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ONM Remembered – #34

“I tried wiping my backside with one controller, but it hurt too much and I came out in a rash.”


(from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 64 (January 1998)

Oh, boy! Console wars! Don’t you just love petty medium-based arguments? Hold on a second while I finish smashing someone’s face in for daring to say cassette players are better than gramophones.

The hip thing at the time was to be a total asshole towards other consoles, and Sony’s PlayStation bore the brunt of the wrath. It got nicknamed the “GreyStation”, or was partially ‘bleeped’. The letters pages were deluged in people arguing over the merits of the N64 versus the PlayStation. The magazine’s staff rewarded its readers for property damage, and would gladly smash any object they sent in.
Property damage can be fun once in a while (as I can attest to when smashing worthless discs for over-produced football game), but after a while all the hatred and spite just gets tiresome. Remember those guys who were making an effort to seek and destroy all known Shaq-Fu cartridges in the world? It was funny the first time I heard it, but then you realised they were still doing it months, if not years later. It’s like, jeez, buddy, get a hobby. … no, get a new hobby.

I suppose it was an attempt to be seen as “edgy” or “mature”, especially when Nintendo’s reputation as a ‘baby company’ was becoming the go-to insult, but lashing back was no more mature than a twelve year old gelling their hair, smoking cigarettes and tipping over bicycles.
I never picked up any PlayStation Magazines during this period (I was an anti-Sony fanatic at that point, I’m afraid), but I picked up a couple around 1999/2000, and their image came across as relatively more professional. They dabbled lightly in topics outside of gaming (like movie and music reviews, and, of all bloody things, lessons on Japanese weaponry), the style was slick and clean without being drab, and perhaps most importantly, they didn’t plaster the grinning mugs of their editors all over the magazine.

That’s why I liked ONM, though. What other magazine lets you see every damn pore of the people behind it?