If you are like us, you constantly lament the demise of great game magazines like Electronic Games and Next Generation. Those magazines went beyond the standard news/preview/review/strategy format of most gaming tomes to include in-depth articles on subjects like sociology and future of the hobby. However, even those publications still followed a familiar format (obviously invented by Electronic Games but improved-upon by Next Generation) that made them stand-out as magazines for video game fans only. Mainstream general entertainment magazines like Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly have dabbled in gaming, but games never appear as any kind of regular in those publications either. At the same time, there are some very sophisticated, format busting magazines dedicated to music (Blender) technology (Wired), D.I.Y. (Make), culture (Fader) that try to go beyond the mainstream and look at their topics in the context of the real world. However, there has never been gaming magazine that tried to tackle the topic from that angle ….until now.
Kill Screen is a magazine in its’ infancy that is trying to fill the void. The project was started by writers from various publication (New Yorker, GQ, the Daily Show, Christian Science Monitor, LA Times, the Colbert Report, the Onion, Paste) that want to see video game topics treated in the same mature manner as other entertainment and cultural topics. In short, they are striving for context. This is a topic near and dear to our hearts at 8bitrocket.com, as we have been struggling to put our love for video games into the context of our normal lives for almost 25 years now. This lack of context in video game journalism is one of the reasons why we tend to read stuff like Retro Gamer (it validates our past), and not Game Informer (we feel no connection to it). As adults we have grown past the need to get excited about each every new game that is coming down the pike, nor do we really need to have our gaming likes and dislikes validated by random game reviewers. Instead, the hole we need filled by a video game magazine is much deeper and more complicated. Basically, we have invested a good portion of our lives into the medium of the video game, and we have a desire to see that investment both validated (or not) and ruminated upon. This is what Kill Screen aims to do. They describe their goal this way:
We’re talking about the long format read on the creative minds behind AAA and indie game titles sided by the personal essays about what games mean as part of our daily little lives. There are intersections between the games and everything else that are only beginning to be explored. The minds of the videogame world are woefully faceless and we should change that.
This is something that we are really excited about. However, this a magazine that is being self-funded through Kickstarter.com, so there is a good chance that it won’t last very long if people who enjoy this kind of thing do not support it. The first issue has already been paid-for in full by donations, but there is no reason to not support the project and get in on something this interesting very early. We have already pledged our support. When we get the first issue, we’ll review it and tell you what you are missing!
note: Yes, the name Kill Screen is reference to “King Of Kong”. It’s another reason why we like this idea so much.