Video game coverage in my school newspaper, help me out!

I have joined my school newspaper, and have been given an entire page to dedicate to video games.  
 
As an aspiring video game journalists (yikes!) joining my school newspaper was a relatively easy step. Now I have to figure out what kind of coverage I should be working on. Let me give you a bit of information about the paper... 
 
We are having 5 issues for the year, so I will not be able to cover every game in a very timely manner. For instance, I won't be able to cover Halo: Reach as by the time the issue comes out, it would hold much relevance.  
 
My deadline for content is November 3rd, so I need to decide what games I should review for the November issue.
    

Games

 
Medal of Honor: October 12th, 2010 
By the time our issue comes out, Medal of Honor will have been out for over a month. I might have a quick blurb about it, but I doubt I will do a full review. I'm also not sure what significance this game will have for the mainstream. I will have to wait until I get to play the singleplayer.
 
Fallout: New Vegas: October 19th, 2010 
Fallout 3 was very popular among my classmates back in 2008, so there should be some interest in New Vegas. A review 20 days later shouldn't be that bad for such a (hopefully) large game, but the gap is still rather significant. 
 
Fable III: October 26th, 2010 
I'll be honest: I have never played a Fable game, despite it being fairly popular with some of my friends when Fable II first came out. Given my lack of experience with the series, I'm not sure if I should review it. On the flip side, I doubt anyone reading the paper will really care about that at all. It comes out late in October, so the review should be somewhat timely.  
 
Rock Band 3: October 26th, 2010 
I think everyone I know is burnt out on music games. I also don't know if I want to shell out for another plastic instrument. I will probably pass on covering this for the paper. 
  
Black Ops and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will come out early/mid November, most likely too late for the November issue. 
  

Format

 
I was going to have one or two highlighted reviews, most likely of Fable III and Fallout: New Vegas. I will have a blurb about Medal of Honor, maybe talking about the Taliban "controversy". 
 
Then, I will have a section looking forward. There I can briefly talk about Black Ops, AC: B, and maybe the World of Warcraft expansion. 
 

So, sound like a good start?

 
What do you guys think about the choice of games I will be reviewing? How about the format?  
 
Any tips about how to make this appealing to an average reader? 
 
Thanks! 
 
~Jayross
23 Comments
23 Comments
Posted by Jayross

I have joined my school newspaper, and have been given an entire page to dedicate to video games.  
 
As an aspiring video game journalists (yikes!) joining my school newspaper was a relatively easy step. Now I have to figure out what kind of coverage I should be working on. Let me give you a bit of information about the paper... 
 
We are having 5 issues for the year, so I will not be able to cover every game in a very timely manner. For instance, I won't be able to cover Halo: Reach as by the time the issue comes out, it would hold much relevance.  
 
My deadline for content is November 3rd, so I need to decide what games I should review for the November issue.
    

Games

 
Medal of Honor: October 12th, 2010 
By the time our issue comes out, Medal of Honor will have been out for over a month. I might have a quick blurb about it, but I doubt I will do a full review. I'm also not sure what significance this game will have for the mainstream. I will have to wait until I get to play the singleplayer.
 
Fallout: New Vegas: October 19th, 2010 
Fallout 3 was very popular among my classmates back in 2008, so there should be some interest in New Vegas. A review 20 days later shouldn't be that bad for such a (hopefully) large game, but the gap is still rather significant. 
 
Fable III: October 26th, 2010 
I'll be honest: I have never played a Fable game, despite it being fairly popular with some of my friends when Fable II first came out. Given my lack of experience with the series, I'm not sure if I should review it. On the flip side, I doubt anyone reading the paper will really care about that at all. It comes out late in October, so the review should be somewhat timely.  
 
Rock Band 3: October 26th, 2010 
I think everyone I know is burnt out on music games. I also don't know if I want to shell out for another plastic instrument. I will probably pass on covering this for the paper. 
  
Black Ops and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will come out early/mid November, most likely too late for the November issue. 
  

Format

 
I was going to have one or two highlighted reviews, most likely of Fable III and Fallout: New Vegas. I will have a blurb about Medal of Honor, maybe talking about the Taliban "controversy". 
 
Then, I will have a section looking forward. There I can briefly talk about Black Ops, AC: B, and maybe the World of Warcraft expansion. 
 

So, sound like a good start?

 
What do you guys think about the choice of games I will be reviewing? How about the format?  
 
Any tips about how to make this appealing to an average reader? 
 
Thanks! 
 
~Jayross
Posted by KaosAngel

Gran Turismo 5...it comes out in less than a month. 
 
Also NBA Jam?

Posted by Lemoncookie01

Do Medal of Honor.

Posted by Bloodgraiv3

Gran Turismo for sure. 
Edited by PillClinton
@KaosAngel said:

" Gran Turismo 5...it comes out in less than a month.  Also NBA Jam? "

yeah, gt5's a big deal, duder... but then again, i don't know how relevant a ps3 exclusive japanese racing simulator that's been delayed for years (YEARS!) is for the average gamer at your school. 
 
E: hey...420 posts...get it?  tehehehehe
Posted by Jayross
@KaosAngel I didn't see GT5 on GB's list of upcoming major releases, although I could have missed it.

And... I don't own a PS3, I planned to get one for lbp2 and kz3.

Jam? Yeah, I don't have much nostalgia for it, but if it is downloadable I will give it a shot.

@Lemoncookie01 I'll consider it...
Posted by PerryVandell
Buy this book. It's not related to video games (obviously) but I've been reading it and it has been quite useful in teaching me how to write in a manner that is clear and concise, while also interesting. It's pretty cheap and fairly short as far as grammar books go. As for a game to review/cover, I would say New Vegas or Fable III. A month for Medal of Honor sounds a bit too late in my opinion. Good luck!
Posted by Espada12

Those games are good choices, personally I'd go with New Vegas, Medal of Honour and Black Ops and as for appeal? I'd say for starters have a good header for the article, secondly since it's the school newspaper, try to talk about stuff that the average gamer would know and then dive into stuff that they more than likely would not know but would probably be interested in.  For instance most gamers would know what black ops is, however do they know the changes in this iteration of COD? Do they know the cast? Such as Gary coleman doing some VO etc etc.. stuff like that.

Posted by natetodamax

Include some write ups on hentai games for good measure. Gotta try to cover as many audiences as you can, you know.

Posted by s7evn

Black Ops would definitely get the most attention considering everyone and their mom will buy it.

Posted by Castro

How about Minecraft? It sounds like a lot of people already know about Fable III and Fallout, but if they aren't the type to check out video game websites hundreds of times a day, it's likely they haven't heard about it. It might be good to cover some smaller games as well.

Edited by kmdrkul

Ditch one review and have a feature revolving around the people that play video games, or their hygiene, or their playing habits.  Something like that.  My ideas are too cliche, but you get the idea.  Two full reviews in one section doesn't work.  An opinion piece on the Taliban controversy sounds good; not sure how you're going to fit an opinion piece on a features page but I'm not sure what type of school this is.   If you're designing your own page make sure you come up with a good dominating photo illustration that catches peoples eyes. 
 
As for general comments, read actual newspapers for ideas, brush up on your AP style, and hope you don't get slammed with a half-page ad a day before deadline.  Oh, and if your editors are students also, make them read and edit your story five times before it gets printed.  Then make your adviser read it.

Edited by BunkerBuster

Why does it have to be a review?
 Nobody takes that shit seriously anyway, especially if its for a school. Why can't it be a page on China getting into the games bussiness, or Japan and its "failing" industry, or the future of American publishing, or the Fall of pheriperals and the rise of motion control.
If you want to be a games journalist you're going to have to put yourself out there as an actual journalist. You want to do something more than what a 12 year old can do on a blog.

Posted by YoctoYotta

Welcome to the wonderful world of journalism. I have one tip that, above all, will save you a lot of time and make your article more accessible to everyone reading your paper, regardless of their interests. Make sure that you are writing for the average reader who knows little or nothing about the subject you're writing about. Despite much of your audience potentially being fans of games, explain concepts and acronyms as they come up in your article, don't assume anybody knows anything about the games (or whatever subject matter) you write about. It helps to imagine that you are explaining something to a small child or a really stupid adult. 
 
Gaming outlets like Giant Bomb here can get away with assuming the reader knows about XYZ, but general papers can't do that, so save your teacher and editors the trouble of having to go back to you and ask you to fill in the details, and you'll save yourself the trouble of having to shoehorn that stuff into your article later. Have fun, dude.

Posted by Ironbunny

Sounds awesome! Considering the issues are so spaced out, it might make sense to do some sort of preview feature, or perhaps a blurb with "fast facts" about a game. like some users above me, I would suggest that  you branch out and do features other than reviews- the people looking to play video games can get reviews from a plethora of places. Other game related topics could be more interesting to  read. Also- Minecraft. It would be an interesting subject considering it's relatively unknown. Good luck!

Edited by Jayross
@Fullmetal216 said:

" Buy this book. It's not related to video games (obviously) but I've been reading it and it has been quite useful in teaching me how to write in a manner that is clear and concise, while also interesting. It's pretty cheap and fairly short as far as grammar books go. "

Yeah, that book was pretty enjoyable for a grammar book. 
 
@BunkerBuster: I'll try to raise the bar a bit. 
 
@Espada12:  @kmdrkul:  @YoctoYotta:    Okay thanks for all of the tips. 
 
@Castro said:

" How about Minecraft? It sounds like a lot of people already know about Fable III and Fallout, but if they aren't the type to check out video game websites hundreds of times a day, it's likely they haven't heard about it. It might be good to cover some smaller games as well. "

Minecraft seems a bit too Alpha... y' know? I have 4 more issues after this one, so I will have the opportunity to write about it sometime in the future.  
  
As for Black Ops, like I said, the timing doesn't work unless there is a major delay with the paper. 
 
@Ironbunny: Yeah, the format and frequency of the newspaper makes those editorial pieces a bit more relevant.
Posted by Aronman789

Gross, Fable 3 

Posted by raiz265

Civ5 maybe?
 
i mean it's a school newspaper, it doesn't have to be 1000% up to date, a 1month old game wouldn't be that bad would it? 
  

or maybe something about the e-sports scene behind starcraft 2? 
 
could be something different from a normal game review

Posted by Empirepaintball

Only thing I could suggest is StarCraft 2. That game is really popular and isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Posted by Jayross

Okay, a bit of a change. For the first issue I have half a page. So I was thinking just a featured review of Fallout: New Vegas, and short blurbs about recent and upcoming games.

Posted by Vinny_Says
@Jayross: talk about Kinect and the PS move, an article or two....those seem kinda relevant
Posted by mracoon

If you're writing for a school newspaper then you should focus on stuff that the people in your school would be interested in. I'm guessing it would be things like Kinect, Call of Duty, Rock Band 3 etc. Ask around your school at see what kinds of games people play. That's a better option then asking here as the taste of people on GB probably isn't the same as that of your average school newspaper reader.

Moderator
Posted by xMP44x

Why not do your first page on gaming controversy and stuff? For example, the Taliban appearing in Medal of Honor. If your class was interested in Fallout 3, they might be interested in knowing that some of the medical equipment in the game had its name changed, as the Australian government were otherwise intending to ban the game. Stuff like that is interesting, and you could easily condense it into a shortened article seeing as the amount of room you have has been changed. I think it'd be the kind of article I'd want to read, personally.