INTERVIEW: PATRICK KLEPEK

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This month I had the joy of chatting to and interviewing one of my favorite games journalists Patrick Klepek. Patrick has written for and contributed to some of the great video game websites, he is now Senior Reporter at Kotaku and creator/ host on the Match 3 Podcast . We talked about the industry, writing, podcasting and much more.

For the small amount of people who may not be aware of your work, tell us a little about yourself and what you do..

I’m a senior reporter over at Kotaku, in addition to being a streamer on YouTube and Twitch, and I’ve been writing about video games since I was 14 or so.

You have been writing about games for a while now, what was it that made you want to get into the industry?

Is there a specific game or moment that made you want to write a games piece?

Well, I needed to make money and I liked playing video games. I wish I could say it was more inspired than that, but not really! In high school, a teacher asked me what I wanted to, pointed me in the direction of journalism—that was back when it was a desirable career—and I’ve been lucky enough to never look back.

Is there any advice you could give people who are looking to get into video game journalism?

Don’t? That’s a joke, but it’s also a little true. It’s never been easier to publish your work, whether audio/video/written, but it’s also never been harder to get noticed. The best advice I can give is to find your niche and double down—what makes you unique? What do you offer that others don’t?

You have spent some time featuring on the Giant Bomb Podcast, what was it that made you want to create you own podcast Match 3?

I missed talking to people in a room about video games, and I specifically wanted to create a podcast that involve people who were outside of my worldview.

On the Match 3 podcast you also have the wonderfully talented Gita Jackson and Sam Phillips hosting alongside you. What made you choose these two hosts?

Gita and Sam totally matched that criteria, and it’s been a lovely ride so far.

Though one note: once I asked Gita to be a part of it, I asked her to pick the third person. That way, it was totally out of my hands!

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The podcast has been getting great reviews and doing well in the chart, how does feel knowing something that you created is doing so well?

It’s immensely satisfying that other people enjoy what you do for fun. That’s been the story of my career so far, and it remains as humbling as ever.

You seem like a pretty busy guy. You write, stream and podcast how do you find the time to play games for yourself?

I don’t, really. Anything I’m playing is in service of my work, though fortunately I’m usually able to play game that I enjoy writing and covering. But no, it’s rare I’m able to just play a game because I want to—I just don’t have enough time for that.

What kind of games would you usually play in your own time?

I’d probably replay old games or try games that take hours and hours to wrap your head around—like, say, Crusader Kings.

What piece that you have written are you most proud of?

Selfishly, it’s the ones people pay the most attention to. It’s a cool feeling to break a big story and have everyone be writing about something you said.

Is there any writer that truly inspires you?

Evan Narcisse, Gita Jackson, Leigh Alexander—folks who write about experiences I cannot speak to. I learn from them.

Is there an important games piece that you feel all people should take time to read?

http://kotaku.com/the-natural-the-trouble-portraying-blackness-in-video-1736504384

A lot of people have been talking about your Mario Maker streams, how are you finding the experience with the game?

It’s delightful. I love the back-and-forth with my audience, as they watch me succeed and fail on a weekly basis. I’m not tired of it yet.

Streaming is a big change from writing or even YouTube, do you enjoy streaming with the live chat and instant feedback?

Yep, definitely! The stream is always a few seconds behind what’s actually happened, and it’s fun to catch a glimpse at everyone freaking out when something good (or bad) happens.

What made you want to stream games?

Video is the future, and if I want to keep a job, I need to figure out video.

Was there a time or moment in gaming that made you proud to be a gamer/ work in gaming journalism?

People write me letters all the time telling me how their work has inspired them or gotten them through a tough time. Those are what keep me going.

If you could change one thing about the games industry what would it be and why?

We’d find more sustainable ways to get new and more diverse voices into writing, podcasting, and video.

If you didn’t choose the career of a journalist what other job would you be doing now?

I’d love to help smaller games get made. I can’t see myself becoming a designer, per say, but a producer? I could see that.

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General Gaming Questions

What is your favourite game?

Depending on the day, Deus Ex or Mega Man 2.

What are your top video game characters of all time?

Good question. I’m not sure. Tempted to say Mega Man!

What do you think makes the perfect game?

Flexibility. That doesn’t mean the game needs to have random elements, but it needs to allow different interpretations of play.

What games are looking forward to in 2016?

Can’t wait for the new Tomb Raider and Dark Souls 3. Dark Souls has become my Call of Duty at the point.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Patrick for taking part. If you would like to know more about Patrick head on over to:

http://www.youtube.com/user/patrickklepek

http://www.twitch.tv/patrickklepek

http://www.twitter.com/patrickklepek

 

(Image sources:farm8.staticflickr.com, twitter.com/patrickklepek ,cdn2-b.examiner.com)

 

 

 

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