I got a copy of the last issue Nintendo Power Magazine today. Apparently, my subscription ran out right before the final issue came out and renewing to buy a single magazine was not an option. I had to buy one from a bookstore and it took me awhile to track it down. It would have been a shame if I missed the final piece. I’ve had that subscription since 1994, since back when subscribing to Nintendo Power was age-appropriate. Most of my friends (like normal people) quit on game magazines when they left their teens. I thought about dropping mine, but no matter how old I grew, Nintendo Power always had some feature that held interest to me. First it was the comics, then RPG strategies, game previews, interviews with game designers, and, most recently, community crafts and cosplay.
I had recently sent some photos of my Mario statues, but they never used them. But don’t feel bad for me. They published one of my watercolors back in 1997, back when I needed the boost a bit more.
(Here’s a copy of my Yoshi’s Island watercolor. It ran in issue 92.)
My friends never seemed to find it odd that I still collected Nintendo Power into my adulthood. I guess it must make sense with my personality. But I think they liked the idea that someone in the circle was still collecting. As long as one of us kept going, everyone else could look in if they ever felt the need. 
Looking at my shelves, I’m reminded of those past eighteen years of my life. I can’t explain it, but something about old video games connects us of where we were when we first played them. Nintendo Power seems to have encapsulated that feeling. I understand why so many fans are sad to see it go.
Why have game magazines have fallen out of fashion? Online communities and game websites have made them less necessary. Which begs the question: will today’s early adolescents get the same warm feelings about their websites that we adults once felt for Nintendo Power? Check what kids are saying in the online forums. If the site is well-established, well-designed and friendly enough, it’s already happening. If you run a gaming site, it’s nice to keep in mind that you’re making a community for young people. You’re affecting their childhood memories, so give them a good show. It’s nice to know kids can still find places to share their interests and fit it. It’s just a shame they won’t have old magazines as artifacts to remind them of those times. Like I do.
-Marj