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Chris Cavanaugh

Chris Cavanaugh is the Editor-In-Chief Classic Gamer Magazine,
which is styled in the spirit of the original videogame magazines of the 1980's.

MT> Can you start with a bit of a background, so that the readers may relate with your past and connection to video games?
CC> I was one of the proud few who were the first on their block to have the Atari VCS. I think I was in 7th or 8th grade at the time. We also had the home version of Pong, but the VCS was such a huge leap. Back then you could buy the games at places like Sears. They tended to keep them in the sporting goods department behind a desk so we couldn't manhandle (or steal them). I was constantly bugging the clerk to hand me the games(thus manhandling them), not that there was much to see on the box itself. From then on I've been hooked.

MT> When did you first decide to create a magazine on Classic Games?
CC> In 1997 I was going a bit stir crazy and wanted to do something creative. My love of the old games seemed like a good way to flex some creativity. Since I can't program a game for the life of me, I figured writing about them would be the next best thing.

MT> Why do you believe that you were the first to create a "Classic Games" magazine?
CC> To be honest. I'm not too sure that I am! There's a guy in England doing a fanzine/magazine based on the classic games, there's the 2600 Connection as well as the wonderful "Digital Press". I've even come in contact with some people in France who publish something similar to ours.

MT> Many of our readers are familiar with many of the aformemtioned, however, I believe Classic Gamer Magazine is the first presented in a full color professionally printed format; making it much more than a fanzine!
CC> I think in that case, you may be right. I figured if I wanted to do this, then it had to be in color. I think it makes a huge difference in presentation.

MT> What problems or issues have you had to overcome to make Classic Gamer Magazine a reality?
CC> Money, of course! The cost of printing will kill you. Especially color printing. Trying to dig up hard to find games to review. Thank god for emulators (shhh! I didn't say that!)

MT> How do you conduct research, and how do you obtain material for each issue?
CC> I don't think this magazine is even possible without the internet. I'd say about 80% of my research is done on it. Also, all of the great writers I have have been contacted through the Internet. They are an inspired bunch who love what they are writing about, so it probably seems like not too much of a chore for them (I hope!). Definitely could not do it without the writers, either. They are our lifeblood.

MT> How do you decide which classic consoles receive the spotlight?
CC> Eventually, we want all of them to receive the spotlight in some way. Of course, most people owned the Atari VCS/2600 so we tend to focus on that a bit more. I just discovered the Intellivision a few years ago myself. I was very stubborn to do so since I was part of the great Atari vs. Intellivision debate. I stood staunchly in the Atari corner and didn't budge for a long time. I finally broke down and got an Intellivision at a thrift store a few years back. I'm definitely glad I did. Great machine. Then my cat sprayed it so I'm back to square one. The hope is to have a set section for each console as we evolve. So, hopefully you'll be seeing more Vectrex, Bally's, etc. articles as we go along.

MT> Have you received any media coverage? We know you made a big splash at the recent Classic Gaming Expo.
CC> As far as mainstream media! Dan Rather hasn't contacted me. I was interviewed for a major newspaper, but when the article came out I found out I was being pumped for classic gaming information for some article he was writing. No credit to me, of course! The Classic Gaming Expo was a great place to get the word out. We had a great time.

MT> What do you think still attracts today's players to the classics?
CC> I think there is definitely some nostalgia going on. It can certainly take me back quickly. But you also have games that have solid gameplay which really do stand up today. Not to mention you don't have to invest 3 months into the game. You can pop in a Kaboom! cartridge and go to town for 30 minutes or so and have a great time. .

MT> It is obvious that you are fond of classic games, what are your favorites?
CC> I still love Adventure and Dragonstomper. Pitfall II is great. Dreadnaught Factor for the Intellivision is a blast. Warlords is probably the best party game and I still find Combat and Armor Ambush to be great 2 player games.

MT> Do you enjoy the classics more in the present day, or in their glory days?
CC> I think I'll have to say it's about even (wishy washy!). I loved it back then because it was all new, but I believe most of them hold up well. Also, now I can afford to collect what I could never buy back then so many of the games are still brand new to me.


Good Deal Games would like to thank Chris for his part in
helping preserve classic gaming.
He shares the Good Deal Games mission!

To subscribe to Classic Gamer Magazine, visit their website:
Classic Gamer Magazine
E-Mail Chris Cavanaugh

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