An interview with Patrick

Posted by dantey (236 posts) -

It has been less than a year that one Patrick Klepek joined the team, here on Giant Bomb. And, I don't know about you, but I feel he is a great addition to the editorial staff of this fine website. But, while have followed Jeff, Ryan, Brad and Vinny from their GameSpot days, I barely knew anything about Patrick. So this is a little interview I did with him about his past jobs, time at Whiskey Media, his news stories and little about gaming news in general. Hope you will enjoy it.

Me: I, and a lot of other people, were introduced to you during one of the Bombcasts. Back then, you did not work for Giant Bomb, so can you tell to those that don't know, where have you worked in the past, why that did not work for you and how did you come to Whiskey Media?

Patrick: The Bombcast from GDC, right? I don't think I was on before then. I've been around the block a few times on this side of the industry. Started attending E3 when I was 14, and mostly wrote for Gaming Age Online (www.gaming-age.com), which is the origin of NeoGAF. Much of Gaming Age went on to work at Ziff Davis Media, who at one point operated 1UP, EGM, GFW/CGW, GMR and others. My friends there would connect me with freelance when I was in college, and when I graduated, 1UP news editor Luke Smith left for Bungie and I took that position. About six months into that gig, Stephen Totilo offered me a chance to be the San Francisco correspondent for MTV News, which I accepted. I spent a year reporting there alongside Stephen and Tracey John, another talented reporter, before the recession hit and I was laid off. By that point, I'd surmised that having more experience on-camera would prove useful, so I interviewed with G4 and took a position as a news writer in Los Angeles, writing for their Feed blog, contributing to X-Play and co-hosting E3 the following year. EGM was rebooted during that time, and I was offered the chance to be a senior editor on the digital side. That proved to be a complete bust, a waste of a year of my life, and I began quickly looking for something new, which turned out to be Giant Bomb.

Me: Yes, it was the GDC podcast. But what do you mean by saying, that being a senior editor on the digital side of EGM was a bust?

Patrick: Well, I signed onto EGM as part of EGMi--the digital initiative. While it started out as a web service and remained a web service during my time at EGM, it was really an iPad app. I couldn't tell you why it took so long before the iPad app to launch, but it didn't come out until after I'd left. I can't say much more without getting into touchy legal ground, but I found the prospect of working on an all-digital magazine for a pioneering device to be a very lucrative opportunity, but I wasn't given many ways to contribute to how it actually came about, and so I decided to move on.

Me: So now you are here, at Giant Bomb. How has it been? How is the staff, the community? Is Luchadeer haunting you and threatening to shave off your hair?

Patrick: The transition from EGM to Giant Bomb could not have been more incredible. The community here is great--attentive, responsive, passionate--and the editors share the same values I do when it comes to creating content that you care about. Of course, Whiskey Media has to make money, but the underlying philosophy of Whiskey Media is making content that you believe in, and trusting there are other people who care just as much as you. It's been a very inspiring place to work, one that allows me to chase down my favorite pursuits, and I think it's created some of my best stories yet.

Me: Speaking of which, a lot of your stories are more like editorials on a specific topic. Like the first Crash Bandicoot game on Cryengine 2 or multiple stories about Team Bondi. How hard is it to find all these stories and information about them?

Patrick: By and large, I cover what I find personally interesting. It's why Giant Bomb was such an appealing place from the outside looking in, as they were approaching games coverage the same way I always wanted to. The more you're personally invested in telling a story, the more interesting it's going to be for the audience. That said, not every story I publish is The Most Interesting Thing Ever, but it tends to be my personal barometer. Also, I have a softspot for the watchdog role, and I've tried to go out of my way to chase down stories of consumers getting screwed by companies. Finding the information is easier than one would think, and is usually as simple as sending an email or a Facebook message. It's all about persistence.

Me: How hard was it to cover the Infinity Ward piece?

Patrick: Without diminishing what I accomplished with the story, it was largely a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I happened to have the best contacts for that story to break around, which allowed me to cover the breakup from both Infinity Ward and Activision's perspectives. It wasn't so much hard as it was exhausting, as I was trying to stay on top of the story as new developments broke, more memos came my way, and other reporters began to pick up where I'd left off. I'm not sure I'll ever have a story like that ever again, but I'll spend my whole career trying.

Me: Lastly, in your opinion, what is the state of news coverage in video games today?

Patrick: Things like Twitter have made it easier than ever to filter out the crap and focus on what you're interested in, especially in regards to writers and reporters who put out quality work. You don't have to follow an entire publication, you can simply follow someone you trust, and if that person breaks that trust, it's as easy as clicking "unfollow" to move on. That said, as a whole, we could be doing better, and focusing less on making sure people have something "new" to ready every five seconds. We've trained them to expect that, and it's what degrades the quality bar for most publications.

And that is it. I would like to thank Patrick once again for answering my questions. Have a nice day, duders.

#1 Edited by dantey (236 posts) -

It has been less than a year that one Patrick Klepek joined the team, here on Giant Bomb. And, I don't know about you, but I feel he is a great addition to the editorial staff of this fine website. But, while have followed Jeff, Ryan, Brad and Vinny from their GameSpot days, I barely knew anything about Patrick. So this is a little interview I did with him about his past jobs, time at Whiskey Media, his news stories and little about gaming news in general. Hope you will enjoy it.

Me: I, and a lot of other people, were introduced to you during one of the Bombcasts. Back then, you did not work for Giant Bomb, so can you tell to those that don't know, where have you worked in the past, why that did not work for you and how did you come to Whiskey Media?

Patrick: The Bombcast from GDC, right? I don't think I was on before then. I've been around the block a few times on this side of the industry. Started attending E3 when I was 14, and mostly wrote for Gaming Age Online (www.gaming-age.com), which is the origin of NeoGAF. Much of Gaming Age went on to work at Ziff Davis Media, who at one point operated 1UP, EGM, GFW/CGW, GMR and others. My friends there would connect me with freelance when I was in college, and when I graduated, 1UP news editor Luke Smith left for Bungie and I took that position. About six months into that gig, Stephen Totilo offered me a chance to be the San Francisco correspondent for MTV News, which I accepted. I spent a year reporting there alongside Stephen and Tracey John, another talented reporter, before the recession hit and I was laid off. By that point, I'd surmised that having more experience on-camera would prove useful, so I interviewed with G4 and took a position as a news writer in Los Angeles, writing for their Feed blog, contributing to X-Play and co-hosting E3 the following year. EGM was rebooted during that time, and I was offered the chance to be a senior editor on the digital side. That proved to be a complete bust, a waste of a year of my life, and I began quickly looking for something new, which turned out to be Giant Bomb.

Me: Yes, it was the GDC podcast. But what do you mean by saying, that being a senior editor on the digital side of EGM was a bust?

Patrick: Well, I signed onto EGM as part of EGMi--the digital initiative. While it started out as a web service and remained a web service during my time at EGM, it was really an iPad app. I couldn't tell you why it took so long before the iPad app to launch, but it didn't come out until after I'd left. I can't say much more without getting into touchy legal ground, but I found the prospect of working on an all-digital magazine for a pioneering device to be a very lucrative opportunity, but I wasn't given many ways to contribute to how it actually came about, and so I decided to move on.

Me: So now you are here, at Giant Bomb. How has it been? How is the staff, the community? Is Luchadeer haunting you and threatening to shave off your hair?

Patrick: The transition from EGM to Giant Bomb could not have been more incredible. The community here is great--attentive, responsive, passionate--and the editors share the same values I do when it comes to creating content that you care about. Of course, Whiskey Media has to make money, but the underlying philosophy of Whiskey Media is making content that you believe in, and trusting there are other people who care just as much as you. It's been a very inspiring place to work, one that allows me to chase down my favorite pursuits, and I think it's created some of my best stories yet.

Me: Speaking of which, a lot of your stories are more like editorials on a specific topic. Like the first Crash Bandicoot game on Cryengine 2 or multiple stories about Team Bondi. How hard is it to find all these stories and information about them?

Patrick: By and large, I cover what I find personally interesting. It's why Giant Bomb was such an appealing place from the outside looking in, as they were approaching games coverage the same way I always wanted to. The more you're personally invested in telling a story, the more interesting it's going to be for the audience. That said, not every story I publish is The Most Interesting Thing Ever, but it tends to be my personal barometer. Also, I have a softspot for the watchdog role, and I've tried to go out of my way to chase down stories of consumers getting screwed by companies. Finding the information is easier than one would think, and is usually as simple as sending an email or a Facebook message. It's all about persistence.

Me: How hard was it to cover the Infinity Ward piece?

Patrick: Without diminishing what I accomplished with the story, it was largely a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I happened to have the best contacts for that story to break around, which allowed me to cover the breakup from both Infinity Ward and Activision's perspectives. It wasn't so much hard as it was exhausting, as I was trying to stay on top of the story as new developments broke, more memos came my way, and other reporters began to pick up where I'd left off. I'm not sure I'll ever have a story like that ever again, but I'll spend my whole career trying.

Me: Lastly, in your opinion, what is the state of news coverage in video games today?

Patrick: Things like Twitter have made it easier than ever to filter out the crap and focus on what you're interested in, especially in regards to writers and reporters who put out quality work. You don't have to follow an entire publication, you can simply follow someone you trust, and if that person breaks that trust, it's as easy as clicking "unfollow" to move on. That said, as a whole, we could be doing better, and focusing less on making sure people have something "new" to ready every five seconds. We've trained them to expect that, and it's what degrades the quality bar for most publications.

And that is it. I would like to thank Patrick once again for answering my questions. Have a nice day, duders.

#2 Posted by BrickRoad (700 posts) -

Hey, that was pretty interesting. It's strange to think that Patrick is so young, but also so experienced in his field. He's a great member of the team, I feel. (Psst, by the way, at the moment the first line makes no sense and an answer repeats itself.)

#3 Posted by dantey (236 posts) -

@SamFo: @BrickRoad: Yeah, thanks for telling me that. Kind of a rough mistake to make. I fixed it.

#4 Posted by SamFo (1511 posts) -

Awesome work. Patrick and the new subscriber stuff actually saved GiantBomb for me.
 
Having said that I must re subscribe!

#5 Posted by arcade78 (185 posts) -

Great read sir! If i may ask, how'd you contact Patrick for the interview? Via PM's or?

#6 Posted by PatVB (310 posts) -

That was really cool! Nice work!

#7 Posted by StarvingGamer (7553 posts) -

Fun read, thanks for doing this.

#8 Posted by dantey (236 posts) -

@arcade78: @PatVB: Thanks. Yeah, I just sent him a private message.

#9 Posted by ZarakixKenpachi (391 posts) -

Wow, awesome interview! How'd you even get the chance to do this with Patrick?

#10 Posted by Centimani (550 posts) -

In soviet Russia, community interview you! Awesome read though, thanks dude.

#11 Posted by dantey (236 posts) -

@ZarakixKenpachi: Easy. I just sent him a message asking for interviewing tips and could he give me one himself. He agreed.

#12 Posted by wumbo3000 (904 posts) -

Great interview! Good to know the back-story of Kleptok. And I'm totally with you: I followed Jeff, Ryan, Brad, and Vinny since the GS days but the first time I heard of Klepek was the he was hired for GiantBomb. Good stuff duder!

#13 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4307 posts) -

This was actually really interesting, I dont think Ive ever really heard this side of Patrick's story before

#14 Edited by zameer (605 posts) -

Patrick's a solid guy, glad he agreed to do this.

Nice work dantey!

#15 Posted by RagingLion (1362 posts) -

Great questions again - all the things I was interested in. Definitely learnt some interesting things from that and makes me less concerned that Patrick is just going to move onto something else soon for the sake of it (well I'm sure it would be a decent reason if so, but it's nice to have him at GB).

#16 Posted by Masha2932 (1237 posts) -

Great interview. It's nice to know a bit more about Patrick. Maybe you can arrange for a follow up interview and find out how he deals with the negative feedback on quick looks and the recent endurance run. You could also ask him about how he is coping with the increased need for him to be on video given that he is primarily a writer and he sometimes seems awkward during the video broadcasts.

#17 Edited by dantey (236 posts) -

@Masha2932: I would like to do that sometime again, but not now. There are other people I liked to interview, and I have to give it some time, for more questions to appear before I can make a decent peace of content.

#18 Posted by mfpantst (2574 posts) -

good job yo.  How many of these have you done now?

#19 Posted by dantey (236 posts) -

@mfpantst: This, one with Drew and one with Alex, but I plan to do more.

#20 Posted by morrelloman (601 posts) -

His final comment is the most interesting. I am always visiting sites looking for new news, and the most of it is filtered crap I am not even going to read or look at.

See: advertisement laden trailers that give no insight into the product, even worse, console war inducing garbage headlines, or financial/sales information with zero insight.

(this pertaining to GB less so, where the reporting is both insightful and colorful) BUT the point being that,

Perhaps if we changed our consumption habits with regards to the news, the reporters would do the same in turn?

#21 Posted by Nux (2207 posts) -

That was pretty cool. Its nice seeing that Patrick would be up for an interview like this. I tip my hat to you sir.

#22 Posted by Chop (1962 posts) -

I feel kinda...uhh strange for saying this but...

Patrick is pretty incredible. I mean, considering is age, his experience is mind boggling. He seems incredibly driven and is putting out content that is better than people who've been in the industry for twice as long as him. He is gonna have a fucking incredible career, I can't wait to see where he is in ten years.

#23 Posted by mfpantst (2574 posts) -
@Chop: I second this.  I just wanted to add that I had previously thought of games press people in general as older than me, mid thirties maybe.  I'm 27, turned 27 in January.  Turns out I'm older than Patrick.  And thus, I agree, this is totally crazy.
#24 Edited by dantey (236 posts) -

@morrelloman: To really change that, we, as readers, have to tell the people who write these things, what we want. To tell them, that we like something, that they wrote, but also tell them if we feel, that something was not interesting. As far as I can tell, people working here welcome this kind of feedback, even if it is not the most positive one. Just as long as we can be reasonably in our claims.

#25 Posted by morrelloman (601 posts) -

@dantey: without getting too philosophical and getting back to the reason for the post itself. It is nice to see that Patrick has already taken notice to this pattern and is actively trying to change it himself. It speaks to his value to gaming journalism and maturity or whatever other lube I can throw on his nuts. Great thread, thank you kind sir.

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