Thursday, June 12, 2014

Games in Glossies

I have this obsession with magazines. I hoard back issues like no tomorrow, and I've several issues lying around the house that take up more space than my own existence. (Not really.) I especially enjoy gaming magazines. Window shopping for video games brings me so much happiness, and the same can be said for whenever I flip through pages of a gaming magazine.

Electronic Gaming Monthly in particular is one of those gaming magazines I often look forward to.

I've been an avid (but not necessarily consistent) fan of EGM since my grade school days. How it grew to be one of my favorite gaming magazines was probably very organic: I amassed a collection of gaming magazines, many of which turned out to be EGM, and really liked the content that they produced. I looked forward to their reviews (and especially looked forward to what roster Seanbaby was gonna diss each issue); it was through these reviews that I found some of my favorite games to date (Katamari Damacy, Space Channel 5), and then some.

One sub-unit I really liked -- much more than EGM even -- was GameNOW, though I was completely unaware that it was even a product of EGM until much, much later. Maybe it was because I was at the prime age of GN's target market did I enjoy it so much, or maybe it was just because I relied on GN for some guidance with video games. Whatever the case, GameNOW, as I remember, was my definite favorite gaming magazine. I'd dig through rows and rows of back issues, and while I would scavenge a few other gaming magazines here and there, nothing could ever make my heart race like GameNOW.

A few years later, I suddenly saw GameNOW and EGM issues less and less, until I stopped seeing them at bookstores and magazine stands altogether. I eventually found out that GN was defunct and EGM stopped producing anything, though this was news to me only after EGM made its comeback.

I have issues dating back to 2003, and the photo above shows what might've been my first EGM issue ever. I don't remember if, as a kid, I'd buy gaming magazines at full price or on sale, but these days I'm all about the back issues. EGM is the one gaming magazine from my childhood that has managed to carry over its lifespan to the new generation -- or at least, it's the only one I've really paid attention to.

With the emergence of digital platforms in the world of publishing, EGM has not fallen behind. They've launched their own digital counterpart (aptly named EGM Digital, what else) and it acts as a nice supplement to physical copies. I've never purchased an actual digital issue myself, because I'm a cheapskate, so I've only gone as far as downloading whatever was free on the app. But even those free issues were pretty good. The content isn't as much as an actual physical issue, but I don't think it needs to be a literal digital copy of physical issues. Like I said, it's a nice supplement; sort of like a nice DLC to add onto your present gaming experience.

EGM today is obviously different to what it was when I first encountered it. Today it seems a bit more... hip? Actual issues are a LOT thinner that what they used to be, that I've noticed. But recent issues have also included in-depth interviews with game developers and other hot shots in the industry, which provides some nice insight on some of your favorite games. I especially indulged in their interview with thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen; it was what hit the nail on the coffin of my "Reasons I Should Buy Journey Once and For All" list.

You could say I sort of grew up with EGM, in a way. Like myself, EGM has also matured, and it's our shared love for games that ultimately brings us together. (Cue: dramatic music.) Gaming magazines in general are so scarce these days though, which is why whenever I find a back issue of EGM I kind of gasp a little to myself in pleasant surprise.

I don't know if the picture above shows all of my EGM issues, but it definitely doesn't show all of my gaming magazines, because I have heaps of GameNOW issues lying about somewhere. I'd like to think that EGM, and gaming magazines in general, were a big influence to my gaming hobby. It was a major catalyst in what fueled my love for games, especially since I was exposed to these magazines at a young age. I have this not-so-secret dream of writing for a gaming magazine, though we all know I'd probably do a crap job at it.

Now you know why this blog was started, at least partially.

- Ina

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