The rise of the high-quality gaming periodical

My copy of Volume 1 of Lock-On has just arrived, and it is beautiful.

Created by Lost in Cult, this extremely fancy video-gaming journal was successfully funded on Kickstarter, and it’s part of a new wave of high-quality periodicals dedicated to our favourite hobby.

And I love it.

I love that there’s space in the market now for really in-depth, serious writing about video games, twinned with bespoke artwork that really screams of the creators’ love for the medium. Lock-On is an object of art in itself, a deliciously tactile volume printed on high-quality paper and clearly made with passion and not a little obsession.

The first portion of the inaugural issue is dedicated to a look back at the Sony PlayStation, but away from that there are all sorts of interesting essays and articles on games past and present, as well as on wider aspects of the industry, like the whole GameStop share-hike escapade. There’s a lot of fascinating stuff here.

A spread in Lock-On volume 1.

And Lock-On isn’t the only publication in this vein – A Profound Waste of Time was similarly funded through Kickstarter a couple of years ago, and now its creators are on the verge of releasing the long-awaited second issue of APWOT. In terms of content, it’s broadly similar to Lock-On, with a mix of gorgeous artwork and considered journalism, although APWOT tends to focus more on the indie scene.

Both APWOT and Lock-On are profoundly beautiful objects, and it’s wonderful to see real love being dedicated to the printed form, especially as video-game journalism increasingly moves online, with gaming magazines closing down left, right and centre. The only problem is that these periodicals are so carefully, dutifully curated that issues tend to take an enormous amount of time to make.

Still, that means when one does arrive, it’s a very special moment indeed.

A feature from A Profound Waste of Time issue 1.

Follow A Most Agreeable Pastime on Twitter and Facebook, if you like.