It’s weird to really think about a magazine that has been around for 20 years that has covered a hobby such as video gaming, and now it’s suddenly gone. I remember those first few issues of EGM. Tim Burton’s Batman was all the rage. The Genesis was just coming out, and the Super NES still had a few months to go before it made it’s North American debut. It was all about tips and new games for the NES and Sega Master System, and looking back, it was one of those indelible parts of my gaming youth.

Back then, gaming magazines were special. There was no internet for constant daily news. I had to wait every month before the family took me to the bookstore, and I’ spend part of my allowance to see what I could look forward to next, or a few new screenshots of some game that I was wanting at the time, or even their thoughts on some game I had picked up to see if their thoughts coincided with mine. It was whiling away the Summer months in anticipation of a new Phantasy Star, or the introduction of the first Sonic the Hedgehog, or the announcement that Street Fighter II was coming to a console so that I didn’t have to go to Aladdin’s Castle or Superfun (or my local video store) to play it. And of course, there were the “April Fool’s” jokes of Sheng Long in Street Fighter II, or the ability to play as Simon Belmont in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game. I remembered EGM2 as well.

When I worked in the gaming industry, I used to scan the reviews to see how one of our games did, and there was the time when the magazine published an “official” company response that I wrote back to a fan about some bizarre Sub-Zero question. I remember speaking to some of those editors from time to time, or getting introduced to one at some industry get-together.

I didn’t always read EGM religiously as I got older. Sometimes, it simply was just better to surf the ‘Net for faster reviews and to watch a trailer, but I’d still pick up an issue on my travels to help pass the time.

I know over the last 20 years, EGM changed a lot: New publishers, new editors, new format, new review style…. But I still enjoyed reading the magazine. Seeing the magazine ends signified a lot of things. As Egon Spengler said in Ghostbusters: “Print is dead”, and those words seem to be coming more and more accurate in this electronic age. One can only wonder how much longer paper based gaming publications will last before they’re all gone. It’s also a loss of part of my gaming childhood, the same as the death knell of the arcade has been over the last few years. Younger gamers will never know a part of gaming culture that I enjoyed so much for so long. And I feel bad for all of those who have had to lose their jobs, especially in this tough economy right now. Without soapboxing too much, I fear it’s just simply another sign of the times.

It’s funny how quickly the industry changes, and it’s grown a lot in just the past few years. But whether you loved it or hated it, it never gets any easier to say “good bye” to a long standing gaming institution, and this is one that I will miss when perusing the magazine section of my local bookstore.

Farewell, Electronic Gaming Monthly. And thank you for the last 20 years.

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