Game magazine collector and frequent Gamasutra contributor Kevin Gifford has donated his massive collection of more than 8,000 computer and video game magazines to the Strong Museum's International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG).
Gifford first subscribed to Nintendo Power in 1988, at the age of 10. Since then, his collection has grown to include over 100 distinct periodicals dating back to the '70s, from the seminal Electronic Games to more recent titles such as the the Official PlayStation Magazine.
The collection includes complete runs of magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly and Die Hard GameFan, as well as examples of many older titles that covered computing outside of games, such as BYTE and Creative Computing.
"In an era before Twitter and Internet forums, computer and game enthusiasts used these magazines to come together, interact with each other, and gain inspiration for their own work," Gifford said in a statement.
"The collection's truly a window into a time when video games evolved from a children's diversion to a billion-dollar entertainment industry, and I'm glad that it's now made available to the public."
Starting in 2006, Gifford regularly contributed his thoughts on various recent magazines as part of "Game Mag Weaseling,"
a bi-weekly column on Gamasutra sister site GameSetWatch (which was also reprinted on Gamasutra as "What the (Game) Papers Say").
Gifford used an April column
to announce his plans to get rid of the collection, and later admitted to being overwhelmed by the response he received
, not just from collectors but from scholarly institutions of all stripes.
In that column, Gifford said he chose ICHEG partly as "a safe place, one where I can be sure the collection's available to all, in one piece, and kept in good condition for the foreseeable future," and also because of the museum's promise to help digitize parts of the collection for wider access.
ICHEG's collection already includes a large collection of magazines and other items donated from gaming press outlet 1UP
and Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine
, as well as over 25,000 games and collected papers from developers including Magnavox Odyssey creator Ralph Baer
, SimCity creator Will Wright
and M.U.L.E. creator Dani Bunten Berry