company that is now more valuable than many of the franchises it covers. It’s ridden the cable TV, Internet and mobile waves and taken on huge and dangerous competitors. The lessons from ESPN’s earliest days, right up to the challenges it faces today, are all immensely valuable. 
 
 

Inspirational Corporate Bio

I’ve read a few corporate bios, usually of companies that are at least a hundred years old, like Ford or Coca Cola. ESPN is only 30 years old, but this bio - told almost entirely by the people who shaped the company, -  is packed with intrigue, adventure and egomaniacs. I love the way the authors switch from one protagonist to another, so you can enjoy different perspectives on the same events. Especially enjoyable when the individuals despise each other. ESPN is a specialist media company that is now more valuable than many of the franchises it covers. It’s ridden the cable TV, Internet and mobile waves and taken on huge and dangerous competitors. The lessons from ESPN’s earliest days, right up to the challenges it faces today, are all immensely valuable. 

 

 

How to be Awesome
This is a sign that hangs outside the office of Rick Sutherland, CEO of my favorite client ClickAway. They’re a chain of computer repair stores around San Jose, and you better believe that everyone who works there really lives and breathes this stuff. These guys are seriously into customer service. Rick’s been running shops since the 1980s, first tires and now computers as well as cell phone stores. He says that fixing a compter or selling someone a smart-phone or changing a tire is simple enough, and so the only way to be successful, to be better than the other guys, is to make sure you at least try to make sure that every customer goes home feeling happy. He’s bult his entire professional life around this simple creed, and he’s created phenomenal companies. 

How to be Awesome

This is a sign that hangs outside the office of Rick Sutherland, CEO of my favorite client ClickAway. They’re a chain of computer repair stores around San Jose, and you better believe that everyone who works there really lives and breathes this stuff. These guys are seriously into customer service. Rick’s been running shops since the 1980s, first tires and now computers as well as cell phone stores. He says that fixing a compter or selling someone a smart-phone or changing a tire is simple enough, and so the only way to be successful, to be better than the other guys, is to make sure you at least try to make sure that every customer goes home feeling happy. He’s bult his entire professional life around this simple creed, and he’s created phenomenal companies.