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Missing Magazine: PCGames

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I previously thought of this magazine as IDG's first era of "PC Games" magazine but on closer inspection of the publisher's statements, they're actually spelled differently! There's PCGames, which was published in the late 80s and early 90s, and then there's PC Games, published in the late 90s, both by IDG, and taking place before and after IDG's run of Electronic Entertainment, respectively.

Like many other early PC gaming magazines, PCGames is an oddball, first published seasonally, then semi-seasonally or basically whenever they felt like it. Finding a complete catalog any time soon is hopeless, so I'll just use this thread to list confirmed sightings of published issues and their status. Right now most of this list comes from the catalog of the Strong Museum of Play. Scanned issues will be linked and this post will be edited as the thread updates. Please post your sightings!

Fall 1988 - Premier Issue (preserved)
Spring 1989 (missing)
December 1989 (missing)
April 1990 (acquired)
Sep/Oct 1990 (missing)
December 1990 (missing)
Jan/Feb 1991 (acquired)
Mar/Apr 1991 (missing)
October 1991 (missing)
November 1991 (missing)
December 1991 (missing)
Jan/Feb 1992 (missing)
Aug/Sep 1992 (preserved)
October 1992 (missing)
November 1992 (preserved)
January 1993 (missing)
Feb/Mar 1993 (preserved)
Jun/Jul 1993 (missing)
September 1993 (acquired)
October 1993 (missing)
November 1993 (acquired)

Edited by marktrade

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Err...not sure from your post if you're looking for info on PC Games or just PCGames, but I have some issues of PC Games. Wait, huh?

Anyway, I've got

June 96

July 96

Sept. 96

Nov. 96

Dec. 96

Jan 97

Feb 97

I've also got the demo discs for all of those except the Sept. 96 issue.

btw, thanks for the links (and the promise of more to come!). I already had that first issue, but I must have gotten it from oldgamemags, since it's in PDF format. I'm gonna redownload it here to save myself the trouble of having to convert it. I do hate me some PDF, though I can see why others might prefer it...

Edited by kitsunebi77

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I finished editing two issues that I've had sitting on my hard drive for a while, November 1992 and Feb/Mar 1993. Links have been added to the original post.

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So PCGames begat Electronic Entertainment begat PC Entertainment begat PC Games?  These generational 'zines can be a real pain sometimes.

 

Not entirely sure how to go about this one.  Looking over marktrade's scans, I couldn't find any issue numbers so it looks like we're going to have to rely on dates only.  Which complicates matters as the publication schedule looks very sporadic and the RetroMags magazine dbase really likes issue numbers.  :)

 

One option is to let this thread cook for a while longer.  Or we can add the current list of issues to the dbase and fudge the number details until we have a better idea of the full run.  Myself, I vote for fudge.  Listing what we know in the frontend may attract more attention and eventually more details.

 

I've created a PCGames cover Gallery but I expect there'll still be lots of crossover with it and the current PC Games Gallery.  The cover mastheads don't really reflect the spacing, after all.

 

Hopefully we'll be able to firm up the issue list eventually.  I did some digging myself but didn't have any luck - marktrade's list is already amazingly comprehensive considering the lack of info out there.  Kudos to the OP.  :)

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Added PCGames to the magazine dbase:

https://www.retromags.com/magazines/category/usa/pcgames/

 

Each issue has been assigned a placeholder issue number.  These are largely guesswork - erring on the side of caution - allowing sufficient gaps so sorting is easily workable if any new issues are discovered.  These placeholders are "hidden" from public view although they will show in the Magazine Database sidebar whenever issue edits are made.

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It's a shame the software can't be set to sort magazine entries by date. Then we could do away with this "issue number" nonsense entirely. I won't speculate on the actual percentage, but there are lots of magazines besides PCGames that simply don't have issue numbers, so forcing them upon the database is unfortunate.

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It's a shame the software can't be set to sort magazine entries by date. Then we could do away with this "issue number" nonsense entirely. I won't speculate on the actual percentage, but there are lots of magazines besides PCGames that simply don't have issue numbers, so forcing them upon the database is unfortunate.

 

 

I think the next version of this software does have a built in date field, but the only issue I see is issues that straddle months/years

 

Feb/March 2001

December/January 1995-1996

etc..

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I think the next version of this software does have a built in date field, but the only issue I see is issues that straddle months/years

 

Feb/March 2001

December/January 1995-1996

etc..

 

I don't see how this would be a problem?  If the sorting field is in year/month format, then 2001.02-03 or whatever will still come in-between 2001.01 and 2001.04.  Although really, just the first date need be entered into the sorting field so the second example might just be sorted as 1995.12 (the issue's title in the database would of course reflect both dates.)

 

I've already got some issues in Famitsu database that straddle months and years, btw.  They straddle issue numbers, as well, because I guess the Japanese just enjoy making things extra confusing. :)

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I don't see how this would be a problem?  If the sorting field is in year/month format, then 2001.02-03 or whatever will still come in-between 2001.01 and 2001.04.  Although really, just the first date need be entered into the sorting field so the second example might just be sorted as 1995.12 (the issue's title in the database would of course reflect both dates.)

 

I've already got some issues in Famitsu database that straddle months and years, btw.  They straddle issue numbers, as well, because I guess the Japanese just enjoy making things extra confusing. :)

 

The issue is that the date field only allows for a strict date. Basically when you click on the field, you will be shown a calendar and can browse to a date. When we do it this way, everything has to be in that same format

 

January 1st 1999

 

So for a magazine like Nintendo Power, where you would technically only refer to a publication date like....

 

December 1991

 

you will need to start adding in the day as well, it was why I decided to break up the Month and Year fields when I put together the database.

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But supposing it straddles two dates and you just choose either one of them for the sorting field, it will still fall in-between the issue preceeding and following issue, won't it?

 

By the way, I'm still sorting through all those unsorted pics, and just want to point out that this PCGames vs PC Games thing is RIDICULOUS.  How the hell we're supposed to know which is which is beyond me, especially since the cover logo for PCGames looks like "PC Games" and the cover logo for PC Games looks like "PCGames."  Whoever was responsible for this mess should be shot. <_<

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Warning - this will be of interest to possibly one other person, but here it is anyway.

I had to basically redo the entire PCGames database.  When it was created, all of the issues were simply titled "PCGames" since the issues themselves don't have issue/volume numbers and our information on its publication run is woefully incomplete.  The intent (I believe) when the PCGames DB was first created was to avoid making up numbers that could turn out to be incorrect, and have the issues sort in the correct order by manipulating the sorting field (editable by mods on the back end).  It was a good idea, and the issues we have confirmed to exist were listed in the correct order on the database page.  However, as I discovered when I went to try to edit those issues in the database and add some new covers, the individual DB entries' URLs are based on the issues' name/title.  Since the title of every issue was "PCGames," every issue had the same URL and clicking on any issue took you to the same DB entry, so there was no way of editing exact issue you were intending to edit.  Plus, after editing an issue's name, the only way to update its URL is to go to a special page that Phillyman created to remove URL suffixes, and after that, the issue had to be edited via a separate admin site in order to set the magazine's download status as "allowed," since the creator of the original enrtres had forgotten to do so.  The bottom line was that the quickest and easiest way to fix everything was simply to delete the entries and start over.

The results are kind of awkward, but can be fixed at a later time.  The covers in the Gallery are sorted using year/month format, so July 1990 would be "PCGames (1990.07)."   As for the database entries, I've had to include the date in the issue names to give each issue a unique URL without simply making up issue numbers that would almost definitely turn out to be incorrect, so the title would be "PCGames (July 1990)." 

On the back end (viewable by mods) the issues had originally been given some sorting numbers that were spaced out enough to allow the possibility of adding extra issues to be inserted in-between as they were discovered, but this was a very sloppy method of being "organized."  On the redone DB, the sorting field on the back end is done using a number that represents the issue's cover date.  July 1990 is sorted as 199007, while December 1991 would sort as 199112.  This will make it much easier to add future issues without the hassle of having to see what sorting number has been assigned to the surrounding issues in order to know what number the new issue should be sorted by.

Anyway, in the process I added a few new covers, including one for an issue that had previously not been in the DB (or the list at the start of this thread). 

And if you're wondering why I went to all this trouble, it has something to do with the mag I debound yesterday in preparation to be scanned...:)

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I know how you feel. With the mags sharing the same names (I know four "PC Player" and four "PC Games", maybe more to come), those who reinitialize their numbering sometimes and those who don't even have numbering, it can be a source of trouble. At least, the id in the database is unique. :)

Three things :

- About the mess with "PCGames" / "PC Games" : be careful with "Computer Games Strategy Plus", the "Computer Games" was added to mean they dropped boardgames, but it was still called "Strategy Plus" inside, and later it became "Computer Games" (with "Strategy Plus" written with a smaller font on the cover). And worse, its nationality changed : it was originally British and became 100% American later !

- There are two covers of PC Games that don't show up in the magazine section.

- Don't forget your remaining "Game Players PC Entertainment". :P

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16 hours ago, Hoagie said:

- About the mess with "PCGames" / "PC Games" : be careful with "Computer Games Strategy Plus", the "Computer Games" was added to mean they dropped boardgames, but it was still called "Strategy Plus" inside, and later it became "Computer Games" (with "Strategy Plus" written with a smaller font on the cover). And worse, its nationality changed : it was originally British and became 100% American later !

- There are two covers of PC Games that don't show up in the magazine section.

- Don't forget your remaining "Game Players PC Entertainment". :P

I will probably get around to fixing Computer Games Strategy Plus and PC Games whenever I get around to adding my own scans to it.  There are two things that usually motivate me to create or fix a particular database:

  1. I have covers or scans to add and need to create or fix a database/cover Gallery to allow me to do so.
  2.  Someone else has covers or scans to add and needs to have a database/cover Gallery created/fixed to allow them to do so.

I'm very sorry to report that reason #2 has rarely come up.  The line of people chomping at the bit to contribute around here is pretty much non-existent, even though the entire website is ostensibly built around the concept that all members are allowed and encouraged to contribute.  So it falls to me, apparently - but I'm just one person.  I do my best (I've contributed more covers to the Gallery/database in the past 2.5 years than every other person combined managed to contribute in the past 12 years.)  But still. And yet no matter how much I do around here, I'll still have some guy demanding to know when I'm going to scan some magazine he's interested in.;)

p.s. True story: I'm pretty sure the entire reason that my "rank" of Database Moderator exists is because back when I was just a regular Member (and after contributing some scans, a Team Member) I used to pester Phillyman constantly to create this or that Gallery or database for me that I wanted to contribute to (since only Retromags Curators had the ability to create new galleries/databases).  I think my constant requests annoyed him to the point that he created the (at the time) new position of Database Moderator which gave me the ability to do such things for myself just so he'd stop having to deal with so many PMs from me all the time.:)  Not that I don't still send some his way on a regular basis.:P

The moral of the story is, anyone can contribute, even to the point of being one of our top contributors.  And if they want to contribute but we don't yet have a Gallery/DB in place for their contribution, all they have to do is ask and we'll try to get it created.  And maybe if they contribute a crapload of stuff and are always bothering Phillyman or E-Day or me about this or that in order for them to be able to do so, well...who knows?  They might just find themselves the proud appointee of the not-yet-created position of Super Annoying Guy Who Adds All The ThingsOr, uh, maybe something more diplomatic-sounding, like what happened to me?:P

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I wish I liked this magazine better than I do.  But it's no PC Gamer.  It's no CGW, either, for that matter.

It does seem to improve over time, at least.  What began as an almost worthless buyer's guide in the first couple of issues eventually turned into an actual magazine which improved bit by bit, and by the time it was relaunched with the space in the title, it was more or less fully formed.

There are a couple of lots of these on eBay right now, but they come to around $5 per issue, which is more than I've ever paid for any of the hundreds of mags sitting in my closet right now.  I'm frankly not sure that they're worth it.  It's just one of those mags that I'm happy to scan but have no interest in buying, I guess.

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