Well hello there, /vr/.
I recently came into possession of all of the US PC Gamer 1999 issues with all of the corresponding CDs (see pic). These issues contain everything from contemporary reviews of Thief and SS2 to GOTY awards for games like Half-Life and Starcraft 1. There's even (retrospectively) hilariously optimistic features on games like Daikatana and Duke Nukem Forever. Flipping through the mags and seeing ads for "new" games like Baldur's Gate right beside a preview for Deus Ex is brilliantly surreal. It's a bit of vidya history in one of the best eras ever for PC gaming.
Now that I have them, what should I do with them?
Are there certain articles, ads or features that you've been dying to see?
Do comprehensive scans exist already? Is there a way to preserve them without destroying them?
What other ideas? I'm all ears, /vr/.
Scanning would capture it pretty perfectly but would degrade the quality slightly and inevitably pages would end up getting bent during the process.
If you have a DLSR I recommend taking RAW photos and cropping them. Here's an example of a painting I did.
Doing a good scan might require essentially destroying the spines of the mags. As much as it would be for the greater good of vidya history, it would also fuck my collection.
This is a good idea I didn't even consider, and it won't damage anything to do so. I'll do this. Once I have done anything (scans/disc images) I'll be sure to post it here or make a new thread if this one's dead.
I actually had the March 1999 (GOTY awards) when it came out and I was a kid. It was the only gaming mag I had, I played the shit out of the CD demos (e.g. Thief). My mom thought games were a waste of time so even though by the time that mag was already a year old and showing signs of wear, she thought it was a bad influence on me and she THREW IT OUT. Yes, she trashed it outright. About a month or two ago I was remembering this issue and wished I still had it, so I started trawling ebay and amazon. I thought it was a 1998 issue and couldn't remember the month nor find scans for it online so I almost gave up. Then I arbitrarily checked an auction on ebay for ALL 1999 issues and once I saw the cover I knew that was it. They weren't for sale individually so I bought the whole collection. No regrets - they are in great condition and all the CDs as well.
Not likely. Everything has gone digital. This would cost too much especially now that print mags are less and less common. What's really amazing about these mags from 1999 is not just how generous they were with everything, but the actual attitude of the writing towards games. It assumes a different kind of audience than the sort of generalist exposition you see on most mainstream gaming sites today. Not to exaggerate it or anything, as it's still pretty straightforward stuff, but it is noticeable. There's also shitloads of ads just like a fashion mag (which I don't mind because each ad is a piece of history... seeing a Thief ad with "IN STORES NOW" on it is cool).
look, I know you like your collection, but isn't getting an online database that will never disappear and will be accessible by future generations more important?
Theyre not worth anything and you could share them with millions of people. It's your choice.
Sort of related, I have a stack of Nintendo Power going from about issue 120-ish to the 240s (shortly before they closed shop). There's not a lot of /vr/ issues but probably a dozen at least. Would those be anywhere online? If not I might be willing to take some photos as well. Naturally I would do so in a separate thread so as to not detract from OP's valiant efforts.
Whoa bro, it's not like he's just wanting to show us the covers and brag about having them. He's clearly interested in getting readable photos and usable iso's to put online. I don't see what you're getting bothered about.
Oh, I remember the one at the bottom left! I was confused because I'm in the UK, and when I bought it, I thought "PC Gamer's had quite a sudden change" before I realised that it wasn't UKPCG
Ah bummer! That's a huge amount of issues. I think there are more UK issues scanned available online but that era is still pretty bare for both UK and US issues.
On the one hand I understand your righteous indignation - the choice seems blatantly obvious - but on the other hand, saying "they're not worth anything" is silly. I suppose other people can all reimburse me for the price, shipping costs, and shitty exchange rate I had to deal with to get these issues via ebay? Not to mention I don't want the collection for any monetary reasons, I got it for my own enjoyment and nostalgia, not to resell.
Remember also that ripping CDs and scanning requires a large time commitment. 12 CDs is easy, but 100s and 100s of pages is not so easy. It's a lot of manhours. Obviously I still want to preserve these things though. I ordered originally just for nostalgic purposes and mostly for that one issue I used to have, but my intentions grew as I realized what I had on my hands.
What blows my mind is that someone could have all these and just sell them off on ebay with no care for where or who they end up with. Trust me that we're lucky it was me who picked them up.
DESU I wanted to brag a little bit... just a little. Nice to share stuff like this with others who are interested. I also really think that issue really inspired me as a kid, especially the Thief 1 demo on the CD which really captured my imagination (I now put Thief 2 in my top 10 favourite games). It's sort of sharing THAT experience, too.
I will try photographs for now with a focus on ensuring legibility. Scans would be cleaner but if you can still preserve the essence of the issue, it should be okay (plz note the attached photo is just an offhand snapshot I did and obviously FAR BELOW the level of quality I'd be aiming for). Just don't expect everything quickly - it's a big job and I have a real life to tend to as a first priority!
If its possible, try to upload the CD images to archive.org
This is a lecture by Jason Scott that explains their whole goal for archiving this sort of stuff. Its a wonderful watch, and really entertaining and fascinating.
There's also a nice little /vr/ story. Because archive.org had an image of one of these PC gamer demo discs from 1995, I was able to go back and find a demo for a game I barely remembered. That game was Necrobius and actually never got released. Because there was that disc image, /vr/ was able to run the demo, which got the attention of the lost media wiki and HCG101 forums. After some detective work, the game designer was contacted and released a full version of the unpublished title for everyone to play. That could have never happened if someone didn't decide that even these seemingly useless demo CDs never got saved and archived.