There are some people that we looked up to then that are, for some reason or other, easier to locate... and those people are the writers.
If you owned a ZX Spectrum or a Commodore 64, you either bought a games mag or stood and read it in John Menzies for as long as you could escape without a clip round the ear from a store detective. What was great about those magazines was that, in many cases, their reviewers also had distinct personalities. It got to be that you would identify with certain reviewers, either because they were funny or because you trusted their judgement or had similar tastes in games.
|Haunt of many a teenage gamer...|
So, what happened to some of our favourite reviewers? Like I said, many of them are a little easier to track down than the coders, and I hope to include some of them in this book. If you ever read Your Sinclair, you probably either loved or hated Stuart Campbell. Never shy to offer a controversial opinion, "Rev. Stu" continues to prod and poke at the games-playing public today, whether in magazines or on his website, World of Stuart. Love him or hate him, it's hard to argue with him (primarily because he will hunt you down and give you a verbal battering).
From ZZAP! 64, Julian "Jaz" Rignall stayed mostly in the games industry. He was at GamePro until they recently closed down; now he has a cool gaming blog called Playotron, and a very active, informative and entertaining Twitter account.
Gary Penn continued to work on games mags, but is now at Denki, producers of such great puzzle games as Denki Blocks! and Quarrel. Gary Liddon is head of successful games studio Ruffian Games, who can name the Crackdown games among their successes. Steve Jarratt has remained in games journalism this entire time.
|Look, prizes! Things you can win! And they're good for you!|
His latest, Another World, is a sci-fi novel set toward the end of the twenty-second century. If you want to know more, go here for links to buy them at very reasonable prices! Alternatively, I have an e-copy of Another World to give away... just post a comment telling me what is your favourite Commodore 64 or Spectrum review of all time, and I'll put you in the draw. And as a bonus, I have an e-copy of Gordon's book Game Boy, which is a novel filled with more video game references than you could shake a Konix Speedking at. If you love video games and reading, this book is for you. Winner gets their choice of novel, second place gets what's left. You have until Sunday to post - go!