The entire history of videogames magazines

If you want to see it, get in quick before the Digital Economy Bill is passed, which could happen any day now, for it can only be a matter of time before BitTorrent files are outlawed entirely by clueless and discredited politicians desperately clutching for corporate donations.

This week I've been hunting down a few old reviews missing from the WoS Archive, and was fortunate enough to find some of them in a collection of Commodore Format scans posted at the excellent Underground Gamer (membership required). While browsing the site, though, I also stumbled across practically the entire history of 8-bit and16-bit videogames magazines.

That's because currently available on the site is the complete collection of magazine scans from World Of Spectrum. Normally access to this archive (which comprises a lot more than Spectrum mags) is strictly limited to a small number of downloads per day to avoid crippling bandwidth bills, and is an extremely time-consuming way to get your hands on sets of even a single magazine, but now the full archive (or whichever individual bits of it you want) can be obtained freely from a single mammoth 42GB torrent, without costing (the other) WOS a penny.

The full dizzying list (most of these titles have had their complete runs scanned) is as follows, with some WoS favourites highlighted:

16-48Magazine
20
200
3Bit
47thByte
48K
8BitPower
Abzac
AcidPaper
ACNews
Adventure-Link
AlchNews
AmstradSinclairOcio
ASM
Astrodata3000
AudioSpectrum
Babbage
Bang
BetaBasicNewsletter
BigK
C+VG

Classix
ComputerAnswers
ComputerChoice
ComputerGamer
ComputerKontakt
ComputerPoster
ComputingToday
Computronic
Concon
CPU
Crash
Crashed
ct
DesertIslandDisks
DeSpectrum
DISCiPLENieuwsbrief
Divertimentos
DUC
Emulate
EnigmaTapeMagazine
EnterSpectrum
Fantastic
Fish
FishTapezine
Format
Forum
Gamestar
GenerationZ
HappyComputer
HCMeinHeim-Computer
HobbyComputer
HobbyData
Homecomputer
HomeComputingWeekly
Imperial
Impuls
Input
INPUTSinclair
Interface
Joystick
JuegueConSuSpectrum
K7Magazine
Kset
LibreriaDeSoftwareSpectrum
LoadRunner
MaandbladVoorSinclairGebruikers
MagazineZX
MagicMissile
MicroAdventurer
MicroComputerPrintout
MicroHobby
MicroHobbyCassette
MicroHobbyEspecial
MicroHobbySemanal
MicroHobby_Bra
Micromania
MicroSistemas
MicrosoftwareMagazine
MundoSpectrum
NewComputerExpress
Newsdesk
OrdenadorEducativo
Outlet
Patagoras
PersonalComputerFiles
PersonalComputerGames
PersonalComputerMagazine
PersonalComputerNews
PersonalComputingToday
PersonalSoftware
PopularComputingWeekly
PracticalComputing
QLUser
QLWorld
QuarTerS
Retrogames
RUN
RunInternational
Run_tape
SGG
Shake
Sinclair+SamComputing
SinclairAnswers
SinclairClassic
SinclairComputingMonthly
SinclairFreakeren
SinclairGebruiker
SinclairGids
SinclairMagazine
SinclairNews
SinclairPrograms
SinclairProjects
SinclairUser
SinclairUserClub
SoftSpectrum
SoftwareChoice
SoftwareMagazine
SoProgramas
SPAC
Spectraxx
SpectrumAdventurer
Spectrumania
SpectrumComputing
SpectrumComputing_Nor
SpectrumComputing_Spa
SpectrumDiscoveryClubNewsletter
SpectrumMagazine
SpectrumUserTape
SpectrumVilag
StarsSpectrum
SubliminalExtacy
SUC-Session
Sync
SyntaxError
Telematch
TheCompleteSpectrum
TheGamesMachine
TheHomeComputerCourse
TimeDesigns
TimexSinclairUser
Todospectrum
TuMicro
TVGamer
VideoBasic
VideoSpectrum
WhatNow
WhatPoke
WhichMicro
WinningAtComputerAndVideoGames
YourComputer
YourComputer_Spa
YourSinclair
YourSpectrum

Z2
Z80
Z88Gamer
ZAT
ZX
ZX81Kochbuch
ZXComputing
ZXFiles
ZXFormat
ZXirQLiveAlive
ZXSF
ZXShed
ZXUserClub

Amazingly, that's just a fraction of what's available at UG. You can also find complete runs of mags like Zero, The One, SuperPlay, Maximum, Zzap 64, the aforementioned Commodore Format and more, along with partial sets of Amiga Power, Edge and numerous US and European mags.

It's worth it just to briefly enjoy a time when the videogames market supported not one but THREE different weekly magazines, in addition to all the monthlies, and there are treasures galore concealed in the pages, such as Automata's famously anarchic 1983-85 back-page ads from Popular Computing Weekly. But paper doesn't last forever, and soon the IP Police will come after the people who are preserving our history digitally too. So grab this stuff while you can.

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8 Responses to “The entire history of videogames magazines”

  1. Peter St. John Says:

    You know, I was just wondering if there was a YS torrent this morning, so thanks for this (I'll be refreshing UG until I get in!).

  2. "Sorry, user limit reached. Please try again later."
    Stu – can you post the torrent file?

  3. Irish Al Says:

    Funny, I only discovered the World Of Spectrum FTP site the other week and nabbed Big K from it. That was a great magazine, ahead of its time in many ways.

  4. Having got into Underground Gamer earlier, it's not the user limit that's going to be a problem but my bandwidth. Oh dear.

  5. Scarysheep3000 Says:

    Thanks for alerting me to this… an amazing find.

  6. I have the torrent file, how do I post it here for Craig? Or would doing this be a Bad Thing?

  7. Marlon – you'd have to host it somewhere and link to it.

  8. Host it? Um…any ideas where?

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