Retromags started back in 2005 when I came across a group of individuals scanning video game manuals. I had a box of old Nintendo Power magazines next to me and the project to digitally preserve them started. Over the years we have expanded our scanning efforts to include other video game magazine publications and strategy guides. More recently Retromags has grown from a site that only digitally preserves magazines, to a site that preserves the historical information of these magazines and guides. Very simply, Retromags believes that video game magazines represent a huge part of our gaming past. Many of these companies no longer exist and due to the nature of magazines being a somewhat disposable media format.....we want future generations to be able to relive these moments through our preservation efforts. Our video game magazine database was created to be a home for every single video game magazine ever created from around the world! While our database allows us to collect information on every gaming magazine, we currently only digitally preserve magazines to the following cover dates.
- December 2005 - Defunct Publications (ex Nintendo Power)
- December 2001 - Ongoing Publications (ex. PC Gamer - USA)
The above cutoff dates are put in place for respect to publishers that may still offer the sale of back issues on their magazines. This site was created to preserve magazines that are becoming harder to find. Our efforts are usually concentrated on the preservation of the oldest and rarest magazines we can find. Our cutoff dates only apply to the digital preservation of entire magazines. Users are allowed to scan the front cover and add information on ANY magazine record in our database.
Is This Legal?
This is one of our more frequently asked questions. Technically.....No, this is not legal! Retromags has no legally binding contract with any company to preserve and/or distribute their past magazines/guides. Many of the magazines and guides that we provide are from companies that are no longer around. In the past 10 years of being around, we have only had two requests asking that we exclude their publications from being digitally preserved. We were asked to not digitally preserve Diehard GameFan magazines, and we were also notified very nicely by a staff member at Game Informer to please not preserve their publication. Upon hearing each of those requests, we promptly removed any existing scans from this site and put them on a "Not Allowed" list.
Retromags exists in a grey area. The true copyright owners of these magazines neither condone or condemn our efforts. Plus if you think about it, even if we were given permission to digitally preserve a magazine. Does the magazine copyright owner have the ability to give us permission to preserve the advertisements within each issue? Many of these magazines are 50% advertisements, and each of those adverts has its own company that we would need to seek permissions from. In the end this is a hobby website, any company that wishes for us to remove their publication only needs to send an email to email@example.com.
How Can I Help?
Anyone looking to assist Retromags can choose from any of the following.....
Preserving Magazines - Feeling up to the challenge of digitally preserving an entire magazine? We are always on the hunt for talented individuals to join our team on the presevation front. Check out our guides on how to get started scanning, editing and uploading magazines.
Data Entry - We have recently deployed four databases that all of our members can add information into. The databases are Magazines, Publications, Strategy Guides and Video Games. Check out our guides on how to get started adding information to our databases.
Cover Images - A picture is worth a thousand words, or so I hear. If you notice that we are missing a magazine cover in our Gallery, please feel free to upload it and link it to the correct database record. Members are also encouraged to upload higher quality images of existing covers if they can. Check out or guide on how to Upload and Link images.
Coding Assistance - Are you good with PHP, CSS, MYSQL? From time to time we require code gurus to make some of the magic happen around here. Check here to see if we have any projects.
Donating Magazines - Most of us have been there, the wife says the magazines have to go! Wouldn't you feel much better knowing they were being sent to a good home? Check out this page on how to donate magazines!
Forum Poster - One of the simplest ways to contribute to Retromags is to be active on our forums. Whether you are replying to existing topics or creating some of your own....it all helps in the end. We only ask that you treat each other with respect and stay away from hot button issues like race, religion, politics.
Monetary Donations - If all else fails and you always donate a few dollars towards our server costs and the purchasing of rare magazines from eBay.
What Do These Statuses Mean? (Missing, Acquired, Not Allowed, etc)
- Missing - This magazine has not been preserved. None of our team members have it.
- Acquired - This magazine has not been preserved. At least (1) one of team members owns it though.
- Scanning - This magazine is in the process of being scanned by one of our team members.
- Editing - This magazine has already been scanned, but now is being in the process of being edited.
- Preserved - This magazine has been preserved and has a download link.
- Not Allowed - This magazine is not allowed to be preserved. Either violates our 1999/2005 rule...or the publisher has asked for its removal.
- Newbie - A registered member who has less than 25 posts on the forums.
- Member - A registered member who has at least 25 posts on the forum.
- Patron - A registered member who has donated $20 for the year.
- Team Member - A registered member who has preserved at least 1 magazine.
- Moderator - A registered member who watches over a specific area on the forum
- Super Moderator - A registered member who watches over the entire forum
- Database Moderator - A registered member who has elevated permissions in the databases
- Curators - Administrators of the entire site.