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Old School Gamer Magazine

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This past October Retromags was contacted on Facebook by Ryan Burger. He found our archive and liked what we were doing. He said he was the publisher of the new Old School Gamer Magazine. I was interested in knowing more, but got suspicious when he asked if Phillyman or I were available to talk on the phone. The last time I spoke to someone on the phone relating to this site, it was a crackpot member who tracked down my phone number online and kept calling me because he didn't like how we were doing things and thought that we should make everything available regardless of legal threats. This is when I was running the site for a couple of years.

So I kept the conversation on Facebook and checked out his site (http://www.oldschoolgamermagazine.com). I read the first issue on the site (the first two issues are available to download (https://www.oldschoolgamermagazine.com/magazine/), and it was pretty good. I signed up for the free digital sub and print issue. That came last week, and it was even better reading it on paper. Good quality paper, I might add :)

There is the odd typo here and there, but you kind of forget about it because there is a lot of information to take in. Interviews seem to be printed verbatim, because they often read awkwardly, as though they haven't been edited for flow. Such as this quote from the owner of a large game store in Vegas:

Quote

I don’t really play much at home anymore, but when I do, I usually pull out a Super Nintendo, play all -- play my Super Punch-Out or Contra. I’ll bring out the Atari 2600 every so often when I feel nostalgic and get back into playing Pitfall. I still have my Atari 800XL computer hooked up in my garage. So I’ll -- I play a bunch of that, because I still have all my box software and like a 1,000-plus discs.

This isn't a bad thing, it's just unusual to see.

If you are really into the old arcade and pinball games, then this is something to check out since it deals a lot with those two topics, including different arcades around the country, as well as game stores and museums/conventions. It does cover everything though, including consoles and console games, which is where my interest lies. Walter Day (founder of Twin Galaxies), and Billy Mitchell are on the advisory board of the magazine; Walter also writes a column in the magazine, as does Brett Weiss, the writer of those gaming books I have on my Amazon wishlist.

Give it a look. It's not the perfect professional magazine you will get from a large publisher like Future (which are not perfect themselves), but that's not a bad thing. My favourite article thus far was the profile on Ed Averett, the programmer for KC Munchkin, the game that got Odyssey2 maker Magnavox sued by Atari.

If you like getting game magazines in the mail still you can add this one to Nintendo Force and Retro (when it starts printing again). This is especially true if arcade games and pinball are your thing, because a lot of content focuses on those two topics. You can subscribe on Patreon and pay when an issue is printed, or live on the wild side and pay for a full year up front and save $6.

Full disclosure: Ryan is comping me a subscription, though that hasn't affected my opinion of the magazine. The fact that I enjoy several of the articles in the issues and that this is a real print magazine and not some online "magazine" is what makes me want to get some eyeballs on it.

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So a year later, how are things?

The short answer: much, much better.

There are still the odd typos here and there, but the awkward paragraphs and quotes are gone. Author Brett Weiss has a contribution in every issue, usually an excerpt from a book, and the articles have gotten better and more interesting. The November 2018 was especially great, with the very first article about the making of Mortal Kombat. That was followed up by Sega vs. Nintendo, which went over the affect Mortal Kombat had on the two consoles and the Congressional Hearing that occurred at the end of 1993.

Two good articles in one issue is great, but this issue kept going. Right after the Sega vs. Nintendo article was an article by Bill Kunkel, aka The Game Doctor, about his experience as an expert witness during the trial between Capcom and Data East. Several pages later is an article about Microsoft's Arcade Room for the Xbox 360, and what could have been.

There are still a lot of articles on conventions, arcades, and pinball as well as home console gaming. The magazine has improved 10-fold since the first issue. I would encourage anyone who has a few extra dollars every couple of months to subscribe to the magazine. We all like print magazines, and we all like retro gaming magazines, and this covers both of those likes.

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I submitted an article to Old School Gamer Magazine last year, and it was fit for print!

It's a good-quality magazine that feels like those PC/console gaming magazines I was so fond of in the 90s.

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