Computer Gaming World

Last updated
Computer Gaming World
CGWCover.jpg
Computer Gaming World Issue 249 - March 2005
EditorRussell Sipe (1981–1992)
Johnny Wilson (1992–1999)
George Jones (1999–2001)
Jeff Green (2002–2006)
Categories Computing, Gaming
FrequencyMonthly
FounderRussell Sipe
First issueNovember 1981;37 years ago (1981-11) [1]
Final issue
Number
November 2006;12 years ago (2006-11) [2] [3]
268
CompanyRussell Sipe (1981-1993)
Ziff Davis(1993-2006) [4] [5] [3]
Country United States
Language English
Website http://computergamingworld.com/ (archived)
ISSN 0744-6667
OCLC 8482876

Computer Gaming World (CGW) was an American computer game magazine published between 1981 and 2006. [1] [2] [3]

Video game journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games, typically based on a core "reveal–preview–review" cycle. There has been recent growth in online publications and blogs.

Contents

History

In 1979 Russell Sipe left the Southern Baptist Convention ministry. A fan of computer games, he realized in spring 1981 there was no magazine dedicated to computer games. Although Sipe had no publishing experience, he formed Golden Empire Publications in June and found investors. He chose the name of Computer Gaming World (CGW) instead of alternatives such as Computer Games or Kilobaud Warrior because he hoped that the magazine would both review games and serve as a trade publication for the industry. The first issue appeared in November, at about the same as rivals Electronic Games and Softline . [6] (Sipe's religious background led to "Psalm 9:1-2" appearing in each issue. His successor as editor, Johnny L. Wilson, [7] was an evangelical Christian minister. [6] [8] [9] )

Southern Baptist Convention Large Christian denomination in the southern United States

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, and the second-largest Christian denomination in the United States, smaller only than the Catholic Church according to self reported membership statistics.

<i>Electronic Games</i> US video game magazine

Electronic Games was the first dedicated video game magazine published in the United States and ran from October 15, 1981 to 1997 under different titles. It was co-founded by Bill Kunkel, Joyce Worley, and Arnie Katz, and is not to be confused with Electronic Gaming Monthly.

<i>Softalk</i>

Softalk was an American magazine of the early 1980s that focused on the Apple II computer. Published from September 1980 through August 1984, it featured articles about hardware and software associated with the Apple II platform and the people and companies who made them. The name was originally used on a newsletter of Apple Software pioneer company, Softape, who in 1980 changed its name to Artsci Inc.

The first issues of Computer Gaming World were published from Anaheim, California, and sold for $2.75 individually or $11 for a year's subscription of six issues. [10] These early bi-monthly issues [6] were typically 40-50 pages in length, written in a newsletter style, including submissions by game designers such as Joel Billings (SSI), Dan Bunten (Ozark Software), and Chris Crawford.[ citation needed ] As well, early covers were not always directly related to the magazine's contents, but rather featured work by artist Tim Finkas.[ citation needed ] In January/February 1986 CGW increased its publication cycle to nine times a year, [6] and the editorial staff included popular writers such as Scorpia, Charles Ardai, and M. Evan Brooks.[ citation needed ]

Anaheim, California City in California, United States

Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 336,265, making it the most populous city in Orange County and the 10th-most populous city in California. Anaheim is the second-largest city in Orange County in terms of land area, and is known for being the home of the Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim Convention Center, and two major sports teams: the Anaheim Ducks ice hockey club and the Los Angeles Angels baseball team.

Joel Billings is an American video game designer. He is the founder of the game company SSI. He was also the company's president.

Chris Crawford (game designer) Computer game designer

Christopher Crawford is a computer game designer and writer. He designed and programmed several important computer games in the 1980s, including Eastern Front (1941) and Balance of Power. Among developers he became known for his passionate advocacy of game design as an art form, founding both The Journal of Computer Game Design and the Computer Game Developers Conference. In 1992 Crawford withdrew from commercial game development and began experimenting with ideas for a next generation interactive storytelling system. In 2018, Crawford announced that he had halted his work on interactive storytelling, concluding that it will take centuries for civilization to embrace the required concepts.

CGW survived the video game crash of 1983, which badly hurt the market; by summer 1985 it was the only survivor of 18 color magazines covering computer games in 1983. [6] In autumn 1987 CGW introduced a quarterly newsletter called Computer Game Forum (CGF), which was published during the off-months of CGW. The newsletter never became popular; only two issues were published before it was cancelled. Some of CGF's content became part of CGW, which became a monthly. [6]

The video game crash of 1983 was a large-scale recession in the video game industry that occurred from 1983 to 1985, primarily in America. The crash was attributed to several factors, including market saturation in the number of game consoles and available games, and waning interest in console games in favor of personal computers. Revenues peaked at around $3.2 billion in 1983, then fell to around $100 million by 1985. The crash was a serious event which abruptly ended what is retrospectively considered the second generation of console video gaming in North America.

The magazine went through significant expansion starting in 1991, with growing page counts reaching 196 pages by its 100th issue, in November 1992. During that same year, Johnny Wilson (who started as a contributor in 1983), became editor-in-chief, although Sipe remained as Publisher. In 1993, Sipe sold the magazine to Ziff Davis [4] [5] —by then the magazine was so thick that a reader reported that the December issue's bulk slowed a thief who had stolen a shopping bag containing it [11] —but continued on as Publisher until 1995. The magazine kept growing through the 1990s, with the December 1997 issue weighing in at 500 pages. In January 1999, [12] Wilson left the magazine and George Jones became editor-in-chief, [13] at a time when print magazines were struggling with the growing popularity of the Internet. [14] Jones had been the editor-in-chief of CNET Gamecenter, and had before that been a staffer at Computer Gaming World between 1994 and 1996. [12] He was replaced by Jeff Green [14] in 2002.

Ziff Davis American publisher and Internet company owned by j2 Global

Ziff Davis, LLC is an American publisher and Internet company. It was founded in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, by William Bernard Ziff Sr. and Bernard George Davis.

On August 2, 2006, Ziff Davis and Microsoft jointly announced that Computer Gaming World would be replaced with Games for Windows: The Official Magazine . [15] [3] The final CGW-labeled issue was November 2006, for a total of 268 published editions. [2]

<i>Games for Windows: The Official Magazine</i> magazine

Games for Windows: The Official Magazine was a monthly computer game magazine published by Ziff Davis Media, licensing the Games for Windows brand from Microsoft Corporation. It was the successor to Computer Gaming World. The first issue was released in November 2006. As of the April/May 2008 issue, the magazine is no longer offered in print and the editorial staff was integrated with 1UP.

Simultaneously with the release of the final CGW issue, Ziff Davis announced the availability of the CGW Archive. The Archive features complete copies of the first 100 issues of CGW, as well as the 2 CGF issues, for a total of 7438 pages covering 11 years of gaming. The Archive was created by Stephane Racle, of the Computer Gaming World Museum, and is available in PDF format. Every issue was processed through Optical Character Recognition, which enabled the creation of a 3+ million word master index. Although Ziff Davis has taken its CGW Archive site offline, the magazines can be downloaded from the Computer Gaming World Museum. [16]

On April 8, 2008, 1UP Network announced the print edition of Games for Windows: The Official Magazine had ceased, and that all content would be moved online. [17]

Content

CGW featured reviews, previews, news, features, letters, strategy, and columns dealing with computer games. While console games are occasionally touched on, these are primarily the territory of CGW's sister magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly.

In 2006, two of the most popular features were "Greenspeak", a final-page column written by Editor-In-Chief Jeff Green, and "Tom vs. Bruce" a unique "duelling-diaries" piece in which writers Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk logged their gameplay experience as each tried to best the other at a given game. "Tom vs. Bruce" sometimes featured a guest appearance by Erik Wolpaw, formerly of Old Man Murray.

For many years, CGW never assigned scores to reviews, preferring to let readers rate their favorite games through a monthly poll. Scores were finally introduced in 1994. However, beginning in April 2006, Computer Gaming World stopped assigning quantifiable scores to its reviews. In May of the same year, CGW changed the name of its review section to Viewpoint, and began evaluating games on a more diverse combination of factors than a game's content. Elements considered include the communities' reaction to a game, developers' continued support through patches and whether a game's online component continues to grow.

The reviews were formerly based on a simple five-star structure, with five stars marking a truly outstanding game, and one star signalling virtual worthlessness. Three games, Postal² by Robert Coffey, Mistmare by Jeff Green, and Dungeon Lords by Denice Cook "...form an unholy trinity of the only games in CGW history to receive zero-star reviews."

Circulation

According to MDS Computer Gaming World had a circulation of slightly above 300,000 as of 2006. [18] In this regard, it was slightly behind industry arch-rival PC Gamer .

Awards and acclaim

Bruce F. Webster reviewed the first issue of Computer Gaming World in The Space Gamer No. 48.Webster commented that "I strongly recommend this magazine to computer gamers, and just one reason alone will (in my opinion) suffice: You can now start getting from just one publication the information that you've been having to dig out of three or four or five (or six...). Get it." [10]

In 1988, CGW won the Origins Award for Best Professional Adventure Gaming Magazine of 1987. [19]

The New York Times repeatedly praised CGW, placing it as one of the premier computer game publications of its time. [20] [21] In 1997 the newspaper called it "the leading computer game magazine", [22] In 1999 "the bible of computer game purists", [23] and in 2005 "one of the top computer game magazines". [14]

Games for Windows: The Official Magazine

On August 2, 2006, Ziff Davis Media issued a press release detailing their plans to halt circulation of Computer Gaming World. [3] As part of a joint-venture project with Microsoft, Ziff Davis launched a new magazine dubbed Games for Windows: The Official Magazine in Fall of 2006. [3] The new magazine replaced CGW as part of Microsoft's Games for Windows initiative. In their press release, Ziff Davis indicated that much of Computer Gaming Worlds's core content and the entire staff will be transferred to the new magazine. [3] Because of these announcements, Ziff Davis' actions appeared more on the order of a rebranding of CGW, rather than an actual cancellation.

CGW/GFW ended its 27-year run on April 8, 2008. [24] At the GFW Radio Penny Arcade Expo reunion, Jeff Green claimed that the deal with Microsoft allowed CGW/GFW to continue operating, and that if it had not occurred Ziff Davis would have shut down CGW.

PC Gaming World

Ziff Davis operated a sister magazine to Computer Gaming World, entitled PC Gaming World, in the United Kingdom. [25] [26] It was the region's third-largest computer game magazine by August 2000. [27] In 1998, journalist Stuart Campbell described PC Gaming World as a publication with a predominantly American bent, thanks to its "sober, serious, text-heavy style". He considered it to be out of step with the British game audience. [28] Campbell later called the magazine an "oddity" that was "clearly aimed primarily at a 40-something audience and beyond", in comparison to more youthful rivals such as PC Gamer UK and PC Zone . [29]

In July 2000, Ziff Davis sold its publishing arm in Europe to Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen (VNU), including three magazines in Germany, three in France and four in the United Kingdom. [30] PC Gaming World migrated with these publications. [30] [31] At the time, The Register reported that VNU saw PC Gaming World as a poor match for its business model, which left the magazine's future uncertain. [30] The publisher sold PC Gaming World to Computec Media a month after the purchase, [27] citing its lack of synergy with VNU's existing brand. [32] This transition was set to be completed in October 2000. [27]

According to Golem.de  [ de ], Computec planned to fold PC Gaming World together with its own PC Gameplay magazine, [27] which it launched in 2000. PC Gaming World had closed by the first half of 2001; Computec moved the publication's subscribers to PC Gameplay, which nevertheless struggled to grow its base. [33] The company "relaunched" PC Gameplay as PC Gaming World in 2003, [34] but did not release the new publication's subscriber count through the Audit Bureau of Circulations during the first half of that year. Writing for GamesIndustry.biz, Kristan Reed noted that this decision was "never a healthy sign". [35] Computec sold its entire British game magazine branch to competitor Future Publishing in late 2003. [36]

Notes

  1. 1 2 Chikhani, Riad (October 31, 2015). "The History Of Gaming: An Evolving Community". TechCrunch . Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 Sipe, Russell; Wilson, Johny; Johnes, George; Green, Jeff (November 2006). "25 years of Computer Gaming World" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. Ziff Davis (268): 75–81. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-04-03. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Ziff Davis Announces Online and Print Media Alliance with Microsoft". Ziff Davis. August 2, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. To ensure clear market leadership position, Ziff Davis will transfer Computer Gaming World's veteran editorial staff and mission to Games for Windows: The Official Magazine. The new magazine and web initiative will carry on the editorial, production and art staff of Computer Gaming World, incorporating CGW's best-of-class style and tone while broadening the outlet's reach, influence and editorial content to complement the coming renaissance in Windows gaming.
  4. 1 2 Associated Press (August 18, 1993). "Ziff-Davis Acquisition". The New York Times. p. Section D; Page 14; Column 6; Financial Desk.
  5. 1 2 Sipe, Russell (October 1993). "From The Publisher". Computer Gaming World. p. 178. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Sipe, Russell (August 1988). "The Greatest Story Ever Told". Computer Gaming World. No. 50. p. 6. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  7. Schiesel, Seth (July 7, 1997). "Die, Vile Orc! Never, Puny Human!; Is There Real Gold in On-Line Fantasy Games?". The New York Times . p. Section D; Page 1; Column 2; Business/Financial Desk.
  8. Forbes, Ray (May 1987). "Give me that on-line religion!". Computer Gaming World (letter). No. 37. p. 9. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  9. Wilson, Johnny L. (July–August 1990). "For Mature Audiences Only". Computer Gaming World. p. 8. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  10. 1 2 Webster, Bruce F. (February 1982). "Capsule Reviews". The Space Gamer . Steve Jackson Games (48): 37–38.
  11. Corbin, Jim (February 1994). "Heavy Duty Crimefighter". Letters from Paradise. Computer Gaming World. pp. 116, 118.
  12. 1 2 IGN Staff (January 15, 1999). "George Jones Replaces Johnny Wilson". IGN . Archived from the original on June 8, 2000. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  13. Herz, J. C. (August 26, 1999). "GAME THEORY; In a Time Warp With Pac-Man and Pong". The New York Times. p. Section G; Page 4; Column 1; Circuits.
  14. 1 2 3 Schiesel, Seth (September 6, 2005). "Conqueror in a War of Virtual Worlds". The New York Times. p. Section E; Column 4; The Arts/Cultural Desk; Pg. 1.
  15. Jason Dobson (August 2, 2006). "Ziff Davis Shuts Down CGW, Opens Games For Windows". Gamasutra . Archived from the original on 2013-12-14. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  16. Computer Gaming World Museum Archived 2011-12-03 at the Wayback Machine
  17. Sam Kennedy (April 8, 2008). "Games For Windows Magazine Moves Online". 1UP.com . Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  18. "Top Circulating Magazines". Media Distribution Services. 2003. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. Retrieved Oct 4, 2014.
  19. "The 1987 Origins Awards". The Game Manufacturers Association. Archived from the original on 2012-12-16.
  20. Olafson, Peter (December 7, 2000). "Sites Keep Up With Games and Gamers". The New York Times. p. Section G; Page 11; Column 1; Circuits.
  21. Schiesel, Seth (May 27, 2004). "Aiming for Hit Games, Films Come Up Short". The New York Times. p. Section G; Column 3; Circuits; Pg. 1.
  22. Schiesel, Seth (October 27, 1997). "Games People Play". The New York Times. p. Section D; Page 5; Column 1; Business/Financial Desk.
  23. Lohr, Steve (March 29, 1999). "Computer Games Venture Into the World of Gun, Bow and Big Game". The New York Times. p. Section C; Page 1; Column 2; Business/Financial Desk.
  24. Orland, Kyle (April 8, 2008). "Games for Windows Magazine goes online-only". Joystiq . Archived from the original on 2008-12-07.
  25. Atkin, Denny (December 1998). "A Jolly Good Show". Computer Gaming World (173): 46, 47, 52.
  26. "VNU to Acquire Ziff Davis Media's European Publications" (Press release). Haarlem: Ad Age . July 12, 2000. Archived from the original on January 28, 2019.
  27. 1 2 3 4 Ihlenfeld, Jens (August 24, 2000). "Computec Media kauft in Großbritannien ein". Golem.de (in German). Archived from the original on April 21, 2015.
  28. Stuart Campbell (October 1998). "PC Mags Roundup". Computer Trade Weekly. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012.
  29. Stuart Campbell (September 2000). "PC Mags Roundup". Computer Trade Weekly. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012.
  30. 1 2 3 Team Register (July 12, 2000). "Zero mag cull in VNU's buy up of ZD's Euro paper biz". The Register . Archived from the original on October 3, 2012.
  31. Hill, Adam (July 14, 2000). "Media: VNU strikes deal to buy Ziff Davis's European mags". PR Week . Archived from the original on January 28, 2019. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  32. Hodgson, Jessica (October 11, 2000). "VNU sells computer games mag to Computec". The Guardian . Archived from the original on May 7, 2018.
  33. Bye, John (August 17, 2001). "It's as easy as ABC". Eurogamer . Archived from the original on January 28, 2019.
  34. Reed, Kristan (February 14, 2003). "Gaming mags suffering". Eurogamer . Archived from the original on January 28, 2019.
  35. Reed, Kristan (August 14, 2003). "Games mag market dips, but Future dominates again". GamesIndustry.biz . Archived from the original on January 28, 2019.
  36. Staff (October 22, 2003). "Future buys Computec's UK games mags". Eurogamer . Archived from the original on December 11, 2015.

Related Research Articles

<i>Grand Prix Legends</i> racing video game by Papyrus

Grand Prix Legends is a computer racing simulator developed by Papyrus Design Group and published in 1998 by Sierra On-Line under the Sierra Sports banner. It simulates the 1967 Grand Prix season.

<i>Rise of Nations</i> video game

Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy video game, developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios in May 2003. The development was led by veteran game designer Brian Reynolds, of Civilization II and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. The game has taken several concepts from turn-based strategy games such as territories and attrition warfare. Rise of Nations features 18 civilizations, playable through eight ages of world history.

<i>Dungeon Siege</i> 2002 action role-playing video game

Dungeon Siege is an action role-playing video game developed by Gas Powered Games and published by Microsoft in April 2002, for Microsoft Windows, and the following year by Destineer for Mac OS X. Set in the pseudo-medieval kingdom of Ehb, the high fantasy game follows a young farmer and his companions as they journey to defeat an invading force. Initially only seeking to warn the nearby town of the invasion of a race of creatures named the Krug, the farmer and the companions that join him along the way are soon swept up in finding a way to defeat another race called the Seck, resurgent after being trapped for 300 years. Unlike other role-playing video games of the time, the world of Dungeon Siege does not have levels but is a single, continuous area without loading screens that the player journeys through, fighting hordes of enemies. Also, rather than setting character classes and manually controlling all of the characters in the group, the player controls their overall tactics and weapons and magic usage, which direct their character growth.

PC World, stylized PCWorld, is a global computer magazine published monthly by IDG. Since 2013, it has been an online only publication. It offers advice on various aspects of PCs and related items, the Internet, and other personal technology products and services. In each publication, PC World reviews and tests hardware and software products from a variety of manufacturers, as well as other technology related devices such as still and video cameras, audio devices and televisions.

Jeff Green (writer) American journalist

Jeffrey Green is an American writer and video game journalist, and the last editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Games for Windows: The Official Magazine, which was published by Ziff Davis Media. As of November 11, 2013, Jeff left PopCap Games, where he served as a director of editorial and social media. He was employed by the Sims division of developer Electronic Arts, where he has served as a designer, producer, and writer. Green kept his job at Ziff Davis after the closing of GFW for several months, before announcing his departure from the company. While an employee at Ziff Davis, Green hosted the weekly CGW Radio podcast, and hosted The Official EA Podcast.

<i>PC Magazine</i> magazine

PC Magazine is an American computer magazine published by Ziff Davis. A print edition was published from 1982 to January 2009. Publication of online editions started in late 1994 and continues to this day.

<i>Urban Chaos</i> video game

Urban Chaos is the debut video game of English developer Mucky Foot Productions with its initial release in 1999 on Microsoft Windows. It was subsequently released on the PlayStation and Dreamcast. The game was published by Eidos Interactive. In May 2017 Mucky Foot's Mike Diskett released the source code of the game under the MIT license on GitHub.

<i>Wing Commander</i> (video game) Video game

Wing Commander is the eponymous first game in Chris Roberts' science fiction space flight simulation franchise Wing Commander by Origin Systems. The game was first released for MS-DOS on September 26, 1990 and was later ported to the Amiga, CD32 (256-color), Sega CD and the Super Nintendo, and re-released for the PC as Wing Commander I in 1994. An enhanced remake Super Wing Commander was made for the 3DO in 1994, later ported to the Macintosh.

<i>Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child</i> 2000 video game

Kiss: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child is a first-person shooter video game developed by American studio Third Law Interactive and published by Gathering of Developers for Microsoft Windows in July 2000. It was also released later that year for Dreamcast following a port by Tremor Entertainment.

IT Week was a weekly magazine for the UK computing industry, published by Incisive Media.

<i>Stormrise</i> 2009 video game

Stormrise is a real-time tactics video game developed by Creative Assembly's Australian studio and published by Sega for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. It's set in a post-apocalyptic world.

<i>F1 2000</i> (video game) 2000 video game

F1 2000 is a 2000 racing video game based on the 2000 Formula One season, developed & published by EA Sports and released for the Microsoft Windows and PlayStation formats. F1 2000 was the last Visual Sciences F1 racing video game to appear on the PlayStation. With an official FIA Formula One license, it includes the full 2000 world championship season, including the new track for F1 Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Jaguar Racing team. However, a sequel to this game, called F1 Championship Season 2000, was released on December 23, 2000 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Macintosh and Game Boy Color. This was the earliest F1 game release in the 21st century, releasing on March 31, 2000.

<i>Isle of the Dead</i> (video game) 1993 video game

Isle of the Dead is a point-and-click first-person horror video game developed by Rainmaker Software that was published by Merit Software in 1993 for IBM and compatibles. The game centers around Jake Dunbar, the sole survivor of a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island inhabited by zombies under control of a mad scientist.

<i>PC Games</i> (magazine) German video game magazine and website

PC Games is a monthly released PC game magazine, published by the Computec Media AG in Germany.

<i>F1 Racing Simulation</i> 1997 video game

F1 Racing Simulation is a racing simulation game, developed for Microsoft Windows by Ubisoft in 1997.

<i>Jewels of the Oracle</i> 1995 video game

Jewels of the Oracle is a 1995 adventure game developed by ELOI Productions and published by Discis Knowledge Research Inc. It was released on Macintosh, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and Windows. A sequel developed by Bardworks and published by Hoffman and Associates was released in 1998 entitled Jewels II: The Ultimate Challenge.

Scorpia is the pseudonym of a video game journalist who was active from the early 1980s through the late 1990s. She wrote for Computer Gaming World, performing reviews on role-playing video games and adventure games. Scorpia was known for harsh criticism of video games she disliked. She was fired after CGW was sold to Ziff-Davis in 1999 and subsequently retired from games journalism. Her pseudonym is based on a character she created in a role-playing game.