1993 was a very big year in gaming for me. It was the year I got a Super Nintendo for my birthday and the year I read my first video game magazine. Both of those moments were key in making me the enthusiast I am today, for better or worse. I won’t talk about the Super Nintendo experience this time. I wanted to write about that magazine and how it completely changed my media consumption habits.
On my birthday, my best friend at the time gave me a baseball cap and a copy of Gamepro magazine. It had Battletoads on the cover and featured a pull-out Street Fighter II Turbo guide. At the time, I didn’t have a copy of any Street Fighter game nor could I even throw a Hadoken, but I poured over that guide for hours thinking about the day when I could actually pull off those sweet combos or implement this strategy into how I played that game. Truth be told, I never really followed through on any third-party Street Fighter knowledge until last year. In any case, reading about how intricate that game could be played opened my eyes to how awesome that game was.
From that point on, video game media became a part of my life. With a few dollars of allowance or birthday money in hand, I would head down to the local convenience store and pick up a video game magazine. For a while, I would just pick up anything. As my tastes refined though, I was all about Electronic Gaming Monthly. Unlike video game media of today, which is essentially a landslide of up-to-the-minute news, previews, reviews and features that come and go within hours, getting that video game magazine once a month was an event. I would often buy snacks to go along with my magazine reading and often go through the magazines together with a friend and discuss what games look hot in previews and what games we would check out based on their review scores.
In a way, video game magazines also helped me make friends and helped improve my ability to read and write. I never really got into novels, but my love of reading stuff in a magazine form has transcended way beyond video games.
Nowadays, I don’t read video game magazines anymore. Heck, I stopped reading video game magazines regularly around 1998. I have been getting the majority of my video game media from websites and podcasts ever since. Often times though, I do yearn to sit down with a video game magazine and read through it. Every now and then, I would buy an EGM just for that experience, but the magazine closed down at the beginning of 2009. All the other magazines out there either don’t speak to me or are really expensive.
When the magazine does return this year, will it be any good? What will it do to keep someone like me who gets the brunt of their information from the Internet interested? Whatever the case, I am looking forward to the magazine’s return.