['Game Mag Weaseling' is a weekly column by Kevin Gifford which documents the history of video game magazines, from their birth in the early '80s to the current day.]

Since I have about 100,000 words' worth of text to edit this weekend, I thought I would lay off from typing so much and instead just show off my magazine room for a bit.

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The first two pics cover the dedicated video-game magazines, while the third pic covers the computer magazine section.

These pics were taken back in December, and the magazine collection has grown a fair bit since then, taking on large-scale collections of such illustrious tomes as EGM and Edge, and the end result of it is that the shelves have gotten a lot fuller and I need to reshelve and reorder everything again. Ah well. That, and the ferrets keep on pulling mags off the bottom shelves.


One special note I wanted to make is that Weekly Famitsu, the largest and most well-known console game magazine in Japan published its 20th-anniversary issue last week. The editorial team tends to treat their "birthday" issues pretty seriously, and this one was no exception -- it came with a booklet of all the major "cross reviews" (the review format that they invented in 1987 and EGM liberally borrowed a few years later) from their first era of publication, with further booklets due in later issues.

I am not so mad as to have a subscription to Famitsu these days (and, to be honest, my magazine-collecting budget is at an all-time low right now), but I thought I would commemorate this milestone with a shot of one of my favorite possessions -- issue one of Famicom Tsushin (Famitsu's progenitor), alongside the miniature edition they gave away with issue 800 a couple years back. (I also included a pic of the first issue of Gamest, another 80s game mag that concentrated primarily on arcade games. I'll get to that mag later.)

Like Nintendo Power up until a few issues ago, there is more that is the same with Famitsu between its inaugural and current issues than there is different. There's the worrying amount of strategy, the busy and constantly eye-catching visual design, and arguably the most "paid off" coverage in all of game mag-dom. You could argue that it's really not their fault, though -- since Japanese copyright law dictates that publishers have to get permission for pretty much everything they publish about a game from its creators, mags over there are pretty much forced to have extremely cozy relationships with game makers. (It's the same way with Newtype USA, actually. Since we're technically a Japanese magazine, we're required to get copyright permissions for every bit of visual art in every issue of the mag -- none of this "Oh, yeah, go ahead and take whatever screenshots you want" stuff. It certainly tests your organizational abilities.)

[Kevin Gifford breeds ferrets and runs Magweasel, a site for collectors and fans of old video-game and computer magazines. He owns enough magazines to smother himself with should the need arise, and his secret fantasy is for someone flush with game-publisher stock options to give him a monthly stipend so he can spend a year researching their full history and finishing the site. In his "off" time he is an editor at Newtype USA magazine.]