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Electronic Fun with Computers and Games

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Electronic Fun with Computers & Games is a magazine devoted to home consoles, computers, and arcade games. Published during the "classic" era of video games, it was the first national competition for Electronic Games and the first of a series of rival video-game mags.

Like other titles of the era, the magazine changed names to ComputerFun: The Magazine of Recreational Computing in 1984 in an attempt to distance itself from the video-game industry crash of 1983. The internal contents remained largely unchanged, however.

History

The magazine was founded by Richard Ekstract, an entreprenur and 40-year publishing veteran who has started up over 20 magazines in the field of consumer electronics, shortly after he joined Viare Publishing. The launch issue, dated November 1982, had a print run of 250,000 copies.

Ekstract had earlier launched Video Review, a consumer video-technology magazine that rivaled Reese Publishing's own Video magazine, and like that publication, Electronic Fun was a direct rival to Reese's Electronic Games. The staff originally featured Dan Gutman as managing editor, who soon left to found his own mag, Video Games Player. (His replacement, Randi Hacker, later became a successful children's book author, just like Gutman.)

The contents of the magazine are extremely similar in style to Electronic Games, with news up front, longform game reviews in the back, feature articles on new consoles and whiz-kid programmers, and the occasional humor feature rounding each issue out. Differences include a greater amount of photographed screenshots (as opposed to the mockup screens or interpretive artwork Electronic Games prefered) and a reader-submitted typein game program, usually for either the VIC-20 or the Atari 8-bit machines, included with each issue.

While the marked similarity between Electronic Fun and Electronic Games didn't go unnoticed by the competition (EG editor Bill Kunkel would later call the title "a second-class, second-rate publication"), the magazine was a modest success for its first year, publishing on an uninterrupted monthly schedule and attracting most of the same advertisers that bought space in EG. Ad money dried up quickly after the 1983 holiday season, however, and a last-minute name change to ComputerFun with the April 1984 issue failed to keep the magazine from being canceled without comment the following month.


Electronic Fun with Computers and Games Index

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1982 1 2
1983 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
1984 15 16 17 1 2


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Information

    Title:Electronic Fun with Computers and Games
    Editor: George Kopp
    Categories: Arcade/home video games
    Frequency: Monthly
    First Issue: Nov 1982
    Final Issue: May 1984
    Publisher: Fun & Games Publishing (Viare Publishing)
    Country: United States

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