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In a flurry of de-clutering, I went and boxed up a metric ton of magazines, some as much as 20 years old.

This collection is composed of a solid PCGamer core with layers of Next generation, Play, and Game Developer forming the outer strata. Orbiting that are large flat rings of Computer Graphics World, Digital Video, and Computer Gaming World. Several smaller satellites contain issues of British game magazines and PC hardware magazines.

The realization that I would never again crack the cover of any of these periodicals probably hit me two residences ago. Still, I Jacob Marley’d these magazines from place to place, confounding anyone good hearted enough to help me move them. I figured that the last move they would make would be into the recycle bin.

After attending last year’s Global Game Jam, I had it in my head that maybe there might be another place to give all of these magazines. Since I so rarely look at, or even think of, these magazines it took me until very recently to ask the University of Calgary library if they would want them.

The Taylor family digital library hosted last year’s ggj and there they had the largest library collection of video games and consoles for academic research, at least in Canada. I’m not aware of more extensive collections, but they probably don’t want to upset some librarian in Italy who is very proud of the pile they had amassed.

Video games are a very modern invention, and like most modern inventions, not lacking in documentation. No one has been able to pinpoint the invention of chess, but Al Alcorn, the creator of pong is 65 years old and very much available for interview and comment. As is Ralph Baer, the man who invented the Magnavox Odyssey, the console where Alcorn cribbed the concept for pong. The ensuing legal battle is also well documented. Stored in boxes in my basement is 20 years worth of documentation.

Maybe no one will ever open these magazines and they will sit quietly moldering on a shelf, or the University will simply scan them all into digital documents and recycle the paper. Either way, I would like to think that some day someone will be doing some research on the Atari Jaguar and will manage to find the infamous Next Generation interview where Sam Tramiel spouts all forms of nonsense. If nothing else, they will be entertained for a few minutes.

If you have any interest in these old magazines, they will be available at the UofC library sometime early next year.

This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.
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