Kirk Hamilton

shook his head and brushed lint off the bagel. It was probably still okay to eat

maxscoville asked: Kirk how many saxophones do you have? Can I have one?

Let’s see, I have… five saxophones. And a flute and a clarinet. I still don’t own a bari or bass clarinet, but one day I will. No, Max, you may not have one, but if you’re nice one day when you least expect it I’ll show up outside your apartment window and play you a song.

Anonymous asked: YOLO? YOLT? YOLTT? YOLFT? YOLST? YOLET? YOLNT? YOLTT?

You forgot YOLFT and YOLST.

Anonymous asked: Do you think all game soundtracks should be sax-based, or just most of them?

I don’t know about sax-based, but as Bravely Default has recently demonstrated, all game soundtracks would greatly benefit from at least one rocking saxophone solo. 

Anonymous asked: Hey Kirk, I'm getting a master degree in Journalism right now, in a futile effort to write about games for a living. Do you think getting this degree will give me any sort of advantage, or is it strictly about my freelance work history? Or when people hire, is it about a number of things? Thanks, love your work.

I didn’t get a degree in journalism, so obvs a journalism degree isn’t required to get a gig writing about games. That said, several of my colleagues - notably Stephen Totilo and Jason Schreier - did study journalism, and I think they’d say they got a lot out of it. I’ve certainly learned a ton of fundamentals from them over the last few years.

I’d say that if you use school to learn how to report really well and get strong fundamentals for handling news and interviewing people, you’ll be better equipped to land a solid starting gig doing game news than most people who don’t learn those skills in school. But in the end, the most important thing for breaking through these days is having a distinctive voice and writing about things that no one else is talking about, in a way that no one else is expressing. And while I can’t speak for other sites, we definitely look at a writers’ CV and past work well before looking at their education history, when it comes to considering new hires.

zreese asked: How do you feel about your hair. Love it? Hate it?

I like it! Like anyone with curly hair, I’ve had a complicated relationship with my hair over the years. But nowadays it’s not that curly and I’ve figured out how to manage it. Plus about a year ago I started finally stepping up and going to a real non-Great-Clips stylist,  so now it actually looks better right after I’ve gotten it cut, not worse. So yeah, generally, feel good about the hair.

pixelblock asked: If you could forever remove one game from existence (as well as any memory of it), what game would you choose and why ?

Oh man, that’s tough. I feel like the really bad games, the ones I super disliked, were still valuable experiences for me as a critic. Like, if I play a game and feel like it wasted my time, I usually came away from the experience thinking “Well, that sure taught me a thing or two about games that waste your time!” So actually I’m not sure I’d erase any game from existence! Sorry that’s a total cop-out answer. 

acenck asked: Kirk, as a writer, how do make sure that you're saying enough with the words you put down? I'm thinking back to something you said about reworking 'Onward, Pac-Man!'

It’s tricky. The unlimited wordcount of the internet makes that even harder - sometimes I feel like my reviews go on too long, and I’m always trying to force myself to hit word limits. But when I do something like the most recent thing I wrote for the NYT about meaningful violence - that was something that had an incredibly strict wordcount since it was for print, and I had to make sure every sentence counted. As a result I spent more time revising and tightening than I usually do. So I guess if I really want to make sure I’m saying enough with what I put down, I impose a word count on myself. That and I try to avoid jargonitis at all costs. 

Anonymous asked: What was your journey like going from studying music to working as an editor of one of the biggest gaming publications on the net?

It’s been a trip! Certainly not something I expected when I graduated from music school. For a long time I felt like I had a pretty balanced life - I was teaching music, playing gigs, writing songs and writing stuff about video games on the side. Kotaku has definitely changed that - my life is basically all video games now, and it can feel unbalanced compared to what I’m used to. But it’s been so much fun, and so rewarding - I learned a TON in my first six months or so on the job, and what once was the hardest job I’d ever had has become pretty manageable. So basically, there was a lot of whiplash at first, but by now it’s become life as usual. 

Man, the jump between No One Lives Forever 1 and NOLF 2 was… substantial. Released just 2 years apart! 

Man, the jump between No One Lives Forever 1 and NOLF 2 was… substantial. Released just 2 years apart! 

Turns out my Fire Emblem character looks exactly like Sentarō from Kids on the Slope.

Turns out my Fire Emblem character looks exactly like Sentarō from Kids on the Slope.

I think I’m mostly going to use this space to answer people’s questions from time to time, if I ever get it together to actually tell people to come here. So go ahead, ask me stuff.

kotakucom:
You Get To Ask The People Making Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Two Questions, They Said. Good Luck.

kotakucom:

You Get To Ask The People Making Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Two Questions, They Said. Good Luck.