THE BROWN LOG: EDGE
What is the Brown Log? Part of the Wedge’s remit is talk about magazines. And where better to read magazines than on the bog? Every week I will buy a magazine – sometimes one I’d normally get, often one I’d never get – and leave it in our lavatory. After a week I will write a review. Simple! Obviously the amount of attention each mag receives will vary widely depending on how interesting it is, how cold the bathroom is, how much fibre I have been eating, etc. But then no system can be entirely objective.
First up is videogames magazine EDGE.
Design: some space troopers looking tough on the cover, generally excellent design inside and the mag is a treat to handle, with a sturdy spine and thick waxy covers. I’ve never been convinced by screenshots as a way of divining how a game plays, but EDGE uses them fairly well.
Who’s It For?: EDGE’s worldview is, broadly speaking, elitist. It’s catering for an audience who know videogames well and rate them based on innovation, or ‘depth of gameplay’, rather than kewl-ness of characters or bad-ness of attitude. The good things about this are that the mag never talks down to the reader or wastes time explaining its references, and that its approach cuts across all game styles and genres – articles on gore-laden shooters rub up against pieces on Pokemon. The bad thing is that you can sometimes feel a bit lost as a reader, and a bit guilty for not taking your gaming seriously enough.
Who Isn’t It For?: Anyone who isn’t even a little bit interested in games would probably find themselves gazing at the tiling before long.
Style: Well written throughout – intelligent and clear, never too breathless, occasionally too reliant on jargon (especially in the News section). It’s hard to capture the thrill of gaming in prose – EDGE generally prefers to not even try.
Best Bits: The Pokemon article is insightful, positive and never patronizing. The front end of the magazine, roping together all sorts of tiny and entertaining newsbites, is excellent.
Worst Bits: It’s all pretty good, but its feature on collecting games for a defunct console (part of a regular series) is too reverent and too long.
Value For Money: ’4 is steep, but the magazine wears well and has a good lifespan.
Flush It?: No.
Next Week: Woman’s Own