Joe Puralewski '11

By Lyndsey Honor '23, December 9, 2022
Video Game Writer, DICE

Joe Puralewski photo

After graduating from Ithaca College, Joseph Puralewski ’11 wanted nothing more than to write for television. Along with his bachelor’s in Writing, he had minored in screenwriting and history, yet he never imagined his degree would lead to the video game industry. That fall he moved to Los Angeles and spent the next nine months juggling part-time jobs before landing a position with the video game company Treyarch.

At the time, Treyarch had just released Call of Duty: Black Ops. Puralewski worked with the studio’s operations team as they developed and released the game’s sequel in 2012. This experience solidified his interest in video game writing, so he approached the game’s lead writer, Craig Houston, about developing scripts. By January 2014, he had earned his first company writing credit in the roll-out of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. “There’s an old saying,” Puralewski says: “‘Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.’ It certainly played a role in how I got my break in the industry.”

His senior project at IC, Puralewski says, taught him about the ever-evolving nature of story and the many ways to explore it critically. This approach to storytelling, especially in the creation of video games, has helped him build stronger worlds.

Puralewski has since relocated to Stockholm, Sweden, where he works for the video game company DICE. There he writes and builds content for Battlefield 2042, and his team is wrapping up the narrative for their first year of live-service support.

“If I could offer students of writing any advice, it’s to get comfortable with feedback and criticism,” Puralewski said. “Learn to let go and be okay with throwing everything away if it’s the right call. Whether it’s 10, 100, or 1,000 pages, find the joy in its destruction, because you know it’s pushing you to something even greater.”