Contributing to bitscreed.com

Hello, this is Matt here. Do you want to get free games and lots of money for playing them? Do you want to attend lavish PR events where your every desire is catered to like a depraved Emperor at the height of Ancient Rome’s decadence? Do you consider copy-pasting a Press Release the pinnacle of “gamez jurnalizm”? Do you regard booth babes as objects to be photographed and fondled, like a life-size Master Chief statue, rather than actual human beings? Do you genuinely enjoy screaming racist, sexist or homophobic epithets into a headset on a regular basis? Are you [NAME DELETED FOR LEGAL REASONS]?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then bitscreed.com is probably not the place for you.

If you’re still interested in contributing to the site then please bear the following arbitrary list of criteria in mind. I will at some point get round to writing up something more formal but this will suffice for now.

1) Write passionately. If you don’t have a passion for this sort of thing then why the Hell do you want to do it? I started bitscreed.com as a labour of love. I love writing, videogames and writing about videogames, and if you can honestly say the same then you’re welcome to contribute. Earning a living from it would be nice but then so would owning a secret volcano fortress on a sunny island in the Pacific.

2) Write honestly. This means having an opinion of your own and believing in what you write. If you think Game X looks rough around the edges then say it looks rough around the edges. If you sincerely believe Game X is mankind’s greatest achievement since the Moon landings then say so, even if it means I might look at you a bit funny. If Company Y or Person Z is acting inappropriately or being a berk then call them out on it. That said if you write something in earnest only to be proven wrong then man/woman-up and admit to it, because mistakes can be forgiven, corrected or redacted if they were made honestly. Outright lies spread knowingly and wilfully are another matter entirely.

3) Write well. We’re not asking for Peabody or Pulitzer-level stuff here but you must know how to string together basic comprehensible sentences in English, be it American or Her Royal Majesty The Queen’s. I appreciate that not everyone speaks English as their first language however so you won’t be turned down for the odd typo, slightly incorrect word or other small mistakes (I’ve made my own fair share of slip-ups in my time). Being able to express yourself clearly is the Golden Rule here, so try and make sure your readers don’t require magic runes, the Rosetta Stone, a Minotaur’s entrails or a heroic dose of hallucinogenic substances to interpret your writing. There’s nothing wrong with making them look up a word in a dictionary though: that’s educational.

4) Respect your audience (without pandering to them). A writer is nothing without an audience, yet sometimes a writer is forced to challenge their audience’s preconceptions, deeply-held beliefs or opinions. Anyone with half a braincell will still grudgingly respect you for this even if they don’t like or agree with what you’re saying. If people want to hear their own opinions repeated back to them they’ll talk to a mirror. Don’t be afraid to write about something because someone on the internet might not like it. At least one person out there is guaranteed to hate whatever you write, say, do, play or think. If nobody wrote anything because someone else wouldn’t to like it we’d all still be living in caves. Don’t take that to mean you should write flame-bait for hits or attention either, as that’s fundamentally dishonest and not how we try to do things around here.

If you’ve managed to wade through all that self-important guff and still fancy contributing then feel free to drop me a message via the Contact page.