JoyStik Magazine a.k.a. Nerdbait

(click for larger image)

This is just plain embarrassing. I was a deeply devoted video game fanatic in the early days of the phenomenon - and without question, that's exactly what video games were in the late 70's and early 80's - a worldwide phenomenon. So much so that I subscribed to two video game-oriented magazines (maybe the only two at the time) - Vidiot (VIDeo + idIOT) and JoyStik. And on more than one occasion, I wrote letters to them (composed on a typewriter, mailed in an envelope - those kinds of letters), but only one got published.

The thing about this letter is, I knew before I was finished writing it what had happened - the power pellets (you may call them "energizers") had blinked off when they took the photo. I was twelve, but I wasn't stupid. Well, not niave in the ways of video games, anyway...

But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to be a part of an actual video game magazine (!) so I continued writing, believing that they'd be likely to publish the piece. It worked, as the image testifies - and my blatant butt-kissing must have helped solidify my placement.

My wife Sharon loves the "I am a serious gamer" line. She's got me there. And couldn't I think of a different adjective for "great" in the first sentence, instead of using it twice in a row? Sheesh! It's not like I didn't own a thesaurus.

I don't have a scan of the next page with the continuation of the article, but the magazine went on to school me in the art of photography and how video games aren't static. But in a nice way. And what's really funny is the fact that I found this as a .pdf when I googled myself (don't even act like you don't do that) - the entire issue was scanned and indexed (manually, I assume) along with many other issues - perhaps the magazine's full run. Someone out there is as much of a Jostik fanatic as I was.

I remember when this came out, I saw a kid in my middle school lunchroom reading the magazine. I was so excited - my first brush with fame! I walked by him, and he looked up at me, squinting with disbelief, and said, "Spatucci, you're an idiot. You didn't figure out how they took this picture?!" I squirmed out of answering him. This was not reaction I'd been hoping for. Crap.


  1. Nice. I'm suscribed to a video game magazine myself (Game Informer), but I've only been tempted to send one letter, which was whining about a bad review they gave to one of my favorite games. Then again, I wouldn't consider myself a serious gamer.

    JoyStik probably just thought it was a cute letter, or they wanted to ruin your reputation with their readers at your school. Very funny.

  2. That's cool, Steven. From what I remember, most of the readers or subscribers back then were pretty young, around 10-12. Those games really were much simpler. Maybe someone can bring Joystik back and aim it at the really young gamers.