*The exact cover letter I emailed to Irrational Games, this past weekend*
I am writing in response to the Temporary Game Evangelist posting on Irrational Games’ careers page. After careful analysis of the job description, I am confident this position is a near-perfect fit to my diverse skill set. That said, before I fall into clichéd, “below follows a list of reasons I would be an asset to your company” territory, how about a quick introduction? My name is Chris Poirier, I’m 28 years old, and I am a gamer, first and foremost. Not the leet speak, curse spouting (usually), annoying variety, mind you; more along the lines of a driven, passionate individual who just so happens to have devoted that passion to gaming. It’s what I’ve grown up on, and in more ways than one, has defined who I am as a person. For me, the receipt of a Nintendo Entertainment System at a very young age spearheaded a now almost 3 decades long interest in the digital entertainment industry, ultimately evolving far beyond a mere hobby. What once was a casual interest has now grown to an area of expertise, and more importantly, in my opinion, a possible career path.
Knowing full well that my path to eventual employment in the gaming industry wasn’t going to be an easy one, I have done, and continue to do, everything in my power to make this longtime dream a reality. For instance, when Microsoft was actively seeking beta testers for MSNTV and Office 2003, what did I do? I happily volunteered. Armed with a keen eye for detail, and the innate ability to think outside of the box, I spent weeks evaluating every facet of those products, until at long last, I hit pay dirt; a priority 0 (read: severe) issue, that, if unchecked, would have easily allowed users to circumvent the necessity to login to the paid MSNTV service! Several future beta opportunities and a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award later, came something I could really sink my teeth into - an invitation to the now-defunct MGS Core Group. This hand selected outfit of testers were given exclusive access to just about any gaming hardware and software beta the once formidable Microsoft Game Studios had to offer; including Rise of Nations, Fable: The Lost Chapters,MS Flight Simulator X, and more. Sadly, by late 2007, after the FSX: Acceleration beta had come to a close, it would mark a significant change in Microsoft’s managed testing efforts, and the decision to suspend MGS Core Group operations indefinitely.
Fast forward to late 2008, where my next opportunity to make a name for myself in the gaming industry had come as a result of luck, and timing. Having begun to get the hang of the emerging micro-blogging craze (courtesy of twitter), I had, by chance, come across an independent gaming site,The Game Reviews, seeking new writers. “That’s fantastic, I’ve found an outlet that will pay me to talk about games!”, I exclaimed. I emailed my application, along with a handful of writing samples from blog, and waited with bated breath. Three days later, I had received a reply, in the affirmative. As of January, of 2009, I was to be a staff writer, focusing primarily on features and reviews. Months later, following the departure of TGR’s former Community Manager, I had been offered the position, which, again, I accepted at the drop of a hat. It was here, that my ability to successfully communicate with, and for, our site’s readership was tested, and here where that ability was affirmed. In addition to basic forum moderation, I was frequently TGR’s primary point of contact to our readership on twitter, relaying site specific information as it had become available. Out of a desire to make TheGameReviews more fun and rewarding to our readership, I took it upon myself to increase various site wide contests and promotions. For a time, our weekly caption this giveaways were hugely popular, as well as the now-infamous Visceral Games sponsored Brutal Legend Rock Off.
Despite having no intention to leave TGR at that point, a major opportunity had found itself suddenly presented to me - in the form of a PR/Community Consultant Role for a newly launched gaming Marketplace, Gladriel. It was, at the time, an enticing offer - supporting an up and coming site with the lofty ambition of becoming the “ebay of games”. As far as gaming marketplaces go, it was a non-traditional approach to trading, using a proprietary currency not unlike Goozex’s “trade tokens”. As the success of a gaming marketplace is dependent on a strong membership, in the summer of 2010, Gladriel took to the hallowed halls of the Washington State Convention Center - we were determined to take PAX by storm! A fully stocked booth, a cheesecake social event, and a weekend’s worth of marketing later, and Gladriel had a surge of new members well into the hundreds, if not thousands, all ready to try this fresh take on game trading for themselves. Just as the site had reached its height of popularity… Disaster. The site’s owner, concerned with the impact the 9th Circuit Appeals Court’s decision to end the right of first sale may have had on the sale of used games, Gladriel was permanently, and unceremoniously shut down, with resources to be devoted elsewhere.
With Gladriel no longer in existence, I had a choice to make: put my goal of employment in the gaming industry on hold, or resume work with TGR, which at this point was in flux. What did I do when faced with two impossible choices? I forged my own path, and created a third option - hence, the birth of my pet project, GameSplash. Deliberately small and independent, it’s my idea of a gaming site done right; without the fillers of some of the larger folks. Even now, over a year post launch, we are constantly evolving - upgrading both functionality and content to meet the ever evolving needs of our readership.
At this point, I’d like this opportunity to thank you. I hope these anecdotes have at the very least been informative, if not entertaining. I have attached my resume to this message, as CJPResume2012.pdf, and welcome the chance to speak with you further regarding this position. Feel free to contact me via email, at [email removed] or via phone at [phone removed].