Welcome to my new weblog, The Video Game Ombudsman. This blog was created to fill a hole in the video game journalism scene. While there are countless magazines and web sites that detail the business, craft and art of video games, I have yet to run into a source that puts the microscope up to the journalists themselves. This column is my humble attempt to put a check on the often sloppy, lazy, biased, and unethical world of video game reporting.

By way of background, I am currently a senior double major in journalism and computer science at the University of Maryland, College Park. I founded and ran my own fan site, Super Mario Bros. HQ, for four years before moving on to write reviews for my college paper, The Diamondback, and more recently for GameCritics.com. I have also written for now-defunct video game web sites such as MyVideoGames and RobotStreetGang, and non-video game web sites TopCoder and J-Lab.

This column will mix original reporting in the form of research and interviews with my unapologetic opinions about the industry, as well as reviews of magazines, books and web sites that cover video games. I will not sugarcoat the issues at hand; I will call things as I see them. I will give both praise and derision where they are due. But most of all, I will listen to my readers.

Consider this column your forum to speak out about what you love and hate about the video game journalism business. If someone writes something that makes you ashamed to be a gamer, tell me about it. If you read a review that makes you reconsider what a video game can be, tell me about it. If you just feel like ranting about your favorite magazine, tell me about that, too. This column is only as good as the readers that take part in it, so do your part by dropping me a line at kyleorl@wam.umd.edu.

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