Electronic Games Magazine Changed My Life

My life changed when I first saw Electronic Games Magazine sitting on the stand at the local King Soopers supermarket. My mother indulged me in a single issue, and eventually in a subscription. Perhaps she thought it would be cheaper for me to read about video games than to pester her to purchase them. This wasn’t the best tactic on her part, because my eyes were quickly opened to a whole new world of gaming outside the Atari 2600 my friends and I each owned. I learned a little more about the Intellivision, the Odyssey, and eventually the Holy Grail – the Vectrex.

Electronic Games Magazine was a spinoff periodical of Video Magazine. It was edited at first by Frank Laney Jr. and then helmed by the trio of Bill Kunkel, Arnie Katz, and Joyce Worley. Early issues were light on content and talked of the systems already out. Eventually, they’d offer previews of new games to come. As I revisited the magazines as I got older, I realized that many of the previews and even reviews were written by authors who had no access to the cartridges themselves. As the magazine matured, it offered more serious criticisms based on actual experience with the games.

The photos show the cover of the 1st ever Electronic Games Magazine and a fun reader survey that was included within. I’ve also attached a scan of what I believe to be the last issue of the magazine’s initial run before it was resurrected in the 1990s. In the days before the internet, Electronic Games magazine served as the best source of gaming information available.

1st Issue

Reader Poll

Last Issue of 1980s (?)


Author at Retroist
Vinvectrex has not only reviewed every game made for the Vectrex, but discovered a long lost game for the IBM Jr. and probably changed the history of Star Wars fandom.

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8 thoughts on “Electronic Games Magazine Changed My Life

  1. Two new computers from Commodore! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful post, Vinvectrex! I do remember the Donkey Kong issue particularly well. :)

  2. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Loved reading this, Vin!
    EG mags were a golden portal into my growing need for videogaming.
    Loved the ads as much as the articles and still get the warm fuzzies from the two-page Atari ad comparing its games with ‘All Others’ – which showed a blank tv screen on their part, of course.
    It was the beautiful stack of Atari game boxes rainbowed to the top of the next page that pushed me over the edge.
    Still does.
    And that poll got mentally filled out every time it showed up.

    Also, “Attack Of The Chess Robots” would make a splendid Doctor Who story.

  3. Jeff says:

    correction… Arnie Katz was Frank Laney Jr. Check out the third issue with the Centipede girl.

  4. vinvectrex says:

    Jeff – had no idea these were online – nor did I realize that Arnie was Frank! Atari Adventure – I’m hoping to scan some of the old ads, but I guess no need to do any from the first year!

  5. twilitezoner says:

    @ Jeff – Thanks for that link I also had no idea these were online.

    This was THE gaming magazine of the 80s.

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