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Posts Tagged ‘PC Gamer’

This week, I’ve been doing intern work for PC Gamer. I first approached them about doing this before I’d finished at uni and we recently agreed that I could go into the office and make words for them at their office in Bath.

I didn’t quite know what to expect from my week. The classic magazine intern stereotype is that they just make tea and coffee and do any more monkey work that’s far removed from any of the more significant work that actually goes into making their product. But I wasn’t there to do monkey work, I wanted to make a good impression. I wanted to show I was capable of doing the big boy work as well as being someone who’s reliable and could be called upon to do more for them in the future. As such, I was extremely nervous and destroying myself with anxiety in the immediate build up to the week. I wasn’t confident I could work to their standards. Heck, I wasn’t confident that I’d be called to do anything important and just do the sort of work that interns always get asked to do.

So I was pretty surprised when, right off the bat, I was writing a news piece for the website. My name on an article on PC Gamer!* Mental. And everyone in the office was being really friendly, so the fears and stress that I had been feeling the day before had been evaporated within an hour of taking my seat.

I was lucky throughout the week because, as I was told a few times, I was experiencing a bit of everything that comes with working on a games magazine. On Monday the team were on deadline so I was able to sample the surprisingly calm atmosphere of that. I was very kindly invited to the pub that evening and had a great time socialising with some genuinely nice people too. Following that we had Gamescom, so new announcements were always coming in to keep the news people busy. Finally there was the simple post-deadline atmosphere and laying the foundations for the next magazine.

Happily, this was something I was very involved in, more than I expected in fact. I was asked to write the pages for three regular sections: Play, Incoming and Must Play. I also wrote the stories for the first three pages of Monitor, which is the news section of the mag. It was only by this point in the week that I really started to feel my writing was improving, given the long amount of time since I last wrote something of worth and I was really happy with what I’d submitted. I might have something printed in Now Playing as well, which would be amazing.

I suppose my only regret of the week was that it seemed to go so quickly. But thanks to a chat with Graham and Rich towards the end of my last day, I left feeling pretty good about the work I’d done as well as my prospects for the future. In fact, I don’t think the week could have gone much better for me on a personal and professional level. Now I’ve just got to practise some of the advice I was given and hope that it takes me places.

Huge thanks must go out to Tom Senior, Tom Francis, Graham, Rich and Owen for all helping me to settle in and feel welcomed, and to Chris for holding my hand through most of the week and giving me the help I needed when I needed it.

*Upon returning home I found out that this was screenshotted, printed off and put into a frame. You can imagine my embarrassment.

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DRM can GTFO

Ubisoft, the darling company who brought us games such as Assassin’s Creed 2, have come under a bit of fire lately for their usage of DRM on their latest releases for the PC. In a nutshell, this latest nightmare demands that a user be connected to the internet at all times while playing the game. If you have no internet access, you can’t play the game. What’s worse is if you lose internet connection for any reason (which will 9 times out of 10 be through no fault of your own) while playing the game, you are booted out of the game and not allowed to play again until your connection is restored. When your connection is restored, you lose your unsaved progress, and have to start the level again or work from the last point you saved at.

PC Gamer have spoken to Ubi about their DRM, the interview can be found here.

I thought DRM was bad when it first reared its ugly head when Spore released back in 2008, needlessly punishing good, honest consumers while the very people who the system was supposed to beat in the first place were downloading the game illegally, DRM-free. Now that Ubisoft have gone a step further, questions have been prompted as to whether developers really want to work for the PC anymore, as demonstrated in the interview above.

The sooner that developers realise DRM brings them nothing but negative media attention, less of a fanbase and more incentive for pirates to hack the game and distribute it among their friends online, the better. Because when that happens, we can all play without this ridiculously stupid system choking the fun out of our experiences.

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