Tag Archives: IGN

We Can’t Start Again

“But you can’t start. Only a baby can start. You and me – why, we’re all that’s been. The anger of a moment, the thousand pictures, that’s us. This land, this red land, is us; and the flood years and the dust years and the drought years are us. We can’t start again.” – John Steinbeck

Hello again fans, friends, and fiends of the internet. I want to state right off the bat that this isn’t a review of a game or opinion on what’s going on with the video game industry. Ever since I got back from E3 my life has been in proverbial limbo. Many of you might not know this, but for the last two years I’ve worked in politics as a campaign organizer for various candidates from local to state representatives. The work I was doing was very critical, but it was thankfully flexible enough to allow me to attend events such as E3, PAX, and SDCC.  The job was very stressful at times, but in a good way because it pushed me to become a better communicator and articulate my thoughts in a constructive manner rather than spewing out whatever came to mind.

Leading up to my final campaign I polished my application to IGN, confident that things were finally in motion and that all the hard work I’d put in over the last four years would pay off.  I had a portfolio of articles I was proud of and was promoting myself on YouTube, Twitch and Twitter, along with a resume that was augmented with letters of recommendation from major government officials. For weeks after submitting my application I was constantly frustrated due to not knowing if I had made the cut for my dream job amid 1,500 other applicants. Ultimately we lost the campaign, but what scared me the most was the lack of response to my application.  After debating whether or not to call or visit the IGN office, I looked up Steve Butts (Editor-in-Chief of IGN) on Facebook and sent a half-hearted message, thinking I wouldn’t get a response; to my surprise, he responded within the hour with what was the hard truth.

It wasn’t harsh or vindictive in any way, but it was like a kid finding out that Santa Claus isn’t real. I won’t go into detail about what he said, but I’m thankful that he did. You see, for the last four years I’ve been going at this with no structure or guidance and for someone like him to point out those simple things destroyed my world. For days after I became an emotional wreck debating everything about myself, from my choice in friends, to my work, my joys and my life. It’s really scary at the age of twenty seven not knowing if you can accomplish anything in your life. In my mind it seemed that I’d run out of time and that everything was hopeless. If my life were a movie, this would be the part where someone or something would set me back on the right path and I would be hunky dory.  Life isn’t that cheesy, but something far better happened: I grew the fuck up which has never happened to me EVER!

So what does this all mean? Well, I have a better perspective on my goal and I no longer have any fantasies or delusions holding me back. I’m blessed to have the support of my friends and family to continue my journey.  This is why I’ve changed my Twitter handle from GameOverParra to ContinueParra (also I didn’t want to be confused with GameOverGreggy anymore). Not only that, but I’m determined to write at regular intervals and set deadlines for myself in order to get content out, as well as taking actual writing courses! You can still catch me Monday through Thursday on Twitch, streaming content and improving my on-screen personality. One major thing that I want to work on is posting vlogs on my neglected YouTube channel and collaborating again on funny skits. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to your comments.

[insert witty commet here] or down below which ever you prefer.

End of Year Recap Series!

So with X number of days left until the end of the world, I thought I’d share my experiences of this year. I’ll make this statement right off the bat: if the world did end on the 21st, I wouldn’t regret anything. I made a promise to myself standing outside the IGN offices on the first of this year that I would do anything to get closer to working in the game industry. In the weeks that followed I planned out an epic array of events, launch parties, meet-n-greets, etc.  The only problem was that I didn’t know how or who to contact in order to show up to these things.

The first real event was CES 2012, which wasn’t easy – not because of the invite, but because my work schedule was crazy busy. My boss and I went at the last minute on the last day (if you’re going to an event make sure that you go for all possible days.  One day convention trips are awful. It felt rushed. One of the attractions at which I unexpectedly had the most fun was in automotive development. Audi had this really awesome layout on the show floor and the exhibitors were well informed. I was working with Samsung at the time and their show floor was HUGE.  Some of the products we got to test out were outrageous, with 3D technology and organic LED (it was so thin and the colors were so deep!) Lastly, we went over to the Microsoft booth and got to play a lot of the new Kinect games plus the selections for the upcoming Summer of Games. I wasn’t blown away by CES, but it was a step in the right direction. I got into contact with people I that knew through YouTube and IGN to help me get into the new round of events.

I knew that working with Samsung was going to keep me from fulfilling my career goals, but I couldn’t just quit, ’cause rent needs to be paid. I tried applying to websites for intern or base level positions, but to no avail. I caught a break when I was invited to IGN’s First Friday where I got to meet up with a lot of my long time favorite editors. Stepping into that office, I felt a stir in my very core letting me know that I belonged there. I started working on my own blog and contributing to various sites, producing as much content  as possible in order to be recognized. After a few months I was on a roll, coming out with a new review or article each week. Nothing I wrote blew up or hit major headlines, but it kept the monotonous day-in day-out with Samsung at bay. What finally broke the camel’s back was when I had an opportunity to go to an Nvidia event on behalf of IGN and my day job got in the way. I quit and found a new job in politics and campaigning to pay the bills until I make it in the gaming world and haven’t looked back since.

That was just the beginning of my year. Spring and summer got a hell of lot more exciting so be sure to come back.

[Insert Witty Comment Here] … or down below, whatever you prefer @GameOverParra on Twitterverse