['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.]


It's the last column of the year, and as always, my mind turns to final issues of magazines. (That and drinking beer, but you didn't ask about that.)

I've written about final issues a few times in the past, from famous last words to the swan song of the Official UK Playstation [One] Magazine in 2004. In lieu of repeating myself (and also because I have nieces vying for my attention right now around the Xmas tree), I'd like to point you to what I think is some required reading for any mag-fan: the final issue of Your Sinclair, a British computer mag that influenced the entire print industry there for years to come.

YS's last installment is, in my opinion, the ultimate final issue of any game mag ever published. By 1993, there was no professional software scene for the ZX Spectrum; it was dead in the marketplace and whenever other mags referenced it, it was about how old the machine was or what a wonderful doorstop it makes.

Your Sinclair's circulation was almost certainly in the low thousands, and there was no way Future Publishing would've let that continue for long, so September 1993 marked the mag's last installment. But what an installment it was! The editors raised the price and dumped the cover-tape to fill the mag with as many pages as possible, featuring cameos from nearly all its top contributors and a complete guide to the past, present and future of both YS and the system it covered.

Instead of reading this column, jump over to World of Spectrum and read YS #93 in its entirety online. It'll make you feel warm even if you've never touched a real Spectrum.

[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.]