Ultimate Gamer Issue 1 (July 1995) 1.0.0


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This particular copy was apparently given away at E3 (see the sticker on the cover).  It's an interesting mag.  The opening editorial claims the mag aims to appeal to adult gamers, and for the most part, I found it an interesting read that did indeed succeed in their stated goal of being better than the typical video game mag aimed at children.  The only problem I had with the mag was the review section, which for some reason eschewed written reviews in favor of what was essentially a bunch of screenshots and a score.  They must have gotten some negative feedback on this format, since later issues would add written commentary to the reviews.  Anyway, check it out!




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Thanks for archiving this one, could have gone forgotten to time and I'd never have known it existed. Chris Gore's wiki page doesn't make any mention of it even. 

Going through it, I can see why this didn't get far. If future issues tried being more adult just by using language like "bullshit" they couldn't have gotten good distribution, since kids were a huge consumer base for gaming mags back then and vendors probably couldn't find a place on their shelves away from the gaming magazines where anyone would notice it, assuming it had to be placed with the more "adult" stuff anyway.

 

Not a fan of the layout at all either. I'd still be curious to check out how they evolved in future issues though.

 

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I'm pretty sure that even in the most conservative backwaters of America, mild swearing is not enough to force a magazine into an adult section.  But you're right that they didn't really do enough to carve out their own niche in the market.

One has but to look at a PC gaming mag from the same era to see what a magazine aimed at a more mature audience is like.  Not because it has more swear words or half-naked girls, but rather actual editorial content and helpful reviews.  A typical review in a video game mag is usually  2 or 3 short paragraphs at most combined with numerous screenshots and almost never takes up more than a single page.  A typical PC game review is often at least two pages of densely packed text where it's the reviewer's job to tell you all the reasons why a game is good or bad, rather than let screenshots or a simple list of bullet points do the talking for them. 

This issue of Ultimate Gamer, as I pointed out above, apparently decided to let the screenshots do ALL the talking, and didn't even bother with writing reviews at all, which to me, completely negates anything else they might do to try to reach more mature readers.  Later issues correct this to some degree, falling more or less in line with a typical video game mag, but to be honest, the only video game mag I've ever seen that actually seemed like it was written for adults was Next Generation.

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