PC Gaming Reader

I was on the continent for Christmas and when I wasn't dying I was pining for some gaming action. It was Christmas after all and for me Christmas just isn't Christmas without the family gathering around the yearly multiplayer game or gaming long into the night, freed from the constraints of early starts the next morning. Just after Christmas, the wife and I went into town. She spent shit loads of money on books ("they're for work") which normally gives me free reign to spunk some dough on a new game. The problem was nothing that I wanted was reasonably priced, what I did want and was probably reasonably priced wasn't stocked and even games that were just over reasonably priced and that I kind of wanted I was put off by the couloured triangle on the spine of the box ruining the gaming shelf (Dead Space Extraction's yellow triangle already taunts me every time). I then spotted a copy of 1000 video games to play before you die but it was more expensive in euros and I had book vouchers to waste on it at home.

The result of this failure to buy a game or do something game related left me desperate to retail the shit out of something. It was only in such desperate times that I even contemplated something I'd never do normally.

I bought a fucking copy of PC Gamer*.

Just telling you that makes me feel dirty. Even worse, it was an imported copy of PC gamer so I ended up splashing out 11 euros on a 5 pound magazine. I was that desperate folks.

However, not only was I drawn to the fact that it was the only English language gaming magazine I hadn't already read but the January issue of the magazine came with a rather spiffing little book called PC Gaming Reader. I wish I could show you a picture of the book but according to the internet it doesn't even exist. The only reference I could find to it were a few comments here. That's a fail PC Gamer. It's a fantastic little book with some of the "best of writing" from EDGE, PC Gamer, that other PC one and possibly another PC magazine. Some of my favourite writers are in there including but not exclusively; Charlie Brooker (one semi article but top billing on the book cover, for shame!), Kieron Gillen, Tom Francis, Richard Cobbett and Jon Blyth. It's a great little book and solicited a good belly laugh or two. It's a shame more isn't being made of it because the quality and cleverness of the writing puts shit like this to shame. The book now takes pride of place on the video game book shelf.

A very minor complaint about it is that the anonymous EDGE articles included just don't stand up against the very well written and entertaining articles elsewhere in the book. I guess that was always going to be a problem, except I would have definitely included Mr Biffo's Half Life 2 film script in this compilation. Otherwise, good work all. More of this plz.

* I say this because unfortunately a)Having a magazine to keep abreast of the developments in PC gaming just doesn't make sense. Why pay subs to read but a slice of news when you can follow all the talented writers on their own blogs as well as RPS and get the low down and opinion pieces in real time? b) Sadly, PC Gamer suffers from very poor layout that was all the rage back in the 1990s (and to date in OPM and that Gamers TM shite). The opening few sections look like somebody snorted up all the PC gaming news and then sneezed it all out over twelve pages, then inserted a scintillating advert for some boring looking machines (I'm later reliably informed these are actual PCs) every other page to make the final layout. How hard is it to just lay out everything nice and sensibly like in EDGE? It's a shallow point but then the layout is the only reason why I'd bother to spend a fiver on a hard copy mag when I can get better coverage from trusted news sources online.....


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