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Nathan's thread on memories of first games played gave me an idea for another trip down the arcade memory lane - Video Game Magazines. What were some of the first Video Game Magazines you read or subscribed to?

I'll start off...
My first was Electronic Games, November 1979. That went on up to about 1983 or 84 I think.
One of the features around 1981 was a club called "Video Game All-Stars" which put out a monthly newsletter. I subscribed to that too and that was good for the time. Lotsa good info on games, machines and computers of the time.
It was a pity I was too dumb to keep these publications in good condition. I'd really like to go through each and every one of them today!

In much later years, 1997 I think, after buying a few games mags, I started another subscription with Next-Generation magazine which I kept for about 3 years or so. I liked that mag. They carried info in great detail on ALL aspects of arcade gaming, from playing, to fans, to machines, to actual programming and the programmers behind the games.

Ahhh... a single tear rolls down my cheek...

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The first magazine I bought (with pocket money) was CRASH (dedicated to the ZX Spectrum). CRASH was launched in 1984 (can't recall anything else major happening that year! wink ) Then I moved on to Zzap!64 and The Games Machine/Raze (multi-format console magazine). Raze's successor was The Edge, which I still read on long train journeys!

C&VG was around then too, but I preferred the editorial of the other publishers.

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"Electronic Fun with Computers and Games" was great. I still have all of mine. smile

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Vidiot!

I also seem to remember a couple different magazines that would offer full programs that you could type in for yourself. The programs were pages of code that were printed on cheap newsprint paper. Each line of the code was followed by some sort of checksum number so you could verify that you were typing everything in correctly. That is if you bothered to type in the checksum number generator program.

I remember typing in one program in particular. It was a game for the Commodore-64. The description of the game was some sort of first-person, 3D maze game. You played a photographer who had been hired to search the city's sewers and take photographs of giant ants that apparently were living down there. You scored points by the quality of the snapshots you were able to produce. I thought the concept of this game was really cool and unique so I spent a few days typing in all the code. Obviously it never worked or I wouldn't be typing this now. I even went back and retyped in sections. Still nothing. Here I am more than 20 years later and I'm still bitter about all those wasted hours. I want those hours back, videogame magazine! mad

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Talking of hand coding. Zzap! 64 contained an 'update' for Little Computer People (LCP), which, once I'd painstakingly entered every line (and checked in triplicate), resulted in an unreadable disc. An April fools allegedly! Cost me 15.99 (a lot of money in those days)... :annoyed:

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Electronic Games was the one for me. I missed the first three issues, but bought the rest and still have them. They're fun to flip through, and interesting since a lot of the "boring" articles about the industry (which I never read back then) really paint a vivid picture of the rise and fall of the industry as it happened.

In '84 they really started hurting after the crash. They went bi-monthly, then switched most of their coverage to computer games (which I had absolutely no use for), so I stopped buying it. I don't know when they stopped publication, but I don't recall seeing it much after that.

The other magazine I got was Atari Age from the Atari Club (the official one, of course). This previewed new games, had exclusives for sale (where I got Quadrun, but didn't get Crazy Climber... I still regret missing that one), and made you feel like you were getting "insider" information. I still have all of those, too (including the issue with the order form for Crazy Climber).

I missed a few game-buying opportunites like that. Starpath (which made the Supercharger for the 2600) sent me a letter that they were clearing out their games, and I had an opportunity to get a complete set for about $50. I always meant to order them, but for some reason never did. Still have the order forms for those, too. wink

Kind-of related to this, is the Columbia Video Game Club, which I belonged to for awhile. Yep... same idea as the old Columbia Record Club, where they sent you a title a month, and you can keep it and pay for it, or send it back for another. I managed to get a few rare ones through there (Miner 2049er I & II for the 2600), but most of the games I bought through them weren't very good. (I tried, whenever possible, to play games in stores before purchasing them, but the Club didn't make that possible, and sending bad ones back was inconvenient.) While not a magazine, it was still a subscription of sorts. And a pretty expensive one, once you got past the "three games for a buck each" lure. :rolleyes:


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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveD:
I also seem to remember a couple different magazines that would offer full programs that you could type in for yourself. The programs were pages of code that were printed on cheap newsprint paper. Each line of the code was followed by some sort of checksum number so you could verify that you were typing everything in correctly. That is if you bothered to type in the checksum number generator program.
That would most likely be Compute! magazine. That mag actually helped me along in programming BASIC & 6502 code. The checksums were from The Automatic Proofreader. Oh for the hours and hours of typing in the programs. Compute! was THE computer user's bible of the period. We also had subs. to Commodore and PowerPlay magazines, computer magazines dedicated to the VIC-20 and C64.

The only games mag I had though was Electronic Games.


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