I recently wrote an article about how the internet reshaped the media landscape, and in doing so it killed print magazines. One of the things I noted was how the internet allowed anyone to jump online and create a blog, website or just leave a comment on a forum. In the process, it democratised the flow of information, gave everyone a voice, and made monthly video game magazines less relevant.
I can’t begin to imagine all the articles, videos, forum discussions and social media posts that have been generated since the internet came about and invited everyone to participate… or how much of that has been scrubbed from history as websites have been abandoned and social media platforms have died.
I guess the internet is a double-edged sword like that. It allows instant access to information. To all the world’s knowledge. But each piece is fleeting. Temporary. Devoured and forgotten. Which is why I miss print publications. And why I decided to create the Forgotten World’s zine.
Truth be told, I’ve been writing, editing and publishing zines since the early '90s when I was selling my photocopied Mega Drive magazine at the local video store and following the Arnie Katz’ column about fandom in VG&CE magazine.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing quite like an individually numbered, limited-edition magazine to call your own. In a world where information and media is increasingly disposable, there’s something about the tactile, personal nature of zines that encourages their survival, irrespective of how much faster / more convenient the internet may be.
So here we are. A limited-run print publication in 2023. Pointless. A relic. Devoid of any commercial purpose. But that’s kind of the point. The Forgotten World’s zine is an attempt to capture a moment in time. A nod to those of us who still remember and / or appreciate the excitement of a bygone era in video games, and the ability to connect with it in a tangible way.
It’s the first of many, hopefully. Because plans are already in the works for a magazine proper and a couple of follow-up zines. So, ah, please send pseudoephedrine and Red Bull… I also have a day job to deal with.
Oh, and if you want more information about the practical aspects of doing the same, I also wrote a guide.
Mikolai Napieralski runs Forgotten Worlds, a site which looks back at video game magazines from 88-94.