VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (VG&CE) was launched a few months after locating ANALOG Computing and ST-Log magazines from Cherry Valley, Massachusetts to Beverly Hills, California. That was May 1997 and my goal was to get the first out by Labor Day, which was a crazy deadline to get the editorial assigned and completed, sell ads and position national distribution to book stores, magazine racks, grocery checkout lines, etc. We did it and that was including a review guide to, I think, over 100 games. This was accomplished by rallying some of the ANALOG Computing staff and bringing in Andy Eddy to help out, who later became the editor for VG&CE.
The cover of the premiere issue was rendered by Alan Hunter, who would illustrate a lot of our VG&CE covers and inside illustrations as well as for our sister publication, TurboPlay. That cover was bold and colorful and promoting the game Blaster Master.
I still own the original artwork for that cover.
Nectaris – Military Madness on the TurboGrafx-16 continues to be in my top 10 games list. Originally Nectaris on the PC Engine, was a turn-based strategy game for the conquest of the Moon. The sequel, Neo Nectaris began on the Moon and carried the battle to Mars. The game balance, music, AI…the entire vibe of the game earned it many followers even to this day. I featured it in an issue of VG&CE with a cover story/strategy guide.
I still own the original illustration for this art from Alan Hunter also.
Robocop cover – since VG&CE was based in Los Angeles, we wanted to do something cool for the Robocop game released by Data East. So, we contacted Orion Pictures and asked if they could help us out. They were excited about the opportunity and shipped a suit over to our photo studio, which arrived in two large crates. The armor was compact and the best staffer we had that could fit into it and had the Robocop “look” was the managing editor of PC LapTop magazine.
We shot the photo with an urban backdrop and a Nintendo NES Zapper light gun which we added smoke to. Gel lights added color to the image for a cover that looked really cool and sharp. After the shoot we contacted Orion to come and pick up the suit. Well three months went by and I got a call from our photo studio saying the suit was still there. We contacted Orion again and they said that someone would be right over. Another two months went by and I get a call again that the suit was still at the studio. We connected Orion again and this time I said to the VG&CE staff that if they don’t pick it up, I’m keeping the suit! Unfortunately, they did pick it up.
If you were a gamer and Home Alone in the 1980’s you were probably reading VG&CE!
We had Michael Jackson autograph a few issues when he appeared on the cover.
The Wizard, a forgotten film from 1989 about a gaming wiz kid that enters a big game event for big bucks. They find out about the contest in an issue of VG&CE.
My favorite video game joke…
And to go with that…The Tetris God…