That’s a question that’s existed in the background for a long time in the video games world. Earlier this year the question was brought back to the forefront by events surrounding the game Cuphead. In particular, a viral video of a games journalist having a very hard time completing Cuphead’s tutorial reinvigorated the debate over the relationship between a person’s skill in gaming and their ability to speak about it on a professional level. Like so many other things I write about, I’m late to this party and it’s no longer a hot topic, but I’ve been wanting to publish my own opinion on it since the most recent ruckus erupted and now I’m finally getting around to it.
Do you need to be good at video games to write or talk about them professionally? My answer to that question is no, and let me explain my line of thinking on this. In my opinion you don’t need to be good at video games to write or talk about them professionally, you just need to have an affinity for gaming and be good at writing or talking. You might not be good at specific genres of video games, or even video games in general, but if you’re passionate about them, have something worthwhile to say, and are able to communicate your message well then by all means I would think that you can discuss video games professionally. One of my favorite gaming personalities summed up a lot of my thoughts earlier this month with the tweet below:
But wait, what if you’re really bad at video games, to the point where you have difficulty finishing a game of average difficulty? Even then I would say that you could still write or talk about video games, though you might be more limited in what you can discuss. Perhaps you got stuck at a certain point in a game and couldn’t finish it. In that case you can write or talk about what you experienced—just be up front and honest about not getting to the end. Obviously you couldn’t give a game a comprehensive review, but you could still have something meaningful to say about the chunk of the game you completed. If it’s interesting, then put your thoughts out there and don’t worry about your relative skill in gaming.