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#1 Edited by videogameninja (147 posts) -

Took a trip back to my old dojo and found a few boxes of videogame magazines from back in the day.

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It didn’t really dawn on me until I was taking out pile after pile of boxes that the sheer amount of big-name videogame magazine titles that were once staples of our gaming world are nowhere to be heard of in today’s common gaming vocabulary.

-You’re just realizing this now, Ninja?-

Titles like Electronic Gaming Monthly, Gamepro, and a myriad of others now seem like old relics of the past rather than the pillars of gaming notoriety each once stood for.

It goes without saying that the digital age is the reason for the now defunct and archaic world of print so it just made it all the more tantalizing as my eyes scanned over each glossy cover before diving in.

I know it sounds strange but there was something “powerful” about looking through those old images again. It wasn’t just the nostalgia playing up in my head but something more. A kind of connection, one that is in some ways lost today in the fast pace instantaneous world we live in today.

-Okay, Ninja. We get it. Today’s world sucks and everything in the past was better.-

Not at all.

Things are way better now when you think about it. Back then we had to wait 2 to 3 months for coverage on the latest news and gossip on our favorite developers and games; things that nowadays we get at the instant tap of our fingertips.

Today we know the second a developer unveils to the world their new wares (think E3.) at the same time everyone else in the world does (editors, gaming journalists, etc...). Back then such a world could only be dreamed up of in the most outlandish science fiction movies/novels. So, NO… things definitely weren’t better back then; at least not as it pertains to information, tech, etc…

But still, there was something amazing about fingering (-Ha! You said fingering, Ninja!-) through the various pages, advertisements and all, in an attempt to decipher and pick through information that screamed to readers about what new game or piece of hardware was the next big thing everyone would be talking about.

The other things that few people ever talk about was the unbelievable pieces of artwork that littered the covers and insides of these “out of date” pieces of gaming. While not every magazine used this as a selling point there were a notable groups of mags that seemed to pride themselves on stellar pieces of art that today just seems to be lost.

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Gaming publications like GameFan and Gamer’s Republic were known for having “stop in your tracks” pieces of art that screamed at the hearts of young and impressionable gamers. Images that subconsciously demanded they pick that latest issue off that convenience store shelf and take it home. I can tell you personally that looking at certain covers for myself (now.) instantly brought with it a cascade of memories as well as a detailed recollection of just what exactly was behind each cover.

I know that a fair amount of what I’m talking about is pure nostalgia (-A fair amount, Ninja? How about… All!-) but for those of us out there that lived through this “prehistoric” time it was something special.

Giantbomb community, I know the pictures I’ve enclosed aren’t the best but how many of you actually remember some of the issues on display?

Are there any specific memories any of these covers bring back?

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#2 Posted by andrewf87462 (870 posts) -

Jesus, I don't actually think I recognise any of them. Either my memory is failing or those publications weren't quite as popular over here in the UK.

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#3 Posted by TheHT (15747 posts) -

YUP. That Nemesis Gamepro, the "TOO MANY GAMES," Halo 2, Mortal Kombat (the Raiden one), Teras Kasi, Tips n Tricks, hell almost all of em are familiar even if I didn't own em (spent a lot of time just browsing magazine sections as a kid). That's some good shit.

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#4 Posted by Ungodly (438 posts) -

I was a huge fan of Gamefan back in the day, and I have all of those issues. Some of my copies are missing their covers, because I would hang them on my wall, but the books themselves are still at my parents house. Loved that magazine.

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#5 Posted by Big_Denim (755 posts) -

The fun factor on this post: 5.0.

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#7 Posted by johnohara (26 posts) -

Dang, I recognize the Twisted Metal Black EGM, the orange Sonic EGM below it (I distinctly remember reading it), and for some reason saw that Dreamcast magazine with PSO on the cover at newsstands pretty frequently despite never buying the magazine or owning a Dreamcast. Nice find dude!

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#8 Posted by BallsLeon (530 posts) -

Coming home to a freshly delivered EGM was one of the best feelings in the world. I would devour those things, and then pour of reviews and images for hours agonizing over which game to save up money for. To this day, nothing releases the same amount of dopamine from seeing the double-issue holiday edition in your mailbox.

I specifically remember that edition with Twisted Metal: Black on the cover. No affinity for the game itself, but definitely familiar.

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#9 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1142 posts) -

For me, it was PC Gamer always, Computer Gaming World sometimes, and occasionally EGM and Game Informer. In the past year, I've subscribed to GI and PCG digitally, mostly for nostalgia reasons. As recently as a year and a half or so ago, I'd still grab physical issues of PCG at the store.

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#10 Posted by jewunit (1152 posts) -

I never read much GamePro, GameFan, or EGM. I was mostly a Nintendo Power guy. I did dally into Gamers' Republic for a little while once I pulled away from Nintendo magazines and consoles. I remember that they had some nice coverage of Dreamcast and Playstation games along with some anime coverage. The one that I remember most had Klonoa on the cover and had some ranked lists of top Dreamcast, PlayStation, and PlayStation 2 games. I ended up buying a Dreamcast based partially on their recommendations.

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#11 Posted by wadtomaton (606 posts) -

I have some of those EGMs and PSMs on a shelf not 10 ft away from me! :D

I remember my grandma getting me a subscription to Nintendo Power and GamePro through some magazine thing I was doing through school. Once I got older and was mostly playing PSX/PS2 anyways, I switched over to EGM and PSM, and then a few other rando ones as well.

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#12 Posted by videogameninja (147 posts) -

The fun factor on this post: 5.0.

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LOL!

Wonder how many people will recognize that icon/scoring system.

I want to say EGM was kind of "the king" of gaming magazines for a while during the reign of the printed magazine era but I think Gamepro had a more broader appeal and us such catered more readily to the casual gaming market.

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#13 Posted by Casepb (515 posts) -

I remember the Gamepro one the most. Some of the EGM ones look familiar as well. I had a Gamepro subscription for years though.

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#14 Posted by FacelessVixen (2439 posts) -

I still have some OPM magazines on a shelf; mainly the ones where a game I cared about was featured on the front cover, like Metal Gear Solid 3 and Kingdom Hearts 2.

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#15 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7348 posts) -

I remember all of those mostly because about eight months after PS4 came out in the US, I started working at EB Games. We read all the magazines -for free- because employees could grab free copies of the magazines except those that included a disc. I had stacks of those magazines for a long time, but I got rid of all of them.

What is conspicuously absent from that pile is Next Generation magazine. Next Gen was the pinnacle of the form - glossy, well-written, and often they only place where the interviews were not knob polishing exercises. It subtly changed many other game magazines into the future too, because a few years after Next Generation appeared most the game magazines modified their tone to be less for tweens and more for older teens or adults.

It shocking to think now that there was enough money in that industry back then to keep twenty gaming magazines always circulting. That was all pre-internet or pre-internet mattering as a broad reach platform. Our lives are filled with MORE media, advertising than ever - just now the media is audio and video not written. Up until fives years ago I still subscribed to EDGE, but I will admit that EDGE is just a shell of what it used to be because magazines are just a shell of what they used to be when 'live or recorded video' of video games is king.

But, with all the good that comes from the internet we have lost a thing too. What has been lost most is the serious interview. And, that is not just lost from magazines, ist teh loss of Tech TV, G4, etc. The loss of Adam Sessler and Geoff Keighley with actual TV shows from the content about video games is huge. FOr a nich as Tech TV or G4 was, they had enough production, backing, and power to get the big names to show up on a monthly basis not just around e3. I would even say to some extent Computer Chronicles, as back shed PBS as that was, had more reach and pull than any amount of YouTube channels like Linus Media Group.

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#16 Edited by KillEm_Dafoe (2618 posts) -

I honestly only recognize a few of those covers. I had a PSM subscription for years, starting when I had a PS1 and stayed subscribed through after the PS3 release, even though I didn't own one. I just loved that magazine, and I'm pretty sure I had the PSM at the bottom. I also had a lot of OPMs, and the ones at the top look very familiar. I'm pretty sure the only EGM I ever owned had Eric Cartman on the front for when the original South Park FPS came out. I had a GI subscription off and on for many years, too. I had a handful of GamePros and some other magazines I can't recall the name of, too. Strangely, I've never even heard of Gamefan; that looks totally foreign to me. I do recognize a few other covers just from seeing them on store shelves.

I honestly miss this era so much. Yeah, the Internet is great and convenient and everything, but back then was such a magical time for gaming, when you would fawn over every bit of info in a magazine, and then that's all you got until the next one. When you actually have to go seeking info on what you were interested in, when every game felt like it had the potential to be special. When gaming wasn't this ubiquitous hobby and magazines were one of a few outlets where you could engage with your interest with others who felt the same. I also miss the incredibly corny, edgy ads. I got rid of most of my old mag collection many years ago, but I'd like to go through the ones I kept (as long as my dad never threw them away after I moved) and look at some of that shit.

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#17 Posted by videogameninja (147 posts) -

Jesus, I don't actually think I recognise any of them. Either my memory is failing or those publications weren't quite as popular over here in the UK.

Really?

Hmm... well, most of these magazines were purchased at various places all over North America so that could possibly be the reason behind your confusion. Perhaps others from the UK can chime in and verify whether or not these titles were available there or not.

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#18 Posted by Quarters (2658 posts) -

I think I bought PSM's entire run back in the day. Loved that magazine.

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#19 Posted by videogameninja (147 posts) -

I remember all of those mostly because about eight months after PS4 came out in the US, I started working at EB Games. We read all the magazines -for free- because employees could grab free copies of the magazines except those that included a disc. I had stacks of those magazines for a long time, but I got rid of all of them.

What is conspicuously absent from that pile is Next Generation magazine. Next Gen was the pinnacle of the form - glossy, well-written, and often they only place where the interviews were not knob polishing exercises. It subtly changed many other game magazines into the future too, because a few years after Next Generation appeared most the game magazines modified their tone to be less for tweens and more for older teens or adults.

It shocking to think now that there was enough money in that industry back then to keep twenty gaming magazines always circulting. That was all pre-internet or pre-internet mattering as a broad reach platform. Our lives are filled with MORE media, advertising than ever - just now the media is audio and video not written. Up until fives years ago I still subscribed to EDGE, but I will admit that EDGE is just a shell of what it used to be because magazines are just a shell of what they used to be when 'live or recorded video' of video games is king.

But, with all the good that comes from the internet we have lost a thing too. What has been lost most is the serious interview. And, that is not just lost from magazines, ist teh loss of Tech TV, G4, etc. The loss of Adam Sessler and Geoff Keighley with actual TV shows from the content about video games is huge. FOr a nich as Tech TV or G4 was, they had enough production, backing, and power to get the big names to show up on a monthly basis not just around e3. I would even say to some extent Computer Chronicles, as back shed PBS as that was, had more reach and pull than any amount of YouTube channels like Linus Media Group.

Take a look at the top right.

😉