Over 20 years ago, I took my first steps as a gamer. The NES had been a dominate player but was losing ground to the next generation: SNES and Genesis. These two new consoles battled it out for supremacy in the gaming world. Every month, I would go to my favorite gaming magazines to read the blow by blow report on who was winning the “console war.”

Like many other guys growing up, my father had an extreme impact on my life. Because of him, I subscribed to gaming magazines and he helped make sure that all of the bright, new, shiny consoles were in our living. This lasted from the Genesis all the way down to the Nintendo 64. I still recall the happiness I felt when my father purchased me a Sega Genesis for my birthday. That console included a subscription to Sega Vision. This ultimately fed a passion as both a hardcore gamer and a writer.

With the dawn of the information age, and the Internet, the way we get our information today is nigh and day different than from my former years. Gone, for the most part, are paper magazines. In their place are Tablet Editions of publications and web sites with new information popping up in seconds rather than weeks or months. 

Despite the allure of getting my news instantly, there is just something about printed media that I find fascinating. In the days of my youth, I would sit and wait patiently for the mail man to come up to the door and deliver my latest issue of Sega Vision, Game Pro, and EGM. For many years of my life, this is how I got all of my information. With the success of these magazines, console specific editions started springing up. These included Official PlayStation Magazine (OPM) and PSM. Both were great reads and both sought to deliver the same basic message to the same audience. OPM had something PSM didn’t–the Demo Disk. Before the days of PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, we had to rely on physical media to get demos and exclusive gameplay trailers. This made OPM a great value. 

Sounds great, so what happened? The Internet came, started getting faster, and magazines had to compete against up to the minute news and videos. With the Internet is the added benefit of CVGames and this article. You wouldn’t be reading this now without the dawn of Internet Gaming Sites. 

Still, there is something about magazines I can’t shake. Maybe its the feeling of holding something physical in my hands, rubbing he paper, and reading it on the couch. Perhaps, my memories are making the old print gaming magazines of yesterday better han they actually were. 

I can say with certainty that my ability to write is thanks to reading so many magazines magazines growing up. Perhaps a secret, hidden desire is to see my own name in print one day. This could be the same reason I still buy CDs instead of downloading MP3s. Physical media holds a special place in my heart. I do hope that the printed magazine never fades away. Not only for me–but for a future generation of young gamers. They too will learn to appreciate waiting for that mail man to come deliver their latest gaming magazine.

By Adam Westenberger – 02/21/12

Screenshots for The Ever Evolving World Ep. 1 – Why I Became a Writer