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Critical Path: How to Review Videogames for a Living Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
Dan lives in the California Bay Area with his lovely wife Katrin, three cats, a couple of arcade machines, and more guitars than anyone should own.
Top Customer Reviews
I note that because as I read this book, the things in here are, no lie, exactly the advice he gave me, and every word of it is gold. Reading this book won't guarantee you a job in the business, but it will give you the knowledge and advice you need to take your own talent and drive and put it to work reviewing videogames (all-one-word!).
Dan is a charismatic and highly intelligent man, and it shows through in the text. Whether he's laying out the processes and attitudes you need to be a great freelancer, or explaining to you why you should remain sober at press junkets, it's all good, and it's all gold. He tells you how to interact with PR professionals, how to dress for big conventions (look nice, but wear comfortable shoes!), and even nuggets like how NOT to overschedule yourself such that you die of exhaustion at E3.
My disclaimer above is there for full disclosure, but it shouldn't be discounted: The information in this book is dead-on, accurate, and essential to success as a game reviewer. If you get into the business, you will learn these things eventually, the hard way, so why not learn it before you start?
Nothing short of talent, hard work, love for games, and a little bit of luck will get your foot in the industry's door. But this book will help you find the right door in the first place, and give you a wedge to shove in there to keep that door open.
Brevity and droll humour drive the pace, making for bite-sized chunks of real world advice covering the entire gamet of a gaming career. Leading the reader through myths about the industry into early entry points and up to an escape plan, personal anecdotes are peppered with interviews with industry veterans, lending real weight and guidance.
Entertaining AND informative, Critical Path is a relevatory work about a much-sought but little understood industry. Must reading for those who would or do review games professionally.
If there's one aspect of the book I felt could have been developed further, it's the first chapter of the "Learning It" section. The "Test your Might" chapter provides a sample of a poorly written review. Dan Amrich analyses the flaws, and demonstrates how the review can be fixed, such as pointing out structural issues and implementing an active voice. It's a helpful exercise, but I was disappointed that no example of a good review was provided. It's true that the audience of Critical Path may have some exposure to professional reviews, but a few pages analyzing the positive components of a good review would have been enlightening to new writers.Read more ›
One thing about this book is that it not one of those 'you can do it' book that encourages you every step of the way saying the world's your oyster, all you have to do is try. This is honest. It says that there's no easy way to do it. It will be hard. You will be disappointed. And your dreams of fame and fortune will be dashed against the rocks of reality. The degree of honesty is refreshing. There is no magic formula of If A Then B.
What Dan offers is the benefit of his years of experience in the profession, as well as the inner machinations of the gaming and publishing world. He describes some of the common misconceptions people have, as well as tips on how to give yourself the best chance, without glossing over it. Besides broad tips on how to write effectively and consistently, I gained a lot of benefit reading about the structure of media organisations - something that is relevant in all forms of writing, not just gaming reviews. Knowing who to contact and the best methods to do so is just as important as the content you write.
If you want to give this profession - at whatever level - a good honest go, then this is the book for you. If you want a more Tony Robbins, positive reinforcement, approach, then maybe give this a miss - although it will give you a good reality check and may make you a better person.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I too must disclose that it was Dan who gave me my first writing gig, and that began my career as a game journo. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gabe Graziani
Amrich's in-depth book transcends its topic, providing sound advice for writers looking to improve reviews about any medium. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Richard M. Duffy
Dan's book, though specifically geared for videogame reviewers, does an excellent job of being great advice for those in freelance writing in general. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Carol Finkenstadt
So you wanna review videogames huh? Well first you must have some questions that need answers, or maybe you haven't a clue where to start? Well look no further than this book. Read morePublished 10 months ago by DF
Some sections were a bit too basic (e.g.: how to commute to and dress for an office job) for me, but the book has some great tips for aspiring games reporters/critics. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Nick Santangelo
I recommend it to anyone with and without experience on writing. I love the book because it showed me how it really is out there and has given me the motivation to seek out a... Read morePublished 14 months ago by victor
A great read and gives solid advice to get into the field.Published 16 months ago by Kofi Jamal Simmons
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