Gameshow is a magazine that was published in Turkey during the 1990s. The magazine focused mainly on computer games, where it was the leading magazine in that but it also contained pages about science fiction and fantasy literature and rock music. Although most of its authors were either teenagers or were in their early 20's, it maintained significant readership numbers compared to Turkish Magazine Industry figures for certain years.
When its rather short and turbulent life began, the magazine's sole rival was Pc Oyun (Pc Game), and this rival itself was barely two years old. Since graphics and sound effects offered by early PC's were rather crude, magazines published before 1993 were mostly about games made for other platforms. Gameshow had found itself in uncharted waters. Fortunately, its crew had a few veterans: Murat Adanç (who used the nickname "Mac") for instance, had previously worked as an author for two magazines: 64ler and Megamiga. (As their names suggest, these magazines were about games made for Commodore 64s and Amigas, respectively.)
Gameshow was a low-budget project: The magazine, at first, was not much to look at. It was small, short and ugly: Had few pages and was not really 'printed', but photocopied. Full of monochromatic screenshots and 'amatör ruh' (spirit of the amateur), it survived only because of what her authors called mavra -a term they used to describe anything that contained sarcasm or humor.
Gameshow's authors did not have a lot of rules about writing: Adanç had once insulted his readers by describing them as 'a goddamn flock of sheep that went wherever they were led to.' Other writers sometimes used similarly harsh language: In March 2000 edition, for instance, an author who used the pen-name 'Big Ben' (Timur Çataklı) denounced the Turkish education system with these words:
"...Most of the teachers expected us to keep staring at them drooling as they talked, and the rest did not care whether we listened to them or not, since their souls had grown as inert as those of whores.
... (About his physics teacher, who had once beaten one of his friends) He (the teacher) was so disgusting. One day, we heard that he had suffered a stroke, and -I'll never forget that moment- 30 students linked arms and started dancing. Even now I feel that my blood boils: Imagine the rage that lies inside me... Who are you to raise your hands against the child of another man, where do you take that right from? I am disgusted with all you teachers and will never speak of any of you with respect. Your work is by no means sacred, your trade is infamy."
One of the major events ever happened in Gameshow because of the authors' writing style was occurred in 1998 summer. When reviewing the PC game Final Fantasy VII, one of the authors, Ertunç Burak who is known by his anti-American statements, used a very harsh and offensive style describing the Japanese Anime culture. This resulted a severe outcry among the readers of Gameshow and numerous people accused Ertunç Burak of being a fascist and demanded him to be kicked-out of Gameshow. It's unknown what kind of punishment did Burak take, since nobody in the crew talked about this incident ever again. Apparently it wasn't anything serious as Burak continued his work at Gameshow, expressing his thoughts in his writings once in a while. (Although with a slightly less offensive style.) One of the directors later claimed that Ertunç Burak was kind of tired and weary for reviewing multiple games in one month which resulted his outburst.
Other authors took their work less seriously, and developed a sense of dark humor as the magazine's shaky financial situation failed to stabilize. Their sarcasm was mostly about their own incompetence. In 1996, when two authors got lost during a trip to Frankfurt am Main, the magazine's copyright notice was changed:
-What is written on that road-sign?
-It says Frankfurt, but there is no city at the end of the road.
-I think we're lost.
-No, wait -we're saved! There is another road-sign there?
-Read it at once, so that we can go back if we are headed in the wrong direction.
-It says: The Gameshow contains copyrighted material, so you cannot, you know, copy and paste or do things like that. The responsibility of what they write belong to the authors... now... what the hell will we do?
The passage above is an allegory about the magazine itself. Despite all their efforts, the crew seemed to be getting further and further away from their goals...
After launching its 'tell all your friends about us' campaign, Gameshow started to accumulate a small but dedicated mass of readers. Money was still in short supply, but the editors felt confident enough to 'upgrade' the magazine.
In 1996, the magazine was printed in color for the first time. It later grew in size as well, and eventually became a 96-page magazine printed on high quality A4 paper.
A bigger and better magazine captured more attention than a small and slim one. The sales got higher and higher, and for a while things looked good for Gameshow. The amateurish look and the unstructured style of the magazine fascinated many readers. These things were certainly more interesting for young people than the serious, down-to business tone of Pc Oyun.
However, two things went wrong. Murat Adanç (Mac) fell at odds with his fellow crewmen and left the project. This was a blow that Gameshow never fully recovered from, as his articles on heavy metal music and freelance philosophy were very popular. Also, the increasing quality of the magazine had inflated the costs of the project faster than the rise in sales.
In 1998, the magazine started her countdown: Numbers appeared on the cover of the magazine, and got smaller with each issue. Everyone wondered what was going to happen when they reached zero. Finally, the issue that answered the question arrived: Its cover was black, and bore the words:
"Artık demir alma günü gelmişse zamandan..." (If the day to set sail from the harbor of time has come...)
That was a reference to a famous Turkish poem "Sessiz Gemi" written by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, and the poem was about death. Gameshow was dead, the project was canceled.
Interregnum and Decline
For a year, some of the authors tried to get the magazine back in stores while others argued that they had failed, and it was time to accept defeat. The people who had started the project had lost their courage. Readers wanted Gameshow back, but the lack of proper leadership made it impossible to put the crew back together again.
Finally, the magazine came back with a new crew: While some of the first-generation authors were still willing to participate, they were not numerous enough to run the entire show. The readers were glad — they had taken their favorite pastime back.
However, there was a new challenge that was much bigger than Gameshow, and indeed any other magazine: The Internet. Its use had become widespread recently, and there were millions of web pages that offered information about computer games. Millions of Turkish people had access to it, and the demand for computer game magazines had declined.
The editors tried to adapt by giving promotions. They gave CDs and made preparations for posters. This tactic proved to be counterproductive: Gameshow rapidly lost her readers, as it was now perceived as a commercial investment rather than an amateur magazine. The criticism that it received was not really justified, the authors and editors had, by this point, given up all hopes of profit and they were merely trying to save the magazine from bankruptcy.
But their final effort was in vain: Gameshow disappeared again in 2002, never to return.
The Crew of Gameshow
M. Emin Gür / aka. "MEG" (Author, Editor and Owner) : Also called "MEGatron". He was probably the crew member who suffered most during magazine's turbulent history. Close friend of MAC and Timur, he was sometimes described as an authoritarian but in fact he was a kind person who only interested in making the magazine run.
Timur Çataklı / aka. "Big Ben" (Founder and Author) : Married during 1996 and later moved to US, Timur was one of the experts who played a significant role in Gameshow's success. In his column "Big Ben", he promoted a symbolic but utterly useless small campaign; "Let all games end with the same button." Even today, nobody has no idea about what he meant...
Mert Topçu (Founder and Author) : Known for his romantic nature, Mert was a lover of poetry as was seen in his writings ever since the first issue of Gameshow. He was very good friends and cousins with Timur Çataklı.
Şahin Derya (Former Author) : A former author who helped the survival of Gameshow, Şahin Derya was also a veteran author who worked at 64'ler with MAC. Known for his love of metal music, he left the magazine a while after the first close-down.
Murat Adanç / aka. "MAC"(Cover Designer, Page Designer, Director, Author) : Undeniably the best-known writer in Turkish computer-game magazine world, Murat Adanç was a veteran author who also worked in two legendary computer-game magazines. (See above) He was well liked by his readers because of this knowledge in almost everything and every game. A lover of strategy games and metal music, MAC moved to Germany long before Gameshow ever published. In middle 1997, when he left Gameshow because of disagreement between him and some of the members of crew, most people believed that the Gameshow was utterly finished. Even since he left, people still believed he was still behind the scenes and helping the publishing of magazine. He later returned in 2000 with Gameshow's sister internet magazine; "NET Show". He had a girl-friend named Mary Ann. His free-styled philosophical writings in his column "MACbeth", were also popular among readers.
Polat Yarışçı / aka. "Zebani"-"The Demon" in Turkish (Cover Designer, Director and Author) : Another veteran who served in an old Amiga game magazine, Zebani was in charge of reviewing classic Amiga games. Later when MAC left the magazine, he took over after MAC and begin writing "Overdose", after MAC's "Macbeth" was closed down. Although he wasn't as popular as MAC, he was still liked by the readers as he did all he can to help readers with their questions. People who know him describe him as a little eccentric man. Overdose was later published as a separate small magazine given along with Gameshow.
Serkan Uybaş / aka. "NOT Serkan"-From "Not enough Memory" (Author) : When Gameshow begin her life, Serkan was in charge of a column named "Not Enough Memory", which was created for reviewing old games which didn't need enormous system requirements for play. Serkan was always odds with MAC and Zebani, attacking them in any chance he can get. He was addressing readers as "Kitlem". ("My Crowd of People") Other authors especially MAC called him with names like "Moron" and "Idiot", questioning his intelligence. Serkan's column was censored once in late 1996, for not obeying a publishing law. (Apparently he was talking about a horse race, which was considered as a way of gambling in Turkey.) Serkan later left the magazine, but returned a while later.
Ertunç Burak (Author) : Most controversial author of Gameshow, Ertunç Burak was severely criticized for his review of FF7. (See above) He was known for his harsh articles about western ideology and was a critic of United States policies.
Burçak Caner (Author) : Sometimes nicknamed as "General" (and some other military terms) Burçak was an expert at strategy games, namely SSI's famous Panzer General series. Readers remember him as smug (sometimes), but nevertheless an intelligent and helpful person who did his best in helping readers in their troubles in strategy games. He was in charge of "B-Bölgesi" ("B-Zone") a column in Gameshow dedicated to strategy games.
Muhammed Dabiri / aka. "Nierdre" (Author) : Known for his extremely broad range of knowledge in FRP games, Nierdre was liked by the readers as he was very helpful and a kind person in nature. He enormously helped the FRP games to develop in Turkey. He later transferred to Gameshow's sister magazine decitated to FRP games; "FRP&Magic".
Levent Göçer (Author) : Another military expert of Gameshow, Levent Göçer had knowledge in most military topics, especially aircraft, so much so that some readers believed he was a pilot in the Turkish Air Force. He was the first one to came in mind when a new flight simulation game arrived to Gameshow.
Engin "Abla" ("Big Sister" in Turkish) Süzen (Author) : Before the first close-down, "Engin Abla" had column named after his nickname. Before it was confirmed that he was a guy, readers thought that he was a "she-male". His column was in charge of technical problems which readers might experience with hardware.
Nesime Taşan (Author) aka. "Cadaloz" (Turkish for "Shrew, nagging woman" ): Cadaloz was one of the few girls ever had a chance of being an author in Gameshow. She occasionally got into (playful, friendly) fights with Zebani, and was known as a brash and hot-headed person. She also had a column named after her nickname. (Although Zebani changed its column's name to Kataloz, Çotoloz or Kotoloz etc., just for making her angry.)
Muammer Derebaşı / aka. "MUDER" (Author) : A reader-turned-author who wrote to Macbeth whenever he got the chance, MUDER was known as a helpful, good-natured but a little perky person. He was in charge of "101", a column decitated to internet surfing.
Altuğ Canıtez (Page Designer, Author and Webmaster)
Hüseyin Yeşilbaş (Hardware Specialist and Author)
Fatih Yücesoy (Hardware Specialist and Author)
Other Authors: Artun Özsemerciyan, Emrecan Çakır, Can Kantarcı, Rauf Olcay, Emir B. Turan, Tuğhan Arslan, Evren Halbuni, Serkan Kutlubay, Levent Arslan, Onur Kabadayı, Ozan Özkuşaksız, Bleda Hacıalihafız, İrem Uygun, Nurettin Tan, Volkan Çağsal, CronoS.
Kamer Crew: Hayrettin Cenani.
Note: 'Kusmuk' and "Ters Adam" were two columns of the magazine written by unnamed authors. Although "Ters Adam" was rumored to be none other than "MAC" himself.
All covers of the magazine