In 1997, I joined the fanzine/magazine U Plug In and after two months watched it disappear without a trace. The founders ended up trying to build a website instead which was the trend at the time. It too eventually fell to the wayside. Feeling bad for their customer base now left without a product they paid for, I decided to create my own fanzine in its place.
The first 3 issues of Game-Rave were originally about 12 pages or more and distributed for free at EB Games, Babbage’s, and Microplay/High Score in Oak Lawn, IL circa 1997. After a one-month break and staff expansion, the fanzine was given one last free issue in November 1997 and the brand new Issue #1 launched in December 1997. The magazine was now a paid publication at $1.50 an issue and sold exclusively through Microplay/High Score.
It went for a full two years through 1998 and 1999, with a special 2-in-1 issue during August 1999. Game-Rave was able to secure partnerships with Konami and Namco, earning review copies of Treasures of the Deep, Soul Calibur, and NBA: In The Zone 98 on N64. In mid-2000, the fanzine grabbed the attention of GameShark.com, becoming a content partner for Interact’s ill-fated Sharkwire 64 internet peripheral. In early 2000 they would be the host and curators of the Japanese animation convention Anime Central’s video game room.
That same month Interact Accessories called, and Jason would take his dream job. The fanzine was closed after a successful 4-year wild ride so he could work as an Associate Editor at GameShark.com in Maryland.
But enough about that, let’s download the fanzine!
This archive is the complete run of the fanzine, including all the one-offs given away at various conventions – Arisia and Anime Central. It also includes a hilarious one-off they may or may not have sent to Bernie Stolar, the then-president of Sega. It was a full-color ‘open letter’ using content from the April 1999 issue.
The only edits made to the collection are:
All mailing addresses and emails have been removed or blurred out for obvious reasons. One page had to be rebuilt due to a screw-up in the original print process.
Otherwise, all the hand-written notes, typos (my god…the typos), regretfully poor-quality ink-jet lines, and a group of 20-something nerds’ snark and cringe are 100% intact.
The fanzine made quite a splash. Fellow fanzine writers at the time and professional editors alike gave us good reviews. This includes the always-amazing Chris Kohler when he was still on the fanzine side. We’ve archived them here. Publication first, then their review.