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This site is related to "classic videogame" magazines only (1981-1985). Not for technical or mostly technical computer magazines.

A VERY SHORT HISTORY FOR CLASSIC VIDEOGAMES LITERATURE

Computer magazines have always existed, perhaps hidden under simple forms of electronic or mechanics magazines. For the videogame magazines it's all another story. The first real video game machine was released in May 1972 (MAGNAVOX ODYSSEY) followed by other two machines (Fairchild Channel F-mail order only and Bally Arcade then renamed as Astrocade). However the videogames industry started only by October the 1st, 1979 with the first independent video game software company in the world: Activision.

In this era there weren't actually videogame magazines and apart for some average books there were only NEWSLETTERS and CATALOGUES from producers.To be honest there were also some magazines which used to cover about a quarter of a page (if you were lucky) about videogames. But for the rest these magazines were full of rock singers or electronic equipment (ex. Video, PlayBoy etc). They hadn't anything to do with a real videogame magazine. You shouldn't wonder too much about that because all the videogames production from 1978 to 1980 is the same of the production in a single month of 1982!.




The first videogame magazine in the world was British Computer & Video Games from Eastern Magazines Associated Publisher (E.M.A.P.) marked "November 1981" and released in the second week of October 1981. Somebody might not agree, in fact there is also the American Electronic Games from Reese publishing marked "Winter" and released in the last week of October 1981. So this publication was defeated by only ten or fifteen days. However "C&VG" is a videogame magazine rather atypical compared to the mags you usually buy at the newsagent nowadays. C&VG is all game oriented yes, but only one fourth of the mag is for game reviews and news (computer/console/coin-op); all the rest is for GAME listings which you should re-type on your machine. This is true for 2 years at least. Electronic Games is instead similar to modern publications so it's more a game mag than "C&VG". However "EG" started as a "quarterly publication" and become monthly only from May 1982 issue. "C&VG" was monthly since its very first issue. Computer Gaming World follow just few days later, while Softline, even if published before the three magazines above, can not be considered a true videogame magazine.

c&vg


electronic games

CGW

All the other mags were imitators. About 10 new titles were launched just after the Summer of 1982 or just in time for Christmas. Also many other serious publications (already available in early '70) started to cover with one of two pages the golden era of videogames (yes, like a gold run). But this is true only for America and England; you couldn't buy videogame magazines in Europe until October 1982; other countries used to have 1 videogames related magazine or none at all. With England in all the rest of the Europe, only Italy, Germany and France had their own "true 100%" videogame magazine before Christmas 1982. Moreover some "mostly technical oriented" publications in the first half of the '80 switched to "mostly games oriented" in the second half.


In 1982 there were around 10 videogame magazines in ALL the world; in 1983 around 20. Not including modern times, in 1987 we already had more than two hundred videogame magazines. Probably this is the thing that makes early '80 videogames magazines so interesting to me. If you know another videogame
(not technical) magazine (until the end of 1985) -every country- not listed here or if you find any mistake please, let me know.