['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.]

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I am in the midst of madly preparing for a long vacation. Everything always seems to happen last-minute when you've got one of these vacations, so my mind is frazzled right now.

Fortunately, I don't have to say very much in order to introduce Amusement, a French mag that's perhaps best described as a mixture of Edge and a European fashion magazine.

I'm surprised I haven't read a lot more about Amusement before now (although it's been mentioned on prominent blogs once or twice).

This is especially true because it does a lot of things that I think print-based game media needs to start doing right now -- be more visual, take angles that nothing else on the market approaches (online or off), and keep readers excited instead of bored and uninspired to continue reading.

Amusement EIC Abdel Bounane did an online interview last month where he lays the mag out bare for English speakers. Bounane says in the piece that an English-language version will get US and UK distribution in 2009, and already I can't wait for that moment. Hopefully, the English version is as well crafted as the French.

That's not the only good news in print land -- I've heard from a couple of industry people that Future U.S. has something new going on in '09, printwise. What, I don't know precisely, and it may not be quite as exciting as a standalone independent-editorial mag launch, but I'm looking forward to it regardless.

Or, that is, I'll be looking forward to it once I'm done packing and getting the ferrets situated for my vacation. Oh God, all these loose ends...

[Kevin Gifford breeds ferrets and runs Magweasel, a site for collectors and fans of old video-game and computer magazines. In his spare time he does writing and translation for lots and lots of publishers and game companies.]