Scans of the covers of ASM 05/88, Amiga Joker 07/93 and Power Play 09/98 next to each other.

CH Ludens Starts Collecting Historical Gaming Magazines

by Aurelia Brandenburg

Researching the history of digital games means, among other things, researching the discourses about games in gaming magazines. For that, the Bern Team of CH Ludens is starting a collection of physical copies of gaming magazines in German (primarily) published in the 1980s and 1990s. This post serves as a living document for this collection, and we will update the list below as we start acquiring individual magazine issues.

There also is a German version of this post which can be found here.

Table of Contents

Wo are we?

We are Confoederatio Ludens, an interdisciplinary research project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF, that looks at a vibrant game design and development scene in the pre-Internet age in Switzerland. After early games were programmed on university mainframes and with the advent of home computers digital games were programmed in private at home, exchanged with friends and peers, and sometimes also via listings in magazines. In the 1990s game development started to become a business. All these games bear witness to dynamic swiss sub-scenes, gaming culture and a society changing through digitization. This includes, among other things, also the history of the early gaming press in German. While most of these magazines during that time were published in Germany and the first known Swiss gaming magazine (in print) only appeared in 2002, they were not only read in Switzerland as well but also, in some cases, had Swiss authors writing for them.

Which magazine issues are we searching for?

From the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, a wide variety of gaming magazines existed on the german-speaking market. Some, such as ASM and Power Play, are well-known classics among fans until today while others, such as Joystick, were short-lived and are often relatively obscure due to their short publication time. For now, we are focusing on magazines that are either directly relevant to our current research, difficult to access since they aren’t digitized and publicly available yet, or both. (Note: We are also interested in magazine issues beyond that list, but we are concentrating our efforts mainly on the ones listed below.)

This means that right now, we are looking for opportunities to buy or receive donations of issues of the following magazines. (This list will be continually updated in the future.)

  • Aktueller Software Markt (ASM, Tronic Verlag, 1986-1995): issues 03/86 to 02/95 (= all issues, including special issues)
  • PC Spiel (Tronic Verlag, 1995-1996): issues 03/95 to 12/96 (= all issues, including special issues)
  • Power Play (Markt & Technik Verlag / Magna Media Verlag / WEKA Verlag / Future Verlag, 1987-2000): issues 01/87 to 04/00 (= all issues, including special issues)
  • Amiga Joker (Joker Verlag, 1989-1996): issues 11/89 to 11/96 (= all issues, including special issues)
  • Bravo Screenfun (Bauer Verlag, 1997-2009): issues 04/97 to 12/00 (including special issues until 2000)
  • GameStar (IDG Entertainment Media GmbH, since 1997): issues 10/97 to 12/00 (including special issues until 2000)
  • hey! Games4Girls (Panini Verlag, 2009): issues 01/09 to 02/09 (= all issues)
  • Software-Trend: Der Newsletter für die Computergemeinschaft (Software Trend Verlage, 1986-1990): issues 01/86 to 05/90 (= all issues)
  • PCtip (IDG Communications AG Zürich, since 1995): issues 01/95 to 12/00 (including special issues until 2000)
  • Computerworld Schweiz (IDG Communications AG Zürich, since 1985): all issues 1985-2000 (including special issues until 2000)

We also are maintaining a public list with every issue we are searching for at the moment listed individually, which can be found here.

Contact

If you have any of the listed magazine issues and are thinking about donating or selling them, you can get in touch by emailing Aurelia Brandenburg (aurelia.brandenburg@hkb.bfh.ch). Feel free to contact her as well if you have other proposals or questions regarding this collection.


FAQ

Are you also interested in collecting CD ROMs from the magazines?

Yes, we are! We focus on the printed issues of the magazines first since they are easier to find, but everything else that was sold with them, be it posters or CD ROMs, is interesting to us as well.

I have some magazines that aren’t currently on your list. Would you be interested in those as well?

It depends a little bit on what you have, but generally speaking: Yes, definitely! Feel free to email us detailing what you have and would like to donate and in most cases, we probably would be happy to take that material.

Why are you collecting magazines that can be found online as PDFs?

We are interested in the physical object of each magazine issue for multiple reasons, but in the end, it all boils down to that a physical copy on paper is easier to archive and often contains more/other information than a pdf from a scientific point of view.


Header Image: Covers of ASM 05/88, Amiga Joker 07/93 and Power Play 09/98.



Cite this blog post
Aurelia Brandenburg (2024, April 8). CH Ludens Starts Collecting Historical Gaming Magazines. Confoederatio Ludens. Retrieved June 14, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/w6k5

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