Culture, Media

Discovery Zone: Edge reborn

Stories about new stuff, old stuff, lost stuff and found stuff…

Edge 4.0
This monthly, long-running multi-format games magazine, Edge, unveiled its fourth magazine redesign since its launch in October 1993. Issue #229 has been redesigned from front to back, and features distinct sections on the design, business and culture of games. Edge has always been the mature, upmarket publication for people who are serious about games and its new incarnation brings it toe to toe with Wired UK, in terms of design and page length, which is now back to a whopping 160+ pages. What’s more, the magazine has been printed on the most expensive paper stock in its history and is also adopting the habit of subscriber exclusive covers that many of Future’s other magazines, including T3 and Total Film, have employed. None of this comes cheap however as Edge’s cover price has risen from £4.50 to £5 – the age of magazines for magazine enthusiasts is indeed upon us.

I’ve had a thumb through the new Edge since returning to London and it sure is a looker. Of course, I found Edge’s previous design flexible and future proof enough to last until the next major console cycle at least. But the new design is a welcome update that confidently targets the magazine’s enthusiast audience, while retaining many of the elements and features that make its games coverage so desirable. I’ll miss seeing N’Gai Coral’s column each month, but it’s good to know that ‘Making of’ will continue.

Also accompanying the magazine redesign was a complete relaunch of Edge Online on June 1. The new site follows the magazine’s focus on games, design and business, tying everything together with a very useful thread system, which enables registered users to have news filtered to them similar to following people on Twitter. I particularly like the fact that they’ve archived 150 classic Edge reviews, as this will save me a lot of box digging.

Bopp stylin’
This is the logo for Bopp – an epic club night consisting of Motown, indie, northern soul and rock & roll. I had the pleasure of experiencing it for myself at Pandora’s Box in Nottingham. As well as being home to irresistible rhythms that will get your hips and heels shaking, Bopp has one of the coolest brandings around. Last year they pasted their logo and club info onto mock 7” and 12” vinyl records. How cool is that?

Magazines that transcend digital
Back at GameCityNights in March 2011, I got my hands on two very special custom created games magazines by graphic artist Cory Schmitz. The magazines are printed on high-quality paper and designed more like plush marketing portfolios than games magazines. But look inside and you’ll realise they are a finely crafted homage to gaming culture: from Fumito Ueda’s ICO cover art to the anime-inspired liveries on WipEout’s famous Feisar ship; where the uninitiated will simply see cool, game-related magazines, gamers will see the history, stories and heroics of their gaming lives captured in artistic fashion. They are clearly a labour of love with a style as edgy and attractive as vinyl art toys. Big thanks to Lee Nicholls for opening my eyes to these printed works of art.

Images: Future Publishing; Bopp; Aaron Lee