The gaming magazines you read…

Floppy disc and CD Rom demo’s on the front cover.

So lets get down to it – Special Reserve, I guess anyone that’s old enough to have read a gaming magazine will remember the mail order company that advertised in all the major UK publications of the time. Buying the latest edition of your favorite magazine, (Amiga Format, ST Format, Computer and Videogames to name a few institutions). The monthly glossy adventures to consume on your break at work or on the bus on way home, whatever the magazine you geeked over, somewhere inside, between gawking at the upcoming Chaos Engine developed by the Bitmap Brothers and a transparent Competition Pro joystick that was about to be released, Special Reverse would always draw attention.

Games, computers, peripherals, it was easy to join, simply telephone the sales number or fill out the order slip and you where in the biggest games club in the world – apparently. I was never in the club personally although two of my mates where, truth be told I was skint teenager and skint young adult worker and as it was back in the day, gaming was about sharing. You would lend out games to your mates or simply go to each others houses for a gaming session. Don’t say X-Copy!

A stint trick with gaming magazines and other genres was to frequent your local high street shop and read as much as you could before the store detective/staff member moved you on. This was a monthly pastime for me and my mates, especially in WH Smiths, then off to the Hake Boat chippy, chip teacake and a can of Coke, then walk home along the canal towpath – that was how we did it in the early 1990s.

Off on a tangent – Stunt Car Racer, I first saw this game advertised on a TV screen in WH Smiths. Me and two mates (brothers) where wandering around town and in our local game shops (PV Tubes, SR Electronic) and Geoff Crammond’s classic racer appeared – The High Jump!

Back on topic – over the years like most things change is inevitable. Internet arrived and brought a whole new dimension of journalism. Institutions went way of the Dodo and newfangled methods of reporting, reviewing and garnishing interest delivered in moments of light speed. Of gaming magazines one good thing to look forward to was the content that came on the floppy/CD Rom disc – demos and utilities. Demos of games – whatever happened to game demos?

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