After graduating from the BA Journalism course in 2017, Vic Hood has already made significant waves within the video games industry – currently working as the Gaming Editor at TechRadar she was recently named on the influential She Plays Games podcast SPG100 list on International Women’s Day. The list celebrated “100 of the video game industry’s most inspiring women who are having a positive impact and are pushing boundaries”. We caught up with Vic to find out about her achievement and her experience working as a woman in a male-dominated industry.
“I still credit my mentor with helping me get into the career I’m in now.”
When it came to deciding where to study at university Vic was immediately drawn to City, University of London due to it offering one of the best journalism courses in the UK coupled with the location in the capital, “when I actually went to see the University, I was sold”. Although she loved her course, Vic struggled both with homesickness and mental health after moving from Northern Ireland to London to begin her studies. Vic explains that two things that helped her get through this were, getting NHS help and also talking to her personal tutor. “My personal tutor was Glenda Cooper, and she was so supportive the whole time. I explained to her that I was really struggling, and it felt like she understood. Rather than asking ‘why aren’t you at Uni?’, instead it was an encouragement to come back and I think that really, really helped me.”
Vic adds that “what also helped in terms of my confidence was signing up to the mentoring scheme. That went really far, in fact, I still credit my mentor with helping me get into the career I’m in now.” Vic explains the bubbly confidence of her mentor radiated to her and helped her gain more confidence in her own ability. Offering guidance for students who may be going through something similar Vic suggests, “taking it a day at a time, getting the help you need, and remembering that you would be surprised how many people are in the same boat as you”.
“Initially my plan wasn’t to do games at all… I felt like I was getting all the experience I needed but I hadn’t quite found the topic yet”
Having studied traditional journalism Vic took a somewhat unconventional path into the growing field of video game journalism. Vic explains it took her some time to figure out that she could pursue this as a career, “I knew I wanted to write but I didn’t know what… the great thing was the course let us try all these different aspects, but I kept feeling like none of them quite fit”. It was her professional mentor who gave Vic the idea to write about gaming professionally having assisted her with gaining some experience in the games section at the Daily Star, “at that point, I thought this could be something I could really do”. As her studies at City came to an end Vic joined the team at EuroGamer as an intern and her career moved from success to success.
“It’s just [about] paving the way to make sure other young women have their voices lifted”
While Vic has had a successful career to date, it hasn’t always been easy – especially being a woman in a male-dominated space. A few years ago, an incident referred to as ‘gamer gate’ caused many female journalists in the gaming industry to receive a huge amount of abuse and even leaving the industry completely. Vic says the shadow of that time still hovers over the industry. She constantly presses the issue of inclusivity at work, “I do my absolute best to rock the boat all the time but… the men in the [industry] need to encourage women and stand up for them in the face of abuse”. Vic is proud to be a female editor in the video game industry; it has become her personal goal to continue climbing the ranks to encourage and support other women. “It’s just paving the way to make sure other young women have their voices lifted and feel like they can look up to women who are doing well in the space”.
“It was a lovely surprise and unexpected…Some of the names on [the list] are women I have looked up to for years”
There is a long way still to go, but women like Vic are making a difference and her impact has now been recognised in the globally inclusive list naming 100 of the most inspiring women in the video game industry. Vic was shocked to be included, “it was a lovely surprise and unexpected. I saw some of the names on [the list] and they are women I have looked up to for years, so to be alongside them was just… I don’t think it has even sunk in yet”. Vic explains that recognition like this demonstrates how the situation is slowly improving, “the great thing is we are starting to get to the point where all types of women are entering the industry, so we are seeing women of colour, trans women and female-presenting people [joining the industry]”.
Closing with some final advice for anyone looking to get into gaming journalism Vic says, “I would give the same advice I was given by a lecturer when I was at City, which was: ‘if it’s what you want to do – go for it’”. She tells us the best advice is to give it everything you’ve got and “keep kicking the door until they let you in”.
Thank you, Vic, for sharing your story with us!