In the build up to our new issue, Lost and Found, we get to know our latest group of writers, their wider work and what games they love, and of course their experiences of writing for Five out of Ten. Pledge to support our Patreon and get the new issue as soon as it’s released!
Lee Baker is a comparative literature and film graduate, Arsenal fan, and fruit tea enthusiast. You can find his writing on Screen Robot, We Got This Covered, and various other places. He genuinely thinks that Def Jam: Fight For New York is a perfect game.
What inspired you to write your features for Five out of Ten?
Video games have grown. Technology has progressed, and with it so have developers’ abilities to tackle more complex ideas. Five out of Ten reflects this new-found maturity, and I’ve always admired the way in which its writers have discussed these ideas. It’s new, it’s fascinating, and discusses gaming with the seriousness it deserves. I desperately wanted to get involved in these discussions, where games aren’t just pixels and shaders and 2x MSAA – but actual works that can be debated intellectually and emotionally.
What is your favourite part of your Five out of Ten features?
What I enjoyed most was looking into the ways that people use and play games in ways that even the developers had never thought of. Things like streams and speed-runs for charity. It can be easy to think of games as consumer products created to increase sales and revenue, but the likes of Desert Bus for Hope and Awesome Games Done Quick prove that they are so much more. They make people happy, bring them together, and forge new friendships, and the communities that form can do wonderful things for charity. That was the part I enjoyed looking into most.
What are you going to write for us next time?
I think we’re at a very interesting point in the industry. Not just in terms of the games themselves, but the technology and business surrounding it. The decades-long dream of virtual reality is finally here, and with it comes a massive injection of creativity, wonder, and controversy, and it’s impossible to tell where it will go next. Then there’s the ‘half-generation’ of consoles, with Sony and Microsoft eschewing the conventional idea of console generations in favour or incremental, mid-gen upgrades. Is it good? Bad? It’s impossible to tell just now, but we can sure give it a go.
What are you playing right now?
I’m between games at the moment, although I’ve been taking advantage of the much-maligned ‘generation of remasters’ and revisiting God of War 3 on PS4. I’ll be getting my hands on a PlayStation VR though, so I’m just counting down the days until then!
What’s your favourite game?
My favourite game is Metal Gear Solid. Obviously we’re all aware of the thematic and technological achievements of Hideo Kojima’s classic, but for me it represents a very important time in my life. It’s the game that got me into gaming. I was quite young at the time, and my dad would have to help me as it was too difficult. Taking turns playing the game was one of my favourite memories as a child, and each installment in the series marked a new chapter in my life and in my relationship with my dad – and it all started back on the PS1 with Metal Gear Solid.
What advice would you give to other aspiring video game writers?
Write! I’m sure you have so many fantastic ideas, but they’re useless to anyone if they’re stuck in your head! I’ve met so many people who desperately want to write about games, but many of them hadn’t even started a blog. Writing in your own time for your own website is a brilliant experience. You get to hone your ideas, find your voice, improve your writing, and build a fantastic portfolio which you can then use to get the job you like. So, just write, write, and write some more.
Where can we find more of your work?
You can find a few hand-picked pieces from my portfolio here – https://www.clippings.me/users/lbgaming