The idea behind issue #1 of Forerunner Magazine was to take a very linear trip along the west Coast of North America, from Los Angeles all the way to Vancouver, and explore each story and theme in a similar chronological fashion.
It’s a tour through beginnings, the present and future of games in the west, as told by individuals.
“Forerunner is one of the most exciting new publications I’ve seen in the UK in years, a product of infectious passion, enviable artistry and with some great insight into the world of video games. It’s a must for anyone with a love for the medium and the culture that surrounds it.”
— Martin Robinson, Eurogamer
‘Forerunner not only takes the art of magazine production seriously, with luxurious design, editorial and printing, it also takes video games and the people who make them seriously. A beautiful, and timely object.’
— Simon Parkin, contributing writer for New Yorker
“By their very nature, video games are a highly involving experience, and thanks to the enthusiasm of Forerunner’s creators, the magazine is as compelling as the content it aims to cover.”
“We are living in the age of our Mozarts. Most of our video game equivalents are still alive.” That’s what Brenda Romero tells me as she casually rests over the shoulder of her husband, John. It’s mid-afternoon, just before their kids arrive back home from school and john already seems slightly tired. He’s used to building games into the early hours. Though Brenda is the more talkative of the two, it doesn’t feel as though she’s speaking for John, but she could easily be speaking about him.
“I just got back from Cleveland, and my body doesn’t know what the hell time it is,” said Nolan as he lumbered into his office and folded into a chair. He’s a tall man, almost as tall as his reputation. If you didn’t know, he’s what many people call the innovator that launched the video game industry; the founder of Atari.
Outside of the glamorous and nerdy, there is something idiosyncratic about the life of a cosplayer. For some it’s a celebration of a sub-culture, while for others it’s simply a means to get merry with like minded supporters and followers. Ultimately it comes down to representation, and Raychul’s philosophy is completely transparent: “I don’t consider myself a model or a designer. I’m just a fan: a grown-up wearing costumes.”
There was something unsettling about being in an empty playground with a bunch of camera equipment, waiting for a guy in a mask. It was the day before Halloween, and we had the perfect ingredients for a low-budget slasher movie. With a mask that conveys as much character as the plug socket it imitates, Scattle clearly enjoys toying with the mysterious. As it turns out, the music he makes has a similar effect.
“We got three triple-A games in just yesterday,” says Sam Claiborne as he briskly directs us into an empty conference room. Given his schedule it’s no wonder Sam is looking flushed, but he’s wearing a smile all the same. “As you can see,” he continues, gesturing towards the adjoining workspace before considerately closing the door, “it’s a less fun time to be here.” With up to 72 million monthly readers, there’s a lot that goes into maintaining the leading video game and media network, IGN Entertainment.
We then trade roles; Colin jacks in while I clumsily remove the headset’s rear strap. His casual conduct subsides as he elegantly influences the controls like a form of martial arts. Sarah smiles as she watches: “It’s just so much fun being able to do something that no one’s ever done before,” she explains. “That’s why we like to travel; it’s because we like change.” Colin and Sarah are known in the wider scene as ‘travelling husband-and-wife game developers’, but it’s the fact they’ve been able to do both simultaneously that is truly fascinating.
“The ultimate gamer road trip”
— Future Labs, LS:N Global
Five video game fans from South East London take a trip along the west coast of North America, visiting people and places connected to the medium.
From founding figures and academics, to journalists, museums and new frontiers, this issue looks at video games in their variety of manifestations and reaching influences.