There was a time when there were many gaming magazines on hobby shop shelves: Dragon, Scrye, InQuest, TopDeck, and others. They’re all in the graveyard now (except for Knights of the Dinner Table, more comic book than magazine), like so many other victims of the digital age. Despite the track record of magazines, Ernie Gygax, son of Dungeons and Dragons creator Gary Gygax, hopes to have success with Gygax Magazine. Succeeding, even in an online magazine, is such dicey business he’ll need every break he can get.
Ernie Gygax isn’t just using an established name for the mag, he’s also dug up many former writers for TSR and/or Dragon magazine, such as Len Lakofka and Tim Kask. He even managed to get Phil Foglio to resurrect his What’s New With Phil and Dixie comic strip. There some new stuff, too, although I bet the highlight will be another strip, The Order of the Stick –an often hysterical webstrip but not updated nearly enough.
No matter how great Gygax the Younger’s skills at necromancy, I have to worry a bit here. The market for tabletop role playing games is so subdivided that a magazine really can’t afford to focus on one game, but covering multiple games doesn’t work in an online magazine either. Once you take things online, it’s just easier for a gamer to go to a focused message board (usually supported by the publisher of a particular game), with other experts and fans of the game rather than go to a “magazine” site that has just the one article. I wish him luck with Gygax Magazine all the same.
Of course, that’s assuming it’s an online magazine; there’s no way to tell, but guess I’ll find out for sure when the magazine comes out “in a few weeks,” according to the latest press release.