Welcome to Southern Gamer!
I’m your host — Chris — founder of this very site and fledgling freelance games writer. We’re about to take a ride on the roller coaster of this website’s history, so grab a seat if you’re interested in riding.
Make it through the height-requirement and long line? Got your safety bar locked down and buckled-in? Okay, good. I created Southern Gamer immediately after graduating from the University of Alabama with my degree in Studio Art (with a concentration in Graphic Design and minor in Creative Writing), and no real direction for my life. I was incredibly lucky to find a job as a designer with an upstart book-binding company a couple of months out, but I always felt as though something was lacking. I wanted something different. Thus came, Southern Gamer. I’d always loved gaming, and more-so, contemplating and discussing games with other enthusiasts. This led me to realize that my true calling — my “job that isn’t work.” I wanted to write about games, but had no idea how to start. So of course, I started a blog. I remained working as a designer for two years, while updating the site sporadically, and constantly trying to figure out how to make money writing/talking/thinking about games. As you can imagine, this is a difficult task.
One day, I randomly happened upon a tweet from Mike Nelson, whom at the time was working for 1UP.com. In this tweet, he was asking for freelancers to work on a guide for 1UP’s MyCheats page. I had no experience doing this, but I knew I had the chops to get going, so I threw together a resume touting my gaming and blogging skills and crossed my fingers. To my utter surprise, he wrote me back, and nearly a month later, I was writing the guide for Crackdown 2 on 1UP.com. This was followed over the months by guides for games such as Dead Rising 2, Halo: Reach, Lego Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean, Red Faction: Armageddon, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Fable III, and Disney Epic Mickey. I also wrote a feature article for 1UP about Halo: Reach’s multiplayer and the review for Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (which I gave a B+, by the way.)
By this time, my wife and I had moved to Nashville, so I had to leave my design job in hopes of being able to find one in here. Over the next several months, I discovered that my degree didn’t prepare me at all for the real ‘Graphic Design’ world, and I had nowhere near the skill or experience to get another design job. I was simply lucky the first time to find a ground-level position. After months of unemployment, I finally was able to find a job back in retail — where I am to this day.
In addition to, and during, all of this, I finally admitted that I am a depressive. More than that, I went to the doctor for it, was diagnosed and am currently on medicine that somewhat curbs my really dark days. I also went through something called Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation, in which I was strapped into a chair an hour-at-a-time, five days a week for six months. These things, along with a healthy dose of self-motivation and pep-talking, has finally brought me to a good place mentally and emotionally.
So, you’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with Southern Gamer. Well, I’m finally in a place where I can put all of my energy into making my dream of working in game writing/journalism/enthusiast press. This, I know, includes having a vibrant and current website/blog with real, substantive posts that people might actually care about reading. In the last few months, I started a new website called The Playthrough Review, in which I do long-form video reviews of games (basically “Let’s Play” videos with my commentary and critique laid over it.) So, I am pulling that website and its content onto Southern Gamer to consolidate my brands and to now offer video content. On top of all this, another bit of serendipity put me in touch with Sam Claiborn, the Senior Wikis Editor over at IGN, and I just finished the Lego Lord of the Rings wiki-guide for them. I’m also hopeful that I will be able to attend E3 again this year, bringing you way more content than I did last time, now that I’m not a coward hampered by severe anxiety.
This is my goal. This is my life. So, if you’re reading this in the future and I’m still stuck in retail and not updating the site nearly enough, feel free to shoot me an email and verbally kick my ass for not working harder.
On that note, I hope you enjoy your time at Southern Gamer. Check out my regular features, videos and podcasts, and please bookmark me or add the site to your news feed for updates. I’ll see y’all on the other side.
- Chris Robertson
Founder of Southern Gamer