Electronic Gaming Monthly - known as EGM - was a great gaming magazine that we enjoyed reading every month. Their Aprils Fools jokes were legendary. A victim of the internet, their last issue was in January 2009.
I have read gaming reviews online since the days of GEnie and CompuServe, and I wondered even back then how the long lead time of a magazine could work well in a fast-moving industry involving computer games. By the time a magazine came out touting the "Final release" of Grand Theft Auto IV, most of us had already bought, beaten and re-beaten the game several times. The most the magazine editors could do was to get preview copies of the games, but often games are changed in the final hours before release.
This issue gets even more difficult with online games. If someone is writing in January about a "hot new release" of World of WarCraft, by the time the issue hits the stands in March everybody knows not only the ins and outs of that release far better than the reviewer does, but they are on to the next release after that.
I have mixed feelings about the loss of EGM. I really enjoyed reading it. While I love my laptop and PC, there are times that you're on a bus or train that reading an actual magazine is fun. I liked being able to see the screenshots with the words. However, with the quality of monitors in current times, you can get the same high-quality screenshot imagery on a browser window, and you get those same interviews and reviews immediately, they moment they are written. When Tenchu 2 releases, you can read the review of it the very same day. Since millions of gamers have their personal blogs with that kind of instant-update, it seems only proper that professional gaming magazines provide the same level of service.
If you look at newspapers, the average age of the newspaper reader is now 55 years old. It's not out of the question that in a decade or two that newspapers will stop existing in paper form, as people choose to read them online, saving trees as gas and other resources. Maybe this is a natural evolution that all paper-based industries will head in. Still, I miss EGM and was sad that I could not review it. I am sure I will miss out on a lot of fun reviews because I will not "dig" through the 1UP website. In magazine form, I would read it front to back and go through a variety of topics I might not normally seek out. Sort of like listening to an entire CD by a band instead of cherry-picking individual songs from iTunes. Does it mean our reading lists will become more targeted, that we will be exposed to fewer outlier ideas because we do not attempt to track them down? Time will tell!
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