Afterword by Seanbaby
Cute people say that the key to happiness is turning your hobby into your job. And sure, that makes work more fun, but look what happened: that thing you used to love is now WORK. Do you think when Hulk Hogan is coming home from a hard day of Hulkamania, he wants a steel cage match waiting for him? And more importantly, why would I bring up an example so awesome that I'd forget what my point was?
If you want a job in games, I'm not going to tell you to be careful what you wish for. That'd be a terrible afterword if you read a whole book about your future, and then I took a shit in your future's mouth. My career in game journalism is based almost entirely around playing crap and complaining. I've been Barbie during times when she was a princess, a secret agent, and on seven different occasions, a stupid whore. I played the Friends PS2 trivia game. To this day, I hold the honor of being the only person who ever did that. And if you study this book hard enough, why who knows, maybe there's a chance I'll even hate you one day.
The good news is, with video games kicking hell out of almost all non-porn related entertainment, literally anyone can get a job in the game industry. And nothing proves that more than how video game training is now being advertised during daytime television. Game testing is the new gun repair! And in relation to that last sentence, apparently GAY is the new ME!
Back to heterosexuality, the career opporunities are endless, even for you ladies. If you're hot, exciting opportunities in the field of PR are waiting for you and that tiny shirt you're sexily peeling off yourself. Or just use your inherent womany nagging ability and you'll make a fine managing editor. And I'm not even sure where all this sexism is coming from, but women are important to any industry because if a company doesn't hire people with boobs and feelings, human resources departments won't have anything to do.
Sorry about the unfair, hurtful words, unlikely female readers. Now it's time to talk to the men. Hi, guy. Maybe you picked up this book because you've always wanted to design your own mega rad games. Every nerd has fantasies about his dream game; maybe it's Burnout meets Gradius, or Final Fight crossed with Final Fantasy V, or maybe X-Com meets Magic: The Gathering meets Heroes of Give Me Back My Backpack. You have to remember, though; the very thing that makes you a nerd is that your enthusiasms are totally unrelatable and non-marketable to most of the world. For example, anime and celibacy.
Games are zillion dollar investments. There wasn't one starry-eyed boy whose dream game was "side boob meets boredom" and grew up to make Tomb Raider. Games take marketing proposals, corporate lawyers, investors, and the more important someone's opinion is, the less likely they know what the hell all the buttons on the whatnot do. So let me help you wrap your brain around reality: you're some dude holding a book-- it'll be four years making Yahtzee crossed with the majesty of Jesus Christ or finding a way to translate That's So Raven episodes into fetch missions before your input gets anywhere near something you'd play.
Now that you hate your future life, here's some career advice. I got my start by writing jokes about games every day for no money and posting it for whoever happened upon it on my college website. And this was back when most people were so confused by the Internet they called it, "Broken Wings by supergroup Mister Mister." My plan might not work for you. For all I know, you're not even funny. But I do know that we live in the future and you have all the opportunity you need to get your work seen. That ancient bullshit about getting your foot in the door is dead. Whether you want to design levels, beta test an MMORPG, or write game reviews, go ahead and do it. If you're any good, those who pay people for stuff like that will find you. And if you're bad, you can always fall back on writing some book on how to get a job in the industry. FACE, Hoagie!
When I was staying at his place in Portland, Bryan asked me to do an interview and the afterword for a book he and Hoagie were putting out. I honestly don't think I've ever read an afterword, so I wasn't sure what that was. In fact, the only afterword I could remember seeing was at the end of the Hobbit books, and that was 700 pages of maps and songs to sing in Wood Faggish. Bryan would have probably laughed if I turned that in, but he actually did have some direction for me. He passed me a message from Hoagie saying, "I want everyone reading this book to be all excited, then have Seanbaby shit all over them." I followed these directions so thoroughly that I almost put that line into the copy verbatim.
That was problem number one. The notes I got back said they might be able to overlook the sexism, but that I would have to take out the line about shitting in the reader's future's mouth. I changed it to something nicer like "Now that you're ready for a career in video games, why don't you fuck your own godless mouthhole, book pussy." We went back and forth for a few emails, fixed a couple lines to accomodate the stupid, and fought over my sacrifice of proper sentence structure for comic timing that I think gives me a roguish home-grown wit but pisses off copy-editors. All in all, most people at Prima seemed pretty happy with it. A little worried about showing it to their bosses, but happy. Here's a highlight from the first feedback I received:
"I can honestly write "LOL" if I were that kind of guy. It is currently making the hushed, furtive rounds amongst all the men in the office (unmanly giggling rising from their cubes) while I try to figure out how to get it into the book without having any editor reading it."
I fixed everything they asked for, kept it as funny as possible, and went on with the rest of my life. Then a week of silence went by and I got an email of which this was the main highlight:
"I'm sorry we can't use it but it was ultimately deemed unsuitable for the book's "marketability" to certain sectors."
I wasn't really surprised. It's hard to edit comedy for content and still have it turn out anything close to funny. The editors at EGM have complained that I'm a criminal mastermind and my articles are built like a house of cards... you take out one questionable line, and the entire structure falls apart. For example, if they take out a sentence for talking about Jean Claude Van Damme punching someone in the vagina, the entire following paragraph about vagina punching makes no sense. Outside the context of Jean Claude Van Damme, vagina punching is just crazy. This technique comes from years of training and forces good editors to pick from two choices: print it like it is, or kill the entire thing. And since the size of some publisher's balls has nothing to do with me, I get paid either way.
Originally appeared in nothing ever.