A decade ago, I took advice from Greg Miller on Podcast Beyond. I wish I knew the episode in question, but the gist was this;
If you want to work at IGN/cover games, go out there and do the work. Start a blog, write, get in front of a camera. Do it.
When working the stock room at Kmart, I took this advice to heart. I started a blog called Go Left Gaming, based off a Miyamoto quote about rewarding the player that goes to the left and explores off the main path. I started my third YouTube channel (and it’s the one I have stuck with to this day). This advice directly inspired me to pursue a degree in journalism.
On May 18, 2013, I published my first written review for a game. I picked Guacamelee! and I opened with this cringe,
What happens when you mix avocados, onions, tomatoes, limes, garlic cloves, and peppers? You get a delicious bowl of guacamole. Now what would happen if you took memes, intense platforming, rich environments, deep combat, hilarious dialog, and gorgeous levels into one game? You would get Guacamelee.
Go Left Gaming is defunct now. I imported all of my posts here to Max Frequency and shut down the original .wordpress site. Maybe I should have kept it up, but I just wanted one place for my online work to live. Max Frequency is that place.
My work on Go Left Gaming would help me land gigs at some places. I would go on to write for PlayStation Insider, PlayStation Wire, and DualShockers.1 One time, I even interviewed at Twinfinite to write about MOBAs. Of course, the biggest gig was being a guide writer for IGN for five years. At the time, I thought the door was open. Greg’s advice worked and I was going to work full-time at IGN. Despite a handful of interviews, it never happened.
Looking back on the 10 years, Greg’s advice did work, just not the way 18-year-old Max expected. Now I have what I always strived for and I built it myself. I have two great podcasts that I pour myself into producing. I have a website that is all my own where I can write whatever I want, at my cadence, without being beholden to SEO trends. I am just as creatively free as I was in 2013. It just took a few years to figure out I always had the opportunity I wanted.
So if you’ve read or listened to any of my work in the past decade—from my in-depth histories on Breath of the Wild or Naughty Dog, to my reviews, to the hundreds of podcast episodes I have recorded—thank you. Here’s to the next 10 years! 🥂
1. I’m sensing a theme here.