Video game journalism is an essential part of the video game industry. But who are the journalists you are trying to reach for your video game PR?
This series of interviews presents passionate human beings and experienced players in the video game press.
It is a pleasure to introduce you as our first guest: Meitav Kleinfeld, Lead Editor of GamersPack.co.il and a Senior Editor at GamersPack.com.
Meitav Kleinfeld, Age 28, is the Lead Editor of GamersPack.co.il and a Senior Editor at GamersPack.com.
The two video game websites are based in Israel and feature news and reviews, with the international site specializing in indie games
Hello Meitav, can you tell us about your background?
Hi. I think that, like many other gaming journalists, this was my first time working in the video game industry. I actually come from an engineering background. While I was studying, I used to write reviews in my University’s gaming Facebook group until one day, I was offered to write for GamersPack.
During my day job, I work as an Electrical Engineer at Amazon.
So today, you are Lead Editor at GamersPack.co.il and Senior Editor at GamersPack.com. Can you tell us more about your job?
As the Lead Editor of our Israeli site, I help manage our editorial team, as well as the content that goes on the site. In addition to writing articles, I also review my teammates’ materials, to make sure everything that goes on the website is at top quality and fits our tone and voice.
As Senior Editor in the international team, I seek out exciting new indie games and write about them.
Tell us a little more about GamersPack and how the team works?
GamersPack was founded by three partners in 2011. It started as two separate websites (one in English and one in Hebrew) dedicated to gaming news, reviews, and tech.
Today, we are over 30 people, split into three major teams. Each website has a dedicated team of editors. We have a PR and social media team that work on both sites and different social media platforms. We also have a video and streaming team that is growing.
While the teams are separate and can work independently, we cooperated on certain projects. Some of our staff even move freely between the teams as needed.
What’s a typical work week like for you?
Since working at GamesPack isn’t a full-time job (perhaps one day though, one can only dream), I work at my day job during the day, but I usually have time to look for interesting topics and games. In the evenings, I return home and work on GamersPack.
Typically, I have a few articles waiting for me to look at, and when I am done, I work on news, previews, and reviews of my own for games I want to write about.
What are the main challenges you face?
Since we are a small team and work part-time, it’s always a bit challenging to publish every news item and game review we want.
Israel is a relatively small country, and a lot of the gaming culture is still growing, so with our Israeli site, there’s always a challenge of standing out as opposed to websites in English.
Since English is taught at schools, most Israeli gamers read well enough in English and prefer mainstream international sites. That’s one of the reasons why we try to stay close to our community and help grow the gaming culture here.
What are the things you like and dislike about your job?
I love discovering and playing games, but what I love the most about working in the game industry is meeting the people behind them. After all, we’re all a bunch of geeks with dreams!
Other than that, I love coming across a hidden gem or discovering a game that unexpectedly fits my tastes, and I suddenly become utterly obsessed with it.
What I dislike the most is when I have to write a negative review of a game because I know that people usually worked really hard to create it. Even then, I try to find the positive parts, because I know that deep within every game, including the less amazing ones, lies the passion of the people that made it.
Do you consider GamersPack.com to be Indie Game friendly? And which ones have impressed you lately?
Our international site is not just indie game friendly – it’s dedicated to them! I personally had a real fun time with Descenders, Neo Cab, and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and I’m hoping to try out Indivisible and Wargroove too.
Our Israeli site is a little more mainstream when it comes to games, but we do write about indies when we find a game that catches our attention – especially when we encounter a rare Isreali one.
Our video team also has special indie game showcases every week.
I guess you must receive a lot of solicitations, what are your selection criteria to cover a video game (news, review), and especially independent games?
This is a tough one since it’s not always consistent. We don’t have the capacity to write about everything, so we usually try to limit ourselves to PC and console games only, and not mobile games.
Other than that, whenever an indie game approaches us, we check with our editorial and video teams to see if it catches anyone’s interest. We try and stick with games that appeal to someone on the team personally since we believe writing about something that speaks to you, results in much better content.
Do you have an anecdote about your experience in video game journalism to share with us?
I had a fun experience at Gamescom 2019 when I met with the developers behind the indie souls/Zelda-like game, Decay of Logos. I got a review copy just a few days before the show and started to get the hang of the game, and when I played the demo with the developers, I showed them how I could duck and sneak around enemies indefinitely.
It turned out to be a bug they were unaware of, but they laughed it off and asked me if I was trying to speed-run it. However, they did fix it in an update.
In general, talking with indie developers about their games, learning the ideas, thoughts, and feelings behind everything, and even providing my own feedback is always an incredible experience.
Outside the office, how do you spend your life?
Gaming is my passion, so when I’m not writing or editing, I usually play on my Switch or PlayStation 4. I’m a real fan of customization and photo-mode, so I typically take my time with games and take many screenshots (for articles but also as an aspiring video game photographer).
I also love going to movies with friends and enjoy watching tv shows with my family.
I would like to personally thank Meitav for its kindness and availability. Thanks also to all the Gamerspack teams for the work they do every day to promote independent games.