The 1990s were a heyday of video game magazines with familiar publications like Electronic Gaming Monthly, Nintendo Power, Sega Visions, and GamePro taking up spaces in mailboxes and newsstands everywhere. Today the real action has moved into the online space, but there once was a time when the printed page commanded power and profits. Everything starts somewhere and Platypus Comix has a fun look back at the first issue of what purports to be the very first magazine devoted entirely to video games. Let's step back in time to 1981 and read Electronic Games, Issue #1.
It's primitive, it's black-and-white, it's priceless. There are also long-retired words inside you'll find baffling without my help. One terminology you're going to have to learn: "programmable" as a noun, as in "ET is now out for Atari's programmable!" This mag was printed at a time in which you had to distinguish a machine that could run different games from a machine that could play just one game. It was the Jurassic.
This issue comes from an era prior to my immersion in the medium, so I can't say that I have any particular nostalgic draw to it or the games it discusses. I'm sure these games were amazing in their time, but I just don't see the attraction. I wonder if that's how today's teenagers feel when they see a Nintendo Entertainment System title or a Sega Master System game held up on high by those of us who spent dozens of hours trying to save the princess or collect emeralds.
On another note, my special thanks to Peter Paltridge at Platypus Comix for his special shout out to me and my recent health issues that opens this article. I would've linked to this piece even without his kind praise, but it certainly doesn't hurt and I really do appreciate it.