Ruby Innes - Writer at Kotaku Australia and Operations Officer at SBS
Ruby Innes is currently working as a Writer at Kotaku Australia, as well as an Operations Officer at SBS.
During her university studies, Ruby developed an interest in radio and digital audio production and soon began work as a volunteer at 2SER.
However, working in the media industry wasn’t a clear-cut goal of hers.
“It was a real step-by-step process. There are definitely people who straight off the bat are like ‘I want to be a journalist, I want to be in media,’ but for me, it was more like stumbling and bumbling like a fool into things I kind of liked and then having them connect.”
Working in the very technical job of an Operations Officer has also made Ruby appreciate the efficiency and science behind good audio and sound in radio and podcasting.
“At the end of the day if you’re listening to a podcast or a broadcast you don’t want it to sound bad! You won’t enjoy it.”
“Audio is so important, and I don’t think enough people realise just how much work goes into live broadcasts and podcasts to make them sound so smooth and right.”
Ruby also explains that while she enjoyed the technical aspects of radio and podcasting, she still wanted to utilise her creativity and showcase the things she loves, including her lifelong passion for video games.
Ruby also found the transition from radio writing into video game writing very similar, as both are conversational and casual, as if you were talking to a friend or family member.
“When you get your point across about a game or a situation and word it correctly, it’s such a good feeling!”
Like many people during the pandemic, Ruby found herself turning to art and soon began creating comics, which she is able to incorporate into her articles at Kotaku.
“I’ve always loved drawing, very specifically goofy things and unnerving things, it’s just funny to me.”
“Readers will benefit from having a little dose of fun with video game journalism.”
From drawing the newest Pokemon starter with a marijuana leaf head or the popular Nintendo character Kirby with human feet, Ruby is able to bring her two loves, cartoons and video games, into the forefront of her career.
“My drawings and my art have been raised up as something cool and unique that I’m bringing that people are really responding to and enjoying.”
“[Kotaku] is a cool outlet! I love video games and I love drawing, and video game themed drawings are just a little bit of fun that merges two interests.”
When asked about her experiences within the world of video game journalism, Ruby has mostly positive things to say about her time in this industry.
“I have had a really good experience so far. Everyone has been super lovely, and the community has been really welcoming.”
Ruby does mention the infamous gamergate controversy of 2014, where women were viciously attacked by mostly male gamers, as well as other issues within the video game industry.
“The way I see video games, other than horrible scandals and workers’ issues such as with Activision and Blizzard in the past year, video games really aren’t that serious.”
“You have the industry, which is quite serious, but then video games themselves and the conversations that we have about video games that we love, aren’t that serious!”
“That's not to say that I'm the only person bringing a bit of goofiness to the video games journalism world, because I'm definitely not, or that there aren't any games that require a serious conversation around them. I've just found my outlook on video games and how I approach writing about them has always come from either enjoying them and gushing, or hating them and cracking as many jokes as I can about them. At the end of the day, every story calls for a different tone.”
Ruby also talks about Australia’s role within the video game industry, and mentions how the global financial crisis of 2008-09 forced many indie studios to close down or make the grand exodus to move overseas, leaving Australia with very little to rebuild their gaming industry.
She discusses the importance of supporting Australian game developers, which can range from a small studio to even a one-person team, and mentions popular releases such as Untitled Goose Game, which was made in Melbourne.
“It’s little indie games that are diamonds, and I won’t even say ‘in the rough’ because there are plenty of great games coming out of Australia’s indie market.”
“People are seeing the kind of juicy content coming out of Australia, and more people are interested in that. With my approach, I have a strong interest in the independent game role in Australia because our return to the spotlight comes almost solely from that indie market.”
The rise, fall, and grassroots revival of Australia's video game industry through its’ indie market is a great interest to Ruby, and interviewing these developers and creators is a huge benefit with working at Kotaku.
“If there’s anyone who loves talking about video games it's the indie developers, because they really aren’t getting that kind of attention or exposure that larger companies have.”
“Most of the time they don’t have media training or PR written scripts, they just give you that raw passion and honesty, and I think that is so fantastic.”
Ruby’s pitching preferences:
“I recommend people reach out to me on Twitter or email, because I am constantly checking my emails and DMs.”