It’s typical of time isn’t it? As it moves forward more and more gets left behind, struggling to keep up and eventually collecting dust. Video game magazines – despite remaining in existence – are not nearly as popular as they once were, so I ask you this – why did you stop buying them?
Some of the answers are incredibly obvious, of course. The introduction of the Internet allows us as gamers to find all of our news quickly, easily and without coughing up a fiver. Hell, that’s why sites like Gamespresso exist – to provide you with news that is just that. The Internet allows us to report news as and when it happens; to make reviews and features available to the public at our own leisure and on our own accord. But physical video game magazines? They’re living in the past, and in fact it is a wonder that so many are still around.
Personally, I love video game magazines. I’ve been living in the UK for all of my life and have enjoyed a number of different types of video game magazine from the gone but not forgotten PSM3 to the intricately designed Edge magazine that still gets published today. I’ve been a subscriber of the Offfical PlayStation Magazine and currently subscribe to the Official Xbox Magazine, whilst at the same time tending to pick up a copy of Edge whenever I see a new one in the store. But unfortunately, the reasons that I buy and enjoy these products are shared by few others.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not at all like I am the only person who buys these magazines anymore – you only have to look at a Facebook page for one to see people commenting on their posts, but the physical magazines have been all but forgotten by the majority of gamers in this day and age. It’s understandable – why would you want to read news that is 30 days old and you’ve already consumed and disregarded? One of the key downfalls of magazines is that most of them (at least here in the UK) are released monthly and therefore the news that decorates their pages is mostly irrelevant.
But that’s okay, because that slice of the pie only takes up about a quarter of the product, if that. The reasons that I love to buy and read video game magazines to this day are to do with their design – how they’re made as well as the original content that they hold. Some art designer somewhere is laying out a beautiful double page spread right now that won’t get the recognition it deserves. Next time you see a video game magazine, think twice before leaving it to extend its shelf life. Have a look inside and appreciate the feel of the product in your very hands and enjoy what has been crafted just for you. Needless to say, the magazines often include all sorts of interesting articles that won’t get published online in order to give them some sense of distinction.
So whether or not video game magazines are here to stay is up for debate. In recent years we’ve seen a rise in these physical copies going digital and I will admit to falling victim of reading Edge on my iPad on the bus for sheer convenience. If the trend continues, will paperback video game magazines – which are much more expensive to be produce, don’t forget, not to mention the wider range of ways that digital versions can communicate i.e. videos and interactive sections – be wiped out entirely?
Maybe so, but right now I believe that there is a place for both physical and digital content. After all, digital content is not only easier to access but also easier to make – otherwise why and how would I be writing this right now? Ultimately, it has been upsetting to see video game magazines decrease in popularity in the way that they have, but also perfectly logical. Time won’t stand still, but you could at least reminisce for a bit, right? If you’re still not tempted, that magazine you’re looking at probably comes with a free poster. Phwoar, now you’re tempted.