February 6, 2011: Games In Space!
(In order to get maximum effect from the title of today's Daily Illuminator, please use the echo effect from The Muppet Show. You know: "Piiiiigs iiinnnn SPAAAAAAAACE!")
Space Gamer has a long history in the games industry. First published circa 1975, Steve Jackson Games acquired it with issue #27. The magazine continued its mandate of covering science-fiction gaming as well as the nascent computer gaming industry with news and reviews. SG also added an insider view to an up-and-coming games publisher: Where We're Going. SJ himself wrote the regular column that shared everything from what new products would be available during the summer convention season to updates on how the office move was going.
Of course, the magazine wasn't entirely news. As was common in periodical publications of the day, articles of variant rules, adventures, and strategies filled the pages. In the early '80s, TSR was relatively young, but D&D was still the biggest player. The Fantasy Trip and Traveller also got frequent support.
SJ Games published issues #27 through #76 before selling the title in 1985, and most of the issues vanished to wherever good magazines go when their pages fall apart. But thanks to the wonders of PDF, these issues have been reemerging. The new Space Gamer page lists all the issues we've uploaded, along with blurbs so you can track down that one article you read back in '83. You know, the one that's been bugging you for 15 years . . . or maybe that's just me.
-- Paul Chapman