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The Back Page podcast reveals the stories behind game magazine covers

Specifically, "Covers... From Hell!"

I can't get enough Matthew Castle inside my head. I've said this before, but despite listening to him on both our Electronic Wireless Show and PC Gaming Weekspot podcasts, I still crave more Matthew. Enter The Back Page podcast, a not-affiliated-with-RPS podcast Matthew records with former PC Gamer editor Samuel Roberts.

It's good! In particular, it's good if you like games magazines and want to hear from people who love them and made them. In episode 8, they covered (that's a pun) their experiences putting together magazine covers for the likes of PC Gamer, NGamer, ONM, OXM, and GamesTM.

Matthew and Sam (who is also lovely) discuss how they chose what game to put on a cover, the strange negotiations that went on with PRs over the (sometimes) terrible art they'd been given, and the struggles inherent in trying to sell a magazine with just a handful of words on the front. It'll give you new insight and appreciation into the process that leads to the words "Biceps the size of big cows in the first ever shots of wrestling on Wii" appearing across a photo of The Undertaker.

Full disclosure: I worked on games magazines for eight years at PC Gamer, and so I am the prime audience for this nostalgic podcast about the job I used to do. But I think the anecdotes shared within will be interesting to anyone who grew up reading videogame magazines, too. (My own anecdotes about covers would involve that one I did which was pulled from the shelves in Guernsey. Too spicy for the Channel Islands, me.)

You can find episode 8, "Games Magazine Covers... From Hell!" on Spotify or most other podcast apps. You can also find all the covers discussed in the issue on this Pinterest board, and follow the Back Page on Twitter for more.

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Graham Smith


Graham used to be to blame for all this.

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