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Hey BPM, You Don't Belong Here!
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on July 07, 2006   |   Episode 108 (Show Archive)  

   

Blender is an example of the type of magazine that seems out of place at E3!
Every year thousands of game fans and industry types gather to experience the newest games and systems. These people flock to the flashy displays, mingle with the busty booth babes and seek out the coolest game trinkets. But there's another reason to go to E3, a reason that has very little to do with playing Zelda, watching the Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer, or waiting in line to play with the Nintendo Wii. One of the best perks of going to something like E3 is to gather up the dozens of game publications the companies are giving out for free.

Picking up game magazines has become so popular that it's spilled over to the halls of E3. Before you even enter the South or West Halls you are bombarded by copies of GamePro, Wired, and Children's Technology Review. It's a great place for discovering new magazines and catching up with some old favorites. But not every magazine you pick up deserves to be at E3. Some magazines are close, but just aren't video game related. They'll try and fool you, they'll add game reviews or a story about video games in the issue that ships to E3, but the rest of the year they focus on their respective field of expertise. We've gathered these such magazines from this year's E3, we intend to put them under the microscope and determine whether they belong at the world's biggest video game expo or not. See for your self ...
BPM - May 2006
Description: BPM describes itself as "Music, Tech, Nightlife, and Style," however it's focus is squarely on music and the style that accompanies it. Nearly every page of this magazine is filled with previews of upcoming DJs and artists and the clothes they are wearing.

Sample Text: "Yes the marriage between rock and electronica has dominated industry buzz and dancefloors for some time now, but not every band riding the electro/rock wave is worthy of the hype. Berlin's WS [Warren Suicide], however, will undoubtedly cement their place in this scene of ironic rockers. With their second album, The Hello, the trio combines an energizing mix of synth rock, electro and punk styling with multimedia visuals and art. Being a major part of their persona, graphic art's fusion with their music happened naturally for Nackt, Cheri, and Bertii (who replaced the founding band member Lucki after he left, or rather disappeared, last year)."

Video Game Content: Of the 96 pages in BPM six of them are devoted to video games. Of those six, four pages are spent talking about I Am 8-Bit, the art book created by Jon M. Gibson and Chuck Klosterman. The other two pages are made up of BPM reviewing various games (Hitman: Blood Money, Tourist Trophy, The Da Vinci Code, 24: The Game, and MLB 2K6). They also recommend you holding your breath for the PlayStation 3, Bully, Killzone 2 and something I've never heard of called GTV. Hope you can hold your breath a real long time! Although the magazine boasts that it features "tech", you would be hard pressed to actually find the technology they are talking about. For what it's worth the letter from the editor (Rob Simas) features him rattling off about video games and video game culture. But chances are you will tune out around the first time he says, "I don't consider myself a gamer." However, he does explain how to cheat in Galaga ... if that's worth anything.

Should It Be At E3? While BPM is hardly the first music magazine to infiltrate the halls of E3, I have to say that it feels out of place next to GamePro, Hardcore Gamer Magazine, and Electronic Gaming Monthly. It's great to read about all of the up and coming DJs and electronica musicians ... but you and I both know that none of these artists will ever see their craft in video games. BPM is a well put together magazine about music and style, but there's no question that the magazine could use more game coverage. I don't particularly like the idea that the editor flat out says that he's not a gamer, that's like saying that you're not a reader or that you hate movies. There are just too many different types of games (and so many different eras) that it seems like a bold statement to say that you don't play games. And really, if you don't play games now is the time to start. Get yourself some Lumines and let the hours just melt by.

CI6 Autostyle - Issue 115 2006
Description: CI6 Autostyle describes itself as an "Auto Motive Life Style Guide," and that is clearly the case as every page in this magazine features cars, talk about cars, or advertising for cars.

Sample Text: "The wait was and is over Round 1 Formula Drift and FD summer camp is back in session. I'll be your camp counselor guiding you through the basics of drifting 101 and how to whittle down pavement into a full-blown drift track. The FD 2006 season began on what was a ray of light among a bunch of rainy weeks leading up to the weekend. The track was clear and dry for the quality and main events days, so it was, as they say, "on.""

Video Game Content: Of the 96 pages in CI6 Autostyle magazine, twelve of them are devoted to video games and game culture. As you might imagine all of the features (even the video game related ones) have something to do with vehicles. The cover story offers an eight page article that compares real racing to video game racing (Forza and Gran Turismo). CI6 Autostyle also features a two page layout on the history of Gran Turismo, complete with descriptions and small bits of trivia. We also get two pages of reviews, although most of the game's they look at are also featured in BPM (which is published by the same company). There's a review of Tourist Trophy (which segues nicely into their Gran Turismo coverage), Hitman: Blood Money, and Odama for the GameCube. There are brief references to G4 throughout the magazine, but considering how little they cover video games these days it's almost not worth mentioning.

Should It Be At E3? I'm not a big fan of car magazines; I could do without pictures of engines, bodies, and the people that trick them out. Considering the success of this magazine and countless others, there clearly is a market for this type of publication ... but there's no doubt that I am not the target demographic. Having said that, CI6 Autostyle does have a nice twelve page spread about gaming, racing and non. Their history of Gran Turismo was well put together, and their in depth feature comparing reality to Forza is well worth reading. But how many issues are going to put this type of game coverage into their car magazine? It feels more like their game content was tossed in just so it was at least a little relevant to the E3 show goers. I enjoyed their game coverage; I just didn't like anything else about the magazine.

The Hollywood Reporter - May 11, 2006
Description: The Hollywood Reporter describes itself as "Entertainment's Number One Paper," and while Variety may take issue with a bold statement like that, it's clear that this publication does everything it can to bring you the industry news for the movie and TV industry.

Sample Text: "Peter Sarsgaard, Regina King, John C. Reilly and Laura Dern are in negotiations to star in Mike White's comedy "Year of the Dog" for Paramount Pictures' specialty division. Molly Shannon already signed on to star. Helmed by "School of Rock" scribe White, the story centers on Peggy (Shannon), a happy-go-lucky secretary who lives alone with her beloved dog Pencil. But when Pencil unexpectedly dies, Peggy embarks on a journey of transformation."

Video Game Content: There is absolutely no video game coverage in this issue of The Hollywood Reporter ... unless you consider the talk about David Arquette (who appeared in Electronic Arts' brilliant SSX Tricky) to be video game related. To be fair, this issue of The Hollywood Reporter only featured 24 pages so it's not like there was a lot of room for video game news, but considering it was at E3 you would still expect at least one or two game-related stories. You do get a picture of Nancy Sinatra looking a whole lot sexier than I remember.

Should It Be At E3? The Hollywood Reporter is a well-respected trade paper and is well worth reading if you're into the week by week goings on in Hollywood. If you're a fan of video games then you can probably pass on this magazine all together. The Hollywood Reporter has almost nothing to do with video games, just about the only time you see anything game related is when Paul W.S. Anderson decides to butcher another video game classic.
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