Good evening, everyone!
This is going to be a bit of an unorthodox post but that doesn’t diminish the significance of this post for me on a personal level. I’m writing to reminisce on the time a simple tweet energized me to pursue my dream career unlike anything else has before or since.
Back in 2013 I had written a blog on IGN.com where I pondered the future of video game publisher Deep Silver. They were coming off of the massive commercial hit Dead Island and had just acquired the Saint’s Row IP, formally of THQ. I took a little time to mull the direction they may be heading in with that kind of momentum.
Honestly, it was a pretty poorly written piece, especially in hindsight. I wasn’t a particularly skilled writer back then (not that I’m particularly great now haha) but it was enough to garner a response from then Deep Silver community manager, Aubrey Norris. She sent me the following tweet:
To pretty much anyone else on the planet this was just a simple, fairly insignificant tweet. For me however it was some much needed validation. Individuals within the gaming industry are actually willing to take the time to at least glance at my work; even respond to it! I was floored!
At first I had no idea who she was. I remember thinking, “who is this random woman tweeting at me?” and I remember audibly gasping in the computer lab on campus upon learning who it was. Someone working for the company that I had just written about responded to my work! To put this in perspective, imagine being a 20 year old aspiring music producer and Usher tweeting, “not bad” at you. For the first time I felt like maybe, just maybe, I belonged in this industry. I felt as if what I have to say regarding the happenings in gaming may be compelling or insightful enough to possibly guide me toward a career in it one day.
I’m sure for Aubrey there wasn’t anything to it. She was merely doing her job of engaging with the community that follows their products. But what she did that day inspired me to blog more and to go on to do some freelance games writing. I wanted to take whatever steps necessary to break into the PR side of the gaming doing the sort of work that she had been doing the day she tweeted at me. That simple tweet four years ago served as an energizer for me and continues to serve as an energizer today.
In the months that followed we actually had several other interactions through Twitter. I no longer use that particular account (my new one is here!). I asked her several questions here and there and managed to actually score some “exclusive” information for B-Ten.com making me feel as if I were almost a real journalist 😀 (they were showing two AAA games at E3 2014 and I got clarification that the Metro Collection wasn’t one of them). Eventually I stopped writing due to school and such and Aubrey left Deep Silver to go work with Minecraft at Microsoft.
Again it may seem strange that these seemingly minor interactions had such a profound impact on me and my career ambitions, but I imagine we all have a story of how a stranger’s small action affected us in a significant way.
This blog is meant as a thank you to Aubrey for serving as a source of inspiration and a reminder to myself of the things that drive me.
To anyone that sees this piece, I thank you for your time!