Playground Magazine just updated their website with the notice that after their upcoming fourth issue, they are ceasing publication. You may remember my review of the first issue, back in March.
The reasons are the usual ones, not enough subscribers, leading to not enough money.
It’s sad. I kinda liked the two issues I’ve read. Playground covered some really weird and interesting stuff, stuff that I probably would never have run into otherwise. It documented a play culture very different from what I’m used to. It’s not what I would have been interested in playing, but it was interesting to read about. While the Nordic scene has a fairly solid tradition of documenting what they’re up to in the annual Knutepunkt books (next year in Finland!), with Playground we’re losing a more journalistic and approachable take on matters, as well as the articles about stuff that’s not quite roleplaying games but looks kinda like it if you squint like this…
I must shoulder my own blame in this – I never subscribed. Hey, it was €12 at the store, four issues a year, with a subscription for €60. That’s kinda steep for an unemployed student, even though I wanted to support the project.
Well, I will be buying the two issues that are left. I will read them and shelve them with my issues of Dragon, Dungeon, Polyhedron, Living Greyhawk Journal, Magus and Roolipelaaja, other gaming magazines that didn’t make it.
I’ve only read reviews of Playground magazines. That, because it was not freely availble, and as such, it didn’t have much of anything to give to me. I guess the same for most other RPG actives, and therefore, sadly, Playground seems to have not a lot of impact.
For me, fate of this latest RPG-magazine writes an obvious obituary of subscription based commercial magazines. Value of quality journalism hasn’t gone anywhere, however, and those who value it enought to produce some should find new ways to share it and keep their motivation up while on at it.
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