Help Preserve Classic Gaming Magazines With RetroMags.com

Every now and then I like to promote sites and projects that I think are beneficial to classic gamers and that enhance our experiences and old-school gamers. One of my favorite projects has been going on for a while, but I decided I need to have a special feature on here to gather more attention to it and possibly get more people involved in helping out.

What Is Retromags And Why Is It Important?

The primary goal of RetroMags is to scan classic gaming magazines into a digital form and distribute them as CBR or PDF files. So far, most of the scans have been of Nintendo Power magazines, but there are a number of other titles that have been scanned and are in the process of being scanned.

While copying and distributed previously published works may be technically a form of copyright violation, RetroMags has a firm policy of not distributing any publication that has been published within the last seven years. I’m sure if they ever recieved formal complaints from the publisher or the publisher started republishing the material, they would gladly take it down. Like other less-specialized scanning projects like the book initives at Amazon.com and Google, RetroMags is a valuable project to help spread information that was previously unavailible in digital form.

The Internet is a wonderful resource for finding all sorts of information and articles about countless video games. However, most coverage of the gaming hobby and industry on the Internet is limited to games and stories that occured prior to the late 1990’s. This was one of my primary reasons for covering the content I do here at Racketboy, but there is a wealth on information in print form that has never been made availible online.

How You Can Help

On the surface, RetroMags may just look like a place to download a bunch of magazines scans, but unfortunately most people just mooch some files and never return. However, in order for the project to truely flourish, additional help can always be used.

There are actually a number of ways you can help out this project. The most obvious solution may be to scan magazines you might have in your closet, but we realize you might not have any magazines or the time to scan them. Because of this, Phillyman has put together a system that has some flexibility in order to work with what different contributers have to offer.

Your time is the most valuable thing to this website. We are always looking for people to help us out. If you cannot afford to donate your time then we ask that you help out in any way possible. Below is a list of ways to help us out!

  • Donate your old magazines (if they are in good condition)
  • Help scan magazines
  • Help edit the scans (crop, resize, straighten)
  • Help distribute the scans
  • Help seed the releases (even seeding a torrent helps)
  • Help keep the forum alive and interesting (by posting topics)
  • Help promote Retromags (on your blog, myspace, facebook, emulation sites)
  • Help on the Retromags Wiki (uploading missing covers, listing contents)

Are You Interested or Have Questions?

If you are remotely interested in helping out with the project, I’ll do the best I can to assist you with any questions you might have and I’m sure RetroMags founder, Phillyman will be glad to join in as well. Just post your questions in the comments section below our check out the RetroMags forums for discussions there.

15 Comments

  1. Ray says:

    I don’t understand the want for this. The reviews held within are no longer relevant; the information held within is dated and far surpassed by what is available online.

  2. racketboy says:

    Well, if you don’t want to read the stuff, that’s perfectly fine.

    I agree that not every article in every old magazine is relevant or useful, but there are some developer interviews and some historical information in there.

    It’s also interesting to see commentary about classic games and machines in their original historical context.

    And of course, there is also the nostalgia factor of flipping through the pages of a magazine you read when you were younger.

  3. d says:

    Still, old mags are litteraly full of errors and bad info. They also never really judged games the right way. When the ps1 and saturn were released, they never spoke about frame rates. I’m still bitter about that. They should’ve told me that Sega rally on Saturn runs smoother than Ridge Racer for ps1. Very important to preserve them for the historical info. Lots of info will be lost if we don’t.

  4. Curlypaul says:

    I find it pretty intesting to look thru these things and see how the styles have changed over the years, not only the artwork and layouts but how the things were written.

    And yes I dont think they reviewed games properly either – games got high scores too easily and when a game got 90+ no reasons were given as to why it didnt get 100. Not really acceptable nowadays but interesting to look back on in retrospect I feel.

    I remember Dans Crap Corner from Sega Power, now that was funny

  5. phillyman says:

    We preserve magazines because its the last part of the entire emulation scene. People have already written emulators, dumped roms, scanned box art, scanned manuals and such. So when you have done all that….whats left? The magazines that promoted these games. When I fire up an old game and I get stuck, Do I want to go read some text FAQ/Walk through on Gamespot….Or would I rather have a digital version of the magazine that covered that game?

  6. TresHombres says:

    My main reason for this is that although I love my NP collection, I’d feel much better once it is digitally backed up. If you’ve ever lost old family pictures in a house fire or flood you will understand why a $70 scanner and a bunch of CD-R’s are so worthwhile.

  7. I totally agree, I grew up on video game magazines and would love to contribute. I have a great collection of old NMS magazines(Nintendo Magazine System, Australia’s Nintendo Power) as well as a a stack of other old magazines. I’m pretty busy ATM but I’ll look into contributing in the future.

  8. hc says:

    This is a great idea, I definitely have some of those old gamepro/next generaion mags. Next gen especially was very well written for it’s time, and carries some great historical input into the gaming discussion. Will have to track them down over the holiday.
    I don’t understand this premium members thing though.

  9. Segvis says:

    A very important element to these magazines are the previews of unreleased software or early builds that hardcore fanbases search for. This is also useful for following the progression of game development. The industry above all could benefit the most from studying these archives. Membership should be open and free to all in my opinion.

  10. Scooter says:

    I have a lot of the old Sega Visions magazines. Would you be interested in those? They contained a positive bias (every game was pretty great) since it was published by or for Sega but they are still great period pieces. That magazine was the reason I bought a lot of the Genesis games I did buy.

  11. Gargus says:

    This site used to be free but now they want you to donate before you can download from them.

  12. Bughunter says:

    i’m hoping to find retrogamer on it, i can’t afford to buy it

  13. Brian says:

    Who cares about newer reviews? That’s not the point of reading something like this. The point is to get the spirit of that time bottled into magazine form, which these do. It’s a dose of fantastic nostalgia.