Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ode to the Games Journal

As some of you may have heard by now, The Games Journal has decided to throw in the towel. A sad day.

If you look at some of the later issues, a great number of the articles were submitted by Greg, himself. For the October issue, there was only a single submission: Ethics in Gaming 5.0 by yours truly. Greg wrote to me two weeks ago and told me that he wouldn't be able to publish the journal with only one submission and that he was throwing in the towel.

I suspect the lack of submissions to TGJ is due to the great number of blogs and other private web sites. It used to be easier to send an article to someone else to publish rather than go through the trouble of doing it yourself. This is no longer true.

Still, there is something to be said for having a collection of articles in one place all having been checked by an editor for length and quality. Self-publishing simply means that other people have to wade through everything to find the good stuff; and some of that good stuff could be better with a bit of editing.

Alfred's "best of the blogosphere" posts, along with all of those other blogs that point out good material on the net, such as Techdirt, are doing the "collecting job" that a journal should do. The difference is that, unlike a monthly journal, a blog journal (or "blournal") "publishes" as necessary instead of once a month with a certain number of articles. The other difference is that a blournal doesn't edit the articles it links to.

TGJ, like the Game Cabinet, published hundreds of useful and excellent articles in its time. Among my favorites:

Two summaries of the games industry:
To Boldly Go
A Brief History of Gaming

The tactical art of trading in games, first in a series of articles on game strategy:

The fine art of teaching games:
Teaching Rules

A look at game systems, first in a series:
Game Systems

Hosting a Games Day, which I refered to before starting my own:
Games Day

Groundrules for gaming in a game group:

Misadventures in Gaming, just one of a long series, the rest of which used to be on the Terminal City Gamers site (are they still on line somewhere?):
Misadventures in Gaming

The story arc in a game, first in a series of game design elements:
Story Arc

Game Design by Wolfgang Kramer:
What Makes a Game

A good overview on dice:
Dice Fest

A survey of board types:

How games and computers could interact:
Bits and Pieces

You'll note how many of these are precient to the topics we write about here on Gone Gaming. I left out all of the reviews, puzzles, letters, and so on.

So long TGJ.

Greg: what are you going to do next?

Everyone else: on we go.


Jacob said...

I'm going to miss the Games Journal, too...I only found it existed about 4 months ago, but in that time, I bought Pickomino, based on their review, took some of the Game Day ideas and brought them up to the group putting together our own local Game Day, inhaled many of the rule-teaching and game-playing ideas presented, and really got a kick out of seeing the old Steve Jackson games.

As for the Misadventures in Gaming articles from the Terminal City Gamers website, when I started reading the New Misadventures in Gaming over on the Gamefest website, I grew curious about these older ones. Thanks to the Internet Way-Back Machine, I was able to find the original 19, archived. Let me know if you want me to e-mail you a copy of them.

Rick said...

Most of what you posted are my sentiments as well.


Thanks Yehuda.

huzonfirst said...

The Games Journal will truly be missed. The articles you cite were all excellent, Yehuda, but my favorite remains Bob Scherer-Hoock's epic "Evolution of German Games: 1980-1997" (http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/GermanHistory2.shtml). Incredible stuff and, thanks to Frank and Greg's generousity, enshrined forever on the web. Like the Game Cabinet before it, TGJ will remain a valuable resource, but it's a shame that we'll never see more new material. Thanks, Greg & Frank; it was great while it lasted!

Anonymous said...

It will be sad to see TGJ go. Greg has done a fantstic job on it, month in, month out.

Much as I like blogs, I wonder whether they will stand the test of time.