PC Gamer

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The logo used by both versions of PC Gamer

PC Gamer is a magazine founded in Britain in 1993 devoted to PC gaming and published monthly by Future plc. The magazine has several regional editions, with the UK and US editions becoming the best selling PC games magazines in their respective countries.[1][2] The magazine features news on developments in the video game industry, previews of new games, and reviews of the latest popular PC games, along with other features relating to hardware, mods, "classic" games and various other topics.

Review system[edit]

PC Gamer reviews are written by the magazine's editors and freelance writers, and rate games on a percent scale. In the US edition, no game has yet received a rating higher than 98% (Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Half-Life 2, and Crysis), while the UK edition has never awarded more than 96% (Civilization II, Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Minecraft, Spelunky and Quake II).

In the UK edition, the lowest numerical score was 2%, awarded to Big Brother 1. The sequel, Big Brother 2, was given an even lower score of N/A%, the review explaining that "[PC Gamer] put as much effort into reviewing it as they did in making the game". In issue 255, August 2013, the score of 2% was matched by the review of the re-released Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, originally given 3% when it first launched. In the US edition, the lowest score awarded was 4%, given to Mad Dog McCree, unseating the previously lowest-rated game, Skydive!, given 5%.

Editions[edit]

There are two main editions of PC Gamer, a British version and an American version, both are published by Future plc. Founded in the United Kingdom in November 1993, the American sister version was launched a year later in June 1994.[1]

There are also numerous local editions that mainly use the materials of one of the two editions, typically the British one, including a Malaysian (Discontinued in December 2011) and Russian edition. The Swedish edition, though rooted in its UK counterpart, has grown to be more independent, largely due to the immense popularity of PC games compared to console games in Sweden, and now produces most of its own material. An Australian edition was published monthly by Perth-based Conspiracy Publishing since August 1998, but it appears to have been discontinued in mid-late 2004. A Spanish edition titled "PC Juegos y Jugadores" also exists.

Both American and British magazines are published thirteen times per year (twice in December),[1] although there are sometimes variations.

PC Gamer UK[edit]

PC Gamer (UK)
PCG201 Cover.jpg
Cover of PCG201, June 2009
Editor Samuel Roberts
Former editors [3][4][5]
Staff writers
Categories Games magazine
Frequency Every four weeks, 13 per year
Circulation 26,487 (Jan 09 – Dec 09)[6]
32,619 (Jan 08 – Dec 08)[7]
38,654 ABC (July - December 2007) [8]
Publisher Richard Keith
First issue December 1993[1]
Company Future plc
Country United Kingdom
Based in Bath, Somerset
Language British English
Website http://www.pcgamer.com/

Magazine[edit]

The British edition of PC Gamer has been in constant monthly publication since 1993. Subscribers get a special edition of the magazine with no headlines on the front cover (only the masthead and BBFC rating).

Almost exclusively devoted to PC games, the magazine has a reputation for giving in-depth reviews.[9]

The magazine originally shipped with an accompanying 3.5-inch (89 mm) floppy disc. A CD demo disc (labelled CD Gamer) was released alongside the floppy disk edition from issue 11 onwards with the first CD Gamer containing all the content from the previous 10 issues' floppy discs. The single CD was later expanded to two CDs.

An edition with a 9 GB DVD known as DVD Gamer ran alongside the 2CD edition for a couple of years, until production of the CD Gamer edition ceased as of issue 162. The UK Edition then only came with a single double-sided DVD. In August 2011, the UK magazine announced it was to be discontinuing the disk as of issue 232, and replacing it with more pages of content within the magazine and exclusive free gifts. [10]

Regular features[edit]

The magazine has many regular features which make up each edition of the magazine. These include sections called ´Eyewitness´, ´Previews´, ´Send´, where letters from the readers are spread over 2 two page spreads, at least one special feature, which reports on gaming related issues such as the effect of PC gaming on the environment, a review section which reviews the latest released PC games and re-reviews titles that have been released on budget and ´Extra Life´ which reports on modding games and gaming culture and revisiting old games. There is also a ´Systems´ section, which reviews and recommends hardware such as video cards and monitors. The back page of the magazine is entitled ´It's All Over´ and usually consists of game related artwork such as a version of Dalí's The Persistence of Memory featuring items from Portal.[11] For a time, one of the magazine's features, ´Gamer Snap´, where amusing pictures sent in by readers were printed in the magazine, however the feature was discontinued and replaced with a ´Guess the game´ where readers sent in drawings of memorable scenes in video games drawn in Microsoft Paint.

Forum and blog[edit]

The PC Gamer blog was started to coincide with the transfer of the PC Gamer UK site to become part of the Computer and Video Games network which incorporates all of Future plc's gaming magazines. The move brought some controversy, with many long standing members of the forum leaving due to the new forum's cramped spacing, advertising and slow loading times. The introduction of a blog was seen as one of the redeeming features of the switch. The blog has since been regularly updated with contributions from many of the magazine's staff. The topics discussed range from the controversy over violent video games, to the benefits of buying a PC over a console.

In 2010, PC Gamer re-launched their website and blog by bringing together the online communities of both the US and UK magazines into one website.[12] As a result, the PC Gamer blog now has contributions from both the US and UK magazines, all hosted at the new website along with the forums for both magazines.

Podcast[edit]

The PC Gamer UK podcast was started on 4 May 2007 and ran 93 episodes until its final episode, which was released on July 5, 2013. It had a rotating cast made up of members of the staff including Chris Thursten, Tom Senior, Graham Smith, Tom Francis, and Marsh Davies. The podcast was formerly hosted by Ross Atherton until his departure in June 2009 and then Tim Edwards until his departure in 2012. The host position varied between Chris Thursten and Graham Smith from week to week. Previously monthly, the podcast was recorded every fortnight. Participants discussed the games they had been playing and news from the industry, and answered questions submitted via Twitter.

PC Gamer US[edit]

PC Gamer (US)
PCG US 201.png
Editor in Chief Evan Lahti
Former editors 1994-1996 Matt Firme
1996 Dan Bennett
1996-2000 Gary Whitta
2000-2004 Rob Smith
2004-2005 Dan Morris
2005-2007 Greg Vederman
2007-2009 Kristen Salvatore
2009 Gary Steinman
2009-2013 Logan Decker
2014- Evan Lahti
Categories Games magazine
Frequency Monthly
Publisher Ace St. Germain
First issue May/June 1994
Company Future US
Country United States
Language American English
Website www.pcgamer.com

Magazine[edit]

The American edition of PC Gamer launched in 1994.

In 1999, Future plc, then known as Imagine media, purchased rival magazine PC Games and merged its staff into the magazine.[13]

According to a 2005 study, subscribers to the magazine are overwhelmingly male (97%), and make up over two thirds of the magazine's readership.[2]

Demo disk[edit]

Similarly to the British edition, the magazine shipped with a demo disk, though diskless versions were available. The CDs were replaced by DVDs in the American edition on a month-to-month basis.

When PC games with full motion video (FMV) sequences were popular in the mid-to-late 1990s, PC Gamer's CD-ROM included elaborate FMV sequences featuring one of their editors. To access the features of the CD, including the demos, patches and reviews, the user had to navigate a 'basement', which played very much like classic PC games such as Myst. It was in this game sequence that the magazine's mascot, Coconut Monkey, was introduced just as the editor was leaving the magazine, marking the transition from the FMV demo CDs to the more contemporary menu driven demo CDs that were subsequently used.

In the September 2011 edition of PC Gamer, it was announced that they would be dropping the demo disk altogether and concentrating on improving the quality of the magazine instead with a promise of a larger magazine printed on heavier paper stock. The usual demo disk content would be made available online. [14]

Coconut Monkey[edit]

Coconut Monkey is the mascot for the US edition. He was created by founding editor Matt Firme, and modelled on a Bermudan tourist trinket. Coconut Monkey appears in the pages of the magazine, and has occasionally provided commentary on demo discs included with the magazine. The Coconut Monkey appears in a number of game mods.

The Coconut Monkey is often used to parody vaporware by advertising the unreleased game Gravy Trader, which has been given a 101% score on some of the review disks. The character would often cite that he would do "something" (dependent on the train of thought), but use the excuse "but I have no hands" as a reason for not doing it (even though his two hands and fingers are clearly visible on his belly). As a side note, he claimed he was the product of a coconut (his mother) and a Sri Lankan rat basher (his father).

Podcast[edit]

The PC Gamer US podcast started in August 2005, and is hosted and produced by various PC Gamer editors. Regular contributors include Logan Decker, Evan Lahti, Tyler Wilde, and T.J. Hafer. Former contributors include Dan Stapleton, Dan Morris, Jeremy Williams, Greg Vederman, Chuck Osborn, Kristen Salvatore, Gary Whitta, Josh Augustine, and Norman Chan. It is generally released weekly on Thursdays, but is subject to change when the group is too busy or forgets. The podcast celebrated its 100th episode on 20 September 2007, and was hosted by Dan Morris, who had not appeared since he left the position of EIC of PC Gamer in 2006 to become the magazine's publisher. For its 200th episode released on 12 Nov 2009, the podcast featured two former editors in chief: Gary Whitta and Kristen Salvatore.

A video podcast is also produced and features game developers discussing their newly or soon to be released games, as well as other notable figures in the gaming world. It is produced on a semi-regular basis.

Several notable guests that have appeared on the podcasts include Richard Garriot, Sid Meier, Chris Taylor, the Frag Dolls, Jens Pulver, Chris Sigaty, and Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel.

Several episodes have included a gaming-themed quiz show. Introduced in episode 81 by Logan Decker, the segment is named Catfantastic after the book series of the same name. Logan, however, announced on Catfantastic II that the quiz show would be discontinued because "after two good things, it gets boring." However, Logan hinted in later episodes that Catfantasic could return some day. It did in episode 133, episode 200, episode 250, episode 300 and episode 350. Episodes 250 and 300 were called LazerDeathCatFantastic and ELECTROCATFANTASTIC respectively.

As of episode 119, Andy Bauman took over as producer from Jeremy Williams, who had accepted a different job at PC Gamer's parent company, Future US, in South San Francisco. Jeremy has hinted he may return as a contributor. Bauman's last podcast was episode 258 and he has since taken up a job at CBSi as a video Producer for GameSpot and Giant Bomb.

Anthony Valva, PC Gamer's intern at the time, took over producing the podcast up to episode 274. After his internship ended, podcast production was handed over to former PCG Intern Erik Belsaas.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "PC Gamer". Future plc. Retrieved 27 September 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "PC Gamer Press Kit" (PDF). Future plc. 12 February 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007. [dead link]
  3. ^ "PC GAMER UK Podcast #68 - Weirdly Positive". Future plc. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Donald, Mark (December 2003). "A Word from the Ed". PC Gamer UK. p. 7. 
  5. ^ Donald, Mark; Atherton, Ross (October 2006). "All Change". PC Gamer UK. p. 5. 
  6. ^ "Standard Certificate of Circulation - PC Gamer" (PDF). ABC. 11 February 2010. Archived from the original on 16 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Standard Certificate of Circulation - PC Gamer" (PDF). ABC. 12 February 2009. Archived from the original on 16 August 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009. 
  8. ^ Audience Figures: Games | Future Advertising[dead link], PCG 188, page 5
  9. ^ Armstrong, Rebecca (11 July 2005). "Fingers on the buttons". The Independent. Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  10. ^ "PC Gamer Video Blog - The Making of Issue 232". PCGamer.com. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  11. ^ PC gamer UK February edition Issue 184. Future plc. 2008. pp. 5–130. 
  12. ^ "Future launches PCGamer.com – new online home for global PC gaming authority « Future PLC". Futureplc.com. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Fost, Dan (20 May 1999). "Gaming Magazines Dig In for Showdown in S.F.". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 18 October 2007. "Three months ago, Imagine bought IDG's PC Games and folded it into PC Gamer" 
  14. ^ PC Gamer (US), September 2011

External links[edit]