There have been many short-lived, little-loved, examples of the gamingly journalisticalistic arts that have sputtered into life, and been extinguished without anybody shedding so much as a single tear. Others were crushed before their time - like a farmer stamping on an egg just as it hatches. Silly farmer. Silly billy.
Here are five forgotten curios from the allegedly golden age of video game journalism. Bronk!
Launched in 1984, it sadly lasted just 12 issues - despite the careful stewardship of NME veteran Tony Tyler, being full of type-in-your-own-code listings, and boasting a first-issue cover image that showed a web-handed dragon cowering away from a suspiciously clean-cut punk while they both flew through space on a disintegrating, silver ZX Spectrum.
There is much to admire, however: few magazines would dare to sell their first issue on the strength to the exclamation "WOZNIAK!". Nevertheless, Big-K's most notable achievement was Shatter - a genuinely decent cyberpunk-y comic strip, drawn entirely on an Apple Macintosh.
Nevertheless, we admired it for doing something different with its wilfully lo-fi vibe, and it had a commendable focus on import games, back when that was still more of a thing. We're sure the four or five people in the UK who owned a PC-Engine really appreciated the imbalanced coverage of their machine.
Actually, we've got a vague recollection of Teletext actually paying real money to advertise Digitiser in the pages of Electric Brain - a rare display of support for their allegedly unruly video games section, with its deliberately obtuse humour that went out of its way to alienate readers.
This might have had something to do with its somewhat narrow focus: a Dreamcast magazine aimed exclusively at children. Very few people owned a Dreamcast anyway - and we can't imagine very many of them were anything other than Sega fanboys and over-enthusiastic early-adopters.
Not even a boggle-eyed mascot, that combined the Dreamcast logo with Sonic the Hedgehog, could save Mr Dreamcast from premature obscurity.
Speaking to Out-Of-Print Archive, editor Hugh Gollner had this to say of the failed endeavour: "It was an ambitious magazine. It was also a big mistake - it lost a fortune. We probably lost more than £50k than we should have. It took a heck of a lot of work to produce that much content each week."
Still, at least he was - we assume - being paid a decent wage (please give generously to our PayPal/Patreon campaign). Money, please!
It was a unique proposition for the time - and in many respects, a precursor to the online magazines of today. A multimedia, ZX Spectrum "magazine" that came on cassette, every "issue" boasted the usual editorial features, chips and teats and that, but these were bulked out with full-blooded games, demos, and programs. We had a particular soft spot for The Long Way Home - a multi-part, time-travelling, graphic adventure.
16/48 wasn't cheap, admittedly - £2.99, or thereabouts (which, in the mid-80s was about the same price as a small car) - but you certainly got your money's worth. It's just a shame we had to sell one of our lungs to pay for our subscription.
FROM THE ARCHIVE: