Magazines and reading material.

May 26, 2021
Super NES
This might be one for the older folk, but... Nowadays, with all gaming knowledge easily found with the click of a mouse, the golden age of video game journalism has all but disappeared. So, what have been your gaming magazines of choice, over the years?

My Story: (Completely non-essential reading...)

The early nineties saw an explosion in gaming, along with which, came, seemingly, a new magazine every other week. My first foray into gaming magazines came with Mean Machines issue 1, in 1990. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was huge at the time and with Leonardo on the cover, the least cool of all the Turtles***, it was still worth a second look... The magazine cost an astronomical £1.75, which, for a child who only got £2 a week in pocket money, was frankly an obscene price to pay! The first time I read the magazine it became obvious why the higher price, it wasn't written with kids, in mind. When you consider my usual reading material, 2000 A.D. and Commando comic, together, didn't cost as much as a copy of Mean Machines, and realizing the taboo nature of the magazine, it kinda makes sense why shoplifting was all too tempting...

Aged just 10, my friend Darryl and I would buy our comics from our usual newsagent, (basically, the one who knew both of our moms), and then go and steal Mean Machines from a newsagent who didn't. While one of us was up at the counter, asking the price of the bouncy-balls, (kept in a tub marked with a large sign reading: "10p Each"), or sorting out which neon coloured surfer rope bracelet we wanted, (they were a late eighties/early nineties thing), the other had already swiped two copies of Mean Machines and was out the door. 1993 saw an upsurge in gaming magazines, Nintendo Magazine System, GamesMaster and, in my opinion, the greatest gaming title of all time, Edge, were all released and all of them were stolen, by Darryl and I. Sometimes, used as cover, where we'd buy whichever particular gaming magazine it was, while the other stole top-shelf porn, Metal Hammer, or Tattoo Savage. (We were thirteen, by this time, you understand, sooo... Yeah!) Once read, the copies of Metal Hammer, Tattoo Savage and, of course, the gaming titles would be passed on to members of our stoner/punk/grunge click, at school, in exchange for cigarettes... Much like a prison yard, a school yard runs on a barter and exchange system, and just like a prison yard a copy of Escort, Razzle, or Fiesta could get you a spliff, or two's worth of nasty "Soap Bar" hash, in practically any school playground in Britain. (Certainly all the schools in my area, anyway!)

l stopped reading, (and stealing), gaming magazines, by the time I'd left school. Finding out just how easy it was to get served in a pub, or in an off-licence, saw me going for games picked from the top ten rack, in HMV, rather than actually reading up on them first. It was much later, with the advent of the internet, in practically every home, that I started to read up on games, again. This got me buying back the consoles I used to own, NES and SNES, I already had the N64 and GameCube, at this point. As well as grabbing all my old titles for literally pennies, I found a rake of new-to-me games, I'd never played before. This included my favourite video game of all time, NHL '94, something I'd completely missed in the garishly designed magazines, stolen in the folly of my youth.

***It's Raph, by the way! The coolest Turtle is definitely Raph!
yeah, my first foray was Nintendo Power. My grandparents would get them and id read them front to back wishing for every game in them. I guess i have the last three years or so of them that were in print. I subscribed until they stopped. I will cherish them forever. Cool cool post man.

Latest posts

Latest threads