I purchased digital copies of issues 27 and 28 of The Space Gamer from Warehouse 23 this weekend. Those are the first two issues of the Steve Jackson Games run on the magazine. Looking through the contents of these two issues has really made me nostalgic about the gaming magazines of the past. I would frequently purchase an issue or two of something off the magazine shelf whenever I visited Starbase 21 back in the 80s and 90s. I would continue that trend after that time with other stores and other magazines even when I had a long gaming slump after 2000.
I discovered my first role-playing magazine with Dragon. I do not remember the exact issue but it was a relatively early one. I would buy up every new issue at the store and eventually got a subscription. I had a pretty impressive stack of issues going and I made the unfortunate decision at some point to remove the articles I found worthwhile and get rid of the other contents. I have an old binder or two somewhere that has all of these articles; I hope I still do at this point.
I would pick up many more magazines over the years. I enjoyed The Fantasy Gamer and would have preferred it stayed separate from The Space Gamer but I will take it either way honestly. Nintendo Power also had a similar appeal to me with the maps and walkthroughs of games. Shadis was a long time favorite of mine as well as Vortext. Pyramid was a good magazine but it never grabbed my attention like old copies of The Space Gamer. Finally, The Rifter was a great Palladium Books house publication. I wish that they would have focused that energy on updating old product and releasing new content but a new grab bag of useful articles was always welcome.
Unfortunately, none of these magazines still exist today. I know most everybody has moved to forums and a web presence. I get the reasons why and I do not hate the forums. I frequently several of them and post quite frequently at times at The Ruins of Murkhill. I just wish there was still one good general gaming magazine around. It is similar to the difference between a book and an e-reader for me. Nothing beats the crisp, new smell of a new magazine (or book) in hand. I could really go for laying on the couch with an issue in hand reading it until I got drowsy and decided to take a nap.