November 09, 2005

Magazine Analysis: Electronic Gaming Monthly

One exercise that I plan on doing with this blog is to analyze the review systems of my favorite publications/websites, and then write a review of my own in that style. This may not be the most exciting thing for you as a reader, but it's incredibly important for me as a writer. I already have a good idea of which systems I prefer, but this will allow me to test them out for myself and see where my strengths lie.

First up is Electronic Gaming Monthly, a gaming publication which I consider to be the best on the market. It has had a consistant quality level for several years, and the overall tone of the magazine seems just right. Other gaming magazines try to pander down to segments of the market that want lowbrow humor and half-naked polygonal women plastered on every other page. While EGM has both, their placement done tastefully, with the humor coming via a comic strip on the final page, and the busty women on the occasional cover or in a particular feature.

As for the review system, three people review each and every game, which I definitely prefer. Because of space (and interest) constraints, this typically means that the reviews aren't as in-depth as you might find in other publications or websites. However, I find that they are usually to-the-point and are often dead-on. Having three opinions means that multiple viewpoints can be described, as every game is not made for every gamer. It is not uncommon for all three scores to be all over the spectrum from 0-10, but they are usually within a couple points of each other.

Each of the three reviews is typically between 150 and 300 words, depending on if the game is given a full page or less. The first review will often give a general overview of the game, as well as the reviewer's opinion. The second and third reviews may react to the first, but they always elaborate on the first review and get into specifics. Through three shorter reviews, they are able to give nearly the same level of detail as a single, larger one. As I mentioned previously, EGM is my favorite gaming magazine, and if I do end up persuing gaming journalism, I would eventually like to write for it in some respect.

My next post will contain the review.