Jakejames Lugo is a video game critic and journalist. Jakejames loves writing and talking about video games and is constantly working hard to live up to his reputation as The Most EPIC Man in the Industry.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I first started making content and publishing work online back in 2011. I had started making videos on YouTube near the end of 2010 and became consistent with it leading into 2011. Eventually, my videos and speaking with friends led me to a website named Real Otaku Gamer. I got in touch with the head of the website at the time and began writing (reviews, news, op-eds) and making videos to post on the website. Since then, I’ve worked with a number of different websites as staff and done freelance work with a few larger outlets, such as IGN and Playboy.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Depending on what I have set to do for the week, my typical day involves being on social media searching for current news and topics within the industry before creating anything. I’ll periodically look through places like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for what is currently happening in gaming, followed by reading news posts and features on various websites. Once that’s done, I’ll get to work on playing & writing up reviews for new game releases I have on-hand, recording podcasts with other website staff, shooting videos for YouTube, and/or continue writing guides for the IGN wikis for new games I’ve been assigned. All of this is usually interchangeable, but I’m constantly doing something throughout the day, based on the work needed for the entire week and what important events/big releases were planned beforehand.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE?
My biggest tools that I use frequently would be a combination of Microsoft Word, the Adobe Creative Suite (After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere, etc.), Audacity (for recording audio for podcasts), and various internet browsers. Using social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) is a necessity for keeping up to date with breaking news or topics that are incredibly important at the moment, as well as interacting with other professionals or reaching out to industry folk for any reason.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR GO TO GET INSPIRED?
When I need to come up with fresh ideas for pieces I’m writing or videos/podcasts I need to shoot, I do a combination of reading different written pieces online and staying physically active. I’ve had times when it’s tough to think of something that’d work well for people to enjoy reading or listening/watching, a kind of writer’s block that nags at you when you need to get stuff done. To alleviate that, I walk away for a short time and do something active, like running or lifting weights, to kickstart my mind when I feel like nothing is falling into place. Spending anywhere from 15-20 mins moving around, then coming back and reading/looking over again helps me see things I didn’t before. It’s helped many times in coming up with great ideas for written features, ideas to speak about on-camera and podcasts, as well as approach something from a different angle.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
The one quote I feel that has helped me throughout my entire career comes from one of my biggest role models in the industry, Colin Moriarty. On an episode of Podcast Beyond (and later the GameOverGreggy Show), Colin had spoken about his time writing about gaming where he was told “…Read it aloud. If it doesn’t sound right when you say it, then it won’t sound right when someone reads it…” This is something that’s stuck with me and helped in almost every piece I’ve written and podcast/video I’ve spoken on. It’s helped me become a better writer, as well as a better speaker on-camera and to a crowd when I host panels or speak at events.
WHAT IS THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
One of the biggest issues I’ve seen rising over the last few years is the perception of the gaming media and media personalities in the industry. Unfortunately, different events in the news and events within the gaming industry have fostered a disdain and distrust for critics of games or those who are seen as traditional media. I’ve actively worked over the years to show that this shouldn’t be allowed to linger, but a lot of the negative emotions and mindset is harmful to the industry as a whole. As a games journalist, I not only try to work with everyone out in the field to put out great work and positive energy into the field, but also show that there are many who don’t give credence to the negative outlook that’s been put out there.
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION, OR TOOL THAT YOU THINK IS A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
The most helpful tools for anyone in my field now is the Adobe Creative Suite. The entire package has programs like Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, and others that are the industry standard right now for many places. Alongside things like Microsoft Word and Skype/Discord for communication, the Adobe Creative Suite has just about everything needed to give one’s video and audio content the professional quality required right now from everyone. I believe it to be an absolute necessity.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
The best advice I could give to anyone in my field or any media professionals out there is to be open to working with everyone. NEVER EVER limit the pool of people you can work with, and never shut out anyone from creating something with you. The best content you create will sometimes come from interacting and collaborating with others, even with those who are outside your circle of influence. This not only helps you reach out to other professionals you can work with but will also usher in your work towards groups of people you could never reach beforehand. Working in collaboration with others will make you a better professional among your peers, and will make the work you do now and in the future all the greater.