Interview: Patrick Klepek - News Editor, Gaming Editorial
By: Sterling McGarvey
Sterling: You've been doing this for a long, long time. Do tell: how'd you get started?
Patrick: Incredible parents. To this day, I don't know I convinced my parents that flying to Atlanta, Georgia to attend E3 1998 -- the same one where Metal Gear Solid was unveiled for the first time -- was a good idea. My parents must have figured, "what kid is mumbling about career opportunities at 14? May as well indulge him this once." I was "writing" about games for a website I believe was called Gamerz Online. An era where the tacked-on "z" was cool. Or maybe it wasn't. Anyway, that one-time indulgence became an annual event in my life. E3 is where I met lifelong friends and colleagues -- such as Mr. Andrew Pfister.
Sterling: Do you think that it's easier or more difficult for young people to start covering games at the age you started, and why?
Patrick: Technically, it's much easier to get started these days and that's a very good thing. The era of the fan site has come and gone, replaced with message boards, blogs and social networks like Twitter. Because it's easier to get started, however, it's also much harder to get noticed. There's so much noise it's distracting for aspiring and current writers alike. But just like anything else, talent stands out. If you want to get paid to write about games, the recommendation is the same as it ever was: keep writing.
Sterling: How would you describe your role at G4?
Patrick: I'm excited to play the same role I assumed at 1UP and MTV News: reporter. There's plenty of people writing about games, and I'll certainly be one of them here at G4, but video games are sorely lacking reporters. It tends to be a thankless job, but working the news circuit has been a favorite of mine for a long time now and a post I'm not willing to give up anytime soon. I intend to help turn TheFeed into a news destination. We'll be breaking the news, not just writing about it. That takes time, but we'll get there. With that in mind, if you readers have any tips, we'd be happy to take them -- hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sterling: What do you do to your hair to get such flowing locks?
Patrick: Man, I wish I had a secret. Maybe it's a family one. I seriously don't use anything but the curly-flavored shampoo and conditioner my girlfriend picks up from the store. Something has changed, though, since my hair used to grow to monumental lengths in high school, but I've been unable to sustain such growth without my hair literally collapsing upon its own weight since. What went wrong?!
Sterling: What's the most memorable news story you've ever written?
Patrick: My first major news story for MTV News. I broke the first word on a motion controller Microsoft was creating with Rare and the Avatar system that would later surface alongside the New Xbox Experience. Microsoft and Rare ended up ditching the motion controller project for something else, but Avatar's came true at E3. I published that story just a few weeks after starting with MTV. My ass was on the line, as well as the ass of my editor, Stephen Totilo. We believed in the story, though, and while the motion controller part didn't pan out, the Avatar system did. Sitting at E3 and watching my news unfold for real was a great feeling.
Sterling: When was the last time you felt embarrassed to be a gamer?
Patrick: I've never been embarrassed to be a gamer. I've grown up in an era where games were in every household from the moment I was born. It was never a nerdy thing. If anything, I only wish my friends and family had a better understanding and appreciation of what I do for a living. Most people think I sit and play video games all day. I wish that were the case. You'll hear that from most games writers or reporters, though. To people outside the games industry, we sit at desks, play games and "test them."
Sterling: What do you feel is most missing from games coverage today, and how are you working to improve it?
Patrick: What's missing from games coverage is the same thing that's missing from coverage in other industries. The rush to be first, regardless of potential inaccuracies, is killing reporting. It's not about reporting the truth anymore. The popularity surrounding web sites that feed this mentality, however, means to a very large extent, that's how people want their news. That's a reality, and we need to work within that. It's the job of the media to feed responsibly. I'd like to see more web sites show a little restraint. Walking the line between restraint and failing to inform your readers as soon as possible, however, is a tough one. I'm still learning.
Sterling: You're a huge Hellraiser fan. Tell us, what would be your ideal Hellraiser video game, and who would develop it?
Patrick: Oh, man. Actually, my ideal Hellraiser game would probably be an old-school point 'n click, pixel-hunt adventure game -- the morbid, sexualized elements would really fit a slow puzzler. A modern day Hellraiser game would be turned into some Wolverine-esque hack 'n slash. I'd be a liar if I said I wouldn't play that game anyway, though. Given how bloody Raven's take on Wolverine was, at least they'd have the gore down. What do I know, though? You're talking to the person who willingly played through the entirety of Clive Barker's Jericho, and owns copies of Hellraiser on UMD, DVD (several), VHS, LaserDisc and Blu-ray. If you love horror movies, readers, you and I are going to get along just fine.