Flash of Steel header image 2

CGW Archive Online

October 15th, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

Now that Computer Gaming World is officially Games for Windows, it’s probably a great time for the Ziff Davis people to upload the covers of every single CGW printed. They’ve also made available the complete text of the first 100 magazines, stretching from 1981 to November 1992 – an amazing resource for people as interested in the history of gaming as I am, not to mention an excellent window on how the gaming press was different when there was barely any gaming press to speak of.

It’s easy to forget how important wargaming was to the early computer gaming industry. Board game publisher Avalon Hill was a major player in the electronic gaming world. Mark Evans Brooks used the pages of the magazine to compile an encyclopedic list of wargames that had been published (now available here.) Because there was little going on in the strategy realm outside of the standard wargame model, Civilization was covered in the wargame section. For a long time, CGW just classified games as “strategy” and “adventure”.

It’s interesting how the covers have changed, too. They are a little reflection on the rise and fall of genres. Look at all the flight sims that earn covers in the 1988 to 1993 period. The last airplane to make a cover was for Crimson Skies in early 2000, but that was more an action/arcade game than a flight simulation.

The 100th issue (November 1992) has a great series of capsule histories of the first decade of CGW (or “3900 games later” as they phrase it). And the ads are always great. They used to have a stock market section, for crying out loud!

Kudos to CGW/G4W for doing this. If I didn’t have so much work to do, I’d waste my day just reading this old stuff.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • MikeO

    Thanks for this, Troy. Amazing. I wonder if they’ve thought of releasing all the old issues on CD ROM, similar to what was done with ‘Paper Wars’? ‘Paper Wars’ back issues remain more relevant than old computer game magazines, since boardgames never become ‘obsolete’ by technology, but, even so, I imagine a lot of folks would love to have all the old CGW issues available on their laptops.

  • Internet Wizard

    While Ziff Davis deserves credit for allowing this, I think it’s important to note that the scans were the result of a fan project – ie, Ziff Davis didn’t do any of the scanning.

  • Troy

    Absolutely right. I should give credit to Stephane Racle of Vintage Computing.

  • Another look back

    […] I’ve already shown my love and appreciation for Computer Gaming World’s archive of old issues. They even have an index now, so you can keep track of who said what where. […]