Old interview I found from a 1st year College project: Featuring Dan Morris of PC Gamer.
Having a bit of a nostalgia day and I ran across this interview I did a while back when I was with Gamespy. I don't think it was ever published online but ended up being used for a 1st year College cource I believe. I cringe a bit reading it now, but still some interesting bits so I thought I'd share.
PHLStylez: First off Mr. Morris, thank you so much for giving up some of your time to help me out on this project, it is really appreciated.
drmorris75: No prob.
PHLStylez: What is your position at PCGamer?
drmorris75: Executive Editor
PHLStylez: What type of work does that entail?
drmorris75: I assign and edit reviews, and oversee the copy flow of the editorial
department. I also play lots of games to get a feel for what's good and bad.
PHLStylez: I like the sound of that... How long have you been with PCGamer?
drmorris75: Two and a half years.
PHLStylez: Did you have previous experience in the Computer gaming field before joing
drmorris75: Yes, I was an editor at PC Games magazine from 1997-99.
drmorris75: But I began at PC Games in 1997 as an editorial intern in college.
PHLStylez: In your opinion, what education is required to be a part of the PCGamer staff? Is previous experience important?
drmorris75: We have hired many editors with no previous experience in the field. What we value is enthusiasm, knowledge of the gaming field, and personality.
drmorris75: And writing ability, of course.
PHLStylez: Obviously very important. Can you tell me a little about the work environment at PCGamer?
drmorris75: It's very informal. We all work in an open newsroom, so there is constant conversation. It's laid-back, exceot at deadline time. We try to facilitate shared ideas.
PHLStylez: So it's pretty low stress, I can understand the deadline time being a bit crucial, as it works the same way with Gamespy, only you have people who you've never seen before yelling at you to get stuff done Does the staff of PCGamer ever do things as a group, such as Barbecues, Golf tournaments, Old-skool Quake LAN Parties, etc...?
drmorris75: Absolutely, all the time. Just last weekend we all participated in an all-day paintball outing.
drmorris75: We're all friends outside of work and can be found at each other's homes quite frequently. In fact, I room with another editor, and two other editors room together.
drmorris75: It's a tight group.
PHLStylez: If you don't mind me asking, what is the average age group for the PCGamer staff?
drmorris75: Well, let's see...I'd say around 28.
drmorris75: The extremes are 25 and 33.
PHLStylez: Working for Planethalflife, I was to make a review which had a very tight word limit. It made it difficult to sometimes get the point across and caused for many revisions. How does the PCGamer game review system work? Is it very flexible?
drmorris75: We rely on excellent writers to provide succinct, informative, entertaining reviews. I don't believe it takes more than 600 words to do all of the above. We're flexible in that we'll assign more pages if a review warrants, however.
PHLStylez: So games which are more complex require more page space to flesh out the review, that is acceptable. Sounds good to me. Roughly how many hours are put into a single game review to be ready for the Magazine?
drmorris75: That depends on the game. Quick shooters can usually be played in 12-20 hours and reviewed. Epic RPGs might take weeks of effort.
PHLStylez: So it is suggested that you complete the game before you do the review?
drmorris75: In almost every case, yes.
PHLStylez: Excellent. Just the way it should be. In your opinion, has the increase in internet gaming sites decreased the popularity of the PCGamer Magazine?
drmorris75: Quite the contrary. Internet gaming sites have been folding left and right, and in any case, they seemed to prove the benefit of a comprehensive monthly dose of magazine coverage.
PHLStylez: It seems like a lot of Pcgamer has a broad range of talent. Until recently Colin Williamson worked for Pcgamer from Tokyo! Does Pcgamer outsource a lot of the talent for the magazine?
drmorris75: I'd say about half of our copy is provided by outside freelancers. When we identify great writers (such as Colin, whom we miss dearly), we give them all the work they can handle.
PHLStylez: What is the greatest attraction, perk if you will, of working for PCG?
drmorris75: Ever since I was a kid, I've played PC games and commented on them with friends. So it's a joy to be able to do those same things now for a living.
PHLStylez: Computer games are getting more mainstream everyday. We've seen successful movies based on computer games like Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy. Names like Duke Nukem are known throughout households everywhere today. What do you think is the next step for computer gaming?
drmorris75: It's a good question. I think the medium will inevitably grow, taking a place alongside movies/music/TV as a central cultural entertainment. I think we're in the earliest days of gaming as a popular form. It will be interesting to see what the next 50 years holds for it.
PHLStylez: One last question: There are a lot of PCGamer readers around the world who dream of working for the magazine Do you have any words of advice to someone who hopes to one day write for PCG?
drmorris75: Sure. Step one, obviously, is to be a very good writer who can quickly and entertainingly convey information. Beyond that.....
drmorris75: .....practical experience might include journalism coursework in college. Having published reviews for gaming websites will be helpful (especially if the reviews are good!). Having interned at a magazine is a huge plus, as it shows you already understand the workings of a publication.
PHLStylez: Thank you for your time again Mr. Morris, you've been very helpful and informative.
drmorris75: My pleasure. Good luck with your project!
PHLStylez: ------------------------------------------END INTERVIEW---------------------------