PSA: Computer Gaming World’s early issues released online

October 25, 2006

Computer Gaming World , the popular gaming magazine founded in 1981, is changing its name to (of all things) Games For Windows. Leaving aside the blatant stupidity of such a name change, which seems almost as bad as re-naming the Apple Powerbook to Macbook Pro, this is awesome news. Why?

Well, to celebrate the name change and presumably numb the pain a little, the kind editors of the magazine have released the first one hundred issues for public download. The FileFront page allows you to download each issue individually – although I’ve packaged them all into a torrent file, for easy bulk downloads – although only the cover artwork is available for any issue after 101. Still, that’s pretty excellent.

  • That’s 100 free issues of a long-running, well-written gaming magazine. What is a hundred issues’ worth of nostalgia worth to you?
  • That’s 100 free issues of historically significant writing. If you’re doing any work related to the history of computer games, such a resource can be invaluable for providing both a stronger depth of knowledge on the area, and a way of verifying your text.
  • That’s 100 free issues of comedy gold: what could be more fun than laughing at the past?

Unfortunately, the issues are enormous. Each PDF file weighs in at between fourteen and eighty megabyte, for issues 1 and 100, respectively. That’s… well, frankly, enormous. The whole collection is a total of 2.86GB.

I’ve already used these magazines for fun and profitnerdery. Personal computer game, my pet project at the English Wikipedia, has received a number of citations drawn directly from the issues I’ve downloaded. That article is still an extremely long way from Featured Article quality – just take a look at the enormous list of recommendations that have been made to improve it – but every little bit helps.

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