we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Najibu the video game journalist?

All my life, I've had little choice in determining my own future. Almost everything was set by my parents. I wanted to be an artist. But NO, said my parents, and here I am today a teacher. I don't begrudge them for that. I'm sure all they want is a better life for me, and as a matter of fact, I'm doing pretty well. But ultimately, this isn't what I REALLY wanted for myself.

Having almost completely giving up on arts, my only interest now is video games. Saying that I'm 'interested' in video games, however, is a gross understatement. It's passion. Naturally, I'd want a work that I can channel my passion into. So when I heard GameAxis, the only real video game magazine in the country was looking for a writer, I knew I had to give it a shot.

I haven't heard anything back since I sent my resume for about a month, so I figured I must have not made the cut. Yet on one inconspicuous Friday, after a less than thrilling day at school, an unknown number rang up my phone, told me he was the editor of GAX, and that had been shortlisted to be interviewed for the job. I had to restrain myself from jumping in joy lest I bring down the shaky wooden house I live in.

Flash forward a week later, on the morning before the interview, one Brian Ekberg, an editor from Gamespot whom I used to admire just notified on twitter that he had resigned for another job. This post he left on his blog, which seemed just perfect to amp up my motivation for the interview, seemed to me to either be a really good coincidence, or that God was telling me that I am on the right path.

Later that day, I was there at the WriteOn Media office where I was to be interviewed. My wife, all the way with me has been very supportive and patient enough to wait at the lounge for the duration of the 2.5 hour interview. I can't thank her enough for that. Inside the interview room, that much time passed without me even realising it. I was talking to Terence Stephen, the editor-in-chief of GAX, a man who, like myself is deeply passionate about the industry. He was quite surprised to find out I am a teacher, but then again, he had had interviewees who are even lawyers and architects. There I was, in an interview for a job, and the interviewer was asking me questions like, "what's your favourite game?" It was surreal.

As part of the interview, I was tasked to write an article about a game, any game, between 500 to 800 words in about an hour. As much as I like writing about games, juggling between work and play had not left me much time to be writing a lot of game related stuff lately, so pulling off a well written article in an allotted amount of time was actually harder that it sounds. After giving it some thought, I decided to write a review of Blur, a game which I had intended to write a review for but never had the time and commitment to actually sat down and write.

Now all that's left is for me to wait. As much as I want this job, I don't think I'll be devastated if I were to be rejected. I'm a greenhorn with zero experience in journalism after all. However, Mr. Terence was kind enough to inform me that they're still looking for freelancers aside from the one full-time writer they will choose from the interview and the fact that I got shortlisted from god knows how many applicants was already pleasing enough for me. Regardless of wether I get the job, the interview was an experience that I won't likely forget... but man, it sure would be nice if I do get the job =)
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