World Wide Wildcats
Everybody publishes content online. But there is more out in the World Wide Web than spam, viruses and get-rich-quick schemes. Legitimate jobs exist, and some of our own Wildcats have jumped on board. One Linfield student and an alumna have each taken their talents to a more professional level. Check out the
following Q&As to see what they’re up to.
Class of ’08
What exactly do you do?
I am working for WoW Insider and Joystiq.com as a feature columnist and journalist. I’m also executive editor for two new, separate sites launching later this year. One is a competitive gaming tournament website working with game companies and publishers to host and advertise tournaments for them (e.g. StarCraft 2, Heroes of Newerth, Tekken). The other is a sort of social networking site for [massively multiplayer online games].
I also own and operate a semi-popular gaming blog, but I write under a pen name for that, so I can’t tell you where it is. Two of the four gigs are paid (WoW Insider/Joystiq through contract and my personal site through advertising revenue) with the other two eventually paying once we pay off our investors and re-contract.
When did you start your current job?
Dec. 2009 – I really got lucky, actually. There was a website I read that called for open applications (joystiq.com). So, I just applied. I didn’t have any background in blogging except high school and college (but without a topic). I had a fantastic application. I got the job and I’ve been working there ever since. After I applied for it, I realized that almost every site you can blog for, you could apply for an application. It’s actually easy to get a job. Just submit a sample writing and idea for a column.
What is your favorite part about your job?
1. Technically I get paid to play videogames for a living.
2. Love the readers who comment and send me e-mails, basically my fans. I have about 20,000 readers.
What is your least favorite part about your job?
I guess the worst thing about the job is sometimes, like, you’ll work really hard on something, and it will take forever. It isn’t an hourly job, but a rate job. You get paid per story. Sometimes I will write a five-sentence article, and I will get paid well, and other times I will write a 2,000-word article and not get paid much. If you spend forever on an article, the pay equals to less, so your efforts aren’t always rewarded. You really have to stay disciplined on your schedule.
You can make as much money as you want as long as you make stuff to sell. But you have to wake up in the morning and not just lay in bed. You have to work and work and work and work. And if you do that, you’ll be rich if not, you’ll just be there.
The cool thing is that I wake up at 11 a.m. and sit in my underwear until 5 p.m. working. It’s pretty glamorous, if you think about it. It’s a great job.
Writer for “Massive Pwnage” webcomic series.
What can you say about your series?
Massive Pwnage is about Ence, a struggling artist, and Locke, an ex-programmer, getting through life. The duo goes through misadventures that poke fun at the games we loved in our youth and the conventions of geek society. There is an overall story going on, but most of the comic is [about] Locke and Ence’s take on anything geeky — whether it be video games, movies, table top or collectable card games. While most of the strips are works of pure fabrication, much of the humor usually stems from real conversations and moments just because we don’t know who Jon is.
What are your plans for the future of Massive Pwnage?
We’ve recently released “The Book of Pwnage,” which is a compilation of our first year of comics. We’ve already begun plans for Volume Two, but it’s still in the early stages of design. As for the future, we hope to start promoting the comic at conventions and connect with the fans. We also want our site to be more connected to the heartbeat of the community, providing reviews of movies, games and comics and the things we care about as a whole.
How did you get started in writing for webcomics?
In 2007, I was contacted by Jon Nielsen, an old friend from high school. He told me that he wanted to start a comic but was burned out on ideas. I sent him a comic about the iPhone months before its release with my personal feelings on it. He thought it was pretty good, and after writing two more comics, he asked if I wanted to be on board as the writer full-time. I promptly agreed. We’ve been writing them ever since, maintaining our schedule for the past three years.
How popular is your comic?
It’s definitely still pretty underground, although some game developers are pretty well aware of us and are fans. Most recently the developers of League of Legends, a massively multiplayer online game, liked our comic so much, he sent it to the entire development. To reward us, they featured us in their very first Summoner Spotlight, a monthly award page featuring the work of fans, with our recent League of Legends comic as a highlight. We actually got so many incoming fans it broke our servers. The system estimated that more than 60,000 users had attempted to view the comic at the same time. We get anywhere between 1,000 to 3,000 views in a day normally, so this is huge for us.
What do you plan to do after
Freelance writing and continuing work with Jon Nielsen on Massive Pwnage and other projects. I plan on writing short stories and novels in the future and using this products to sharpen my skills in building narrative and character.
By Megan Myer/Online Editor
Megan Myer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org