Everything I Know About Football I Learned From Playing Madden

I’m a PR dude now.

I’m not really sure how this happened. One minute, I’m helping to re-write Kickstarter posts and doing a little R&D, and the next I’m typing up and sending out press releases like I actually know what I’m doing.

(Note to any team members who may be reading this post: Hah-hah, I’m only kidding!)

(Note to everyone else: No I’m not.)

The game is Gridiron Heroes, an upcoming football sim for Facebook that takes the classic gameplay of Tecmo Bowl and makes it a social experience. Or, to put it in non-PR terms, it’s Tecmo Bowl: The MMO. Which is kind of an awesome concept. Of course, I couldn’t exactly football my way out of a paper bag—but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? I can’t touch modern Madden games because ALL THE BUTTONS, but this? This I could do. And I could do it with my friends. And they’d want to do it, because, hello, IT IS TECMO BOWL MMO!

Granted, part of my enthusiasm comes from the fact that I’m being paid to be enthusiastic, but I don’t sign on to projects that don’t at least interest me a little, because I’m very bad at faking enthusiasm, and also I don’t want to waste my time working on things I don’t enjoy. (That’s why half the projects I end up working on are adventure games—because if I had my way, all of the games, forever, would be adventure games, and in fact I’m doing my part to make sure that’s actually the case.)

So I’ve been helping out with things like polishing up press releases, writing up new ones, figuring out who to send them to, and then sending them to those people in hopes that they justify my wages by actually posting about the game.

There’s a bit of moral squick to this, though: I’m being paid to promote games, and I also run a videogame website. That’s the sort of thing that could get me drummed out of the blogosphere, if anyone ever noticed. On the plus side, I’m not evil about it; I don’t accept money to promote content on GameCola (like some sites apparently do, since multiple publishers have asked me to do it), and I don’t post on the site about the games I’m working on (except in the very rare case that it’s my game and I’m overly transparent about it). But it’s a tricky balancing act, and if I ever wanted to pursue much more PR work, it’d almost definitely mean the end of my reign as GameCola Col-mander.

But, I don’t think it’s going to come to that. I’m happy handling PR on request, but my passion is still in writing cheeky interaction dialogue for adventure games. (Which is, admittedly, something of a niche.) Though, if I all of a sudden started to get a ton of adventure-game work…

Well, let’s just say that I always have GC’s succession order in the back of my head.



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