One of my favorite web columns is Jack Shafer’s Press Box, hosted at Slate Magazine. Shafer never runs out of material because there is so very much to criticize amongst the glut of stories in the news media. Apart from being a lot of fun, I read Press Box because I think it’s important for all journalistic establishments to be checked by outsiders. But while there are numerous organizations that do this for the news media, I know of none specifically dedicated to doing it for games journalism (though I suspect it’s out there!).
So I’ve made the decision that doing so will be one of the main thrusts of this blog, though certainly not an exclusive one. I’ll still blog about the games I play and my reactions to compelling events, but that can only fill so many pages. I tend to play long games, and once I get a job it will be some time before I can start covering a new title. But I read about games almost as much as I play them, and there’s arguably more untouched material in responding to what I read.
Before I embark on this adventure, I want to give this one disclaimer: I do this not out of malice. Journalism is hard, and mistakes are inevitable; lord knows I’ll be making a number of boneheaded moves in the future. But it’s vital to continue to think critically about what we write and how we approach games, and not sweep it away into the bin labeled “shit happens.” So I will critique others, and I hope others critique me.