Between 1996 and 2002, I collected every new issue of PC Gamer, most of which were purchased individually off magazine racks. I wanted to know more about PC gaming and, well, they were the premier publication to acquire facts and opinions about it as a 12-year old kid. I developed a connection to the magazine during Gary Whitta’s time as Editor-in-Chief (he’s gone on to much bigger stuff since then) and loved to follow the staff as they made each issue an adventure. Nowadays, the publication’s merely a brochure for the hobby and I doubt it’ll be around much longer. So why do I bring it up? Because it reminds me so much of how I want to fall in love with Wired, but I just can’t pull the trigger.
The only issue of Wired I’ve ever picked up was while I was on a layover at Salt Lake City’s airport, primarily because I was bored out of my mind. Wired is a beautiful magazine, full of wonderful art and engaging stories. Sure, some of their content is readily available online, but I like the curated approach, rather than the infinite sprawl and utilitarian design of their web site. So why don’t I just sign up today? It’s pretty cheap at that: $19.99 for 12 months! Because it’s a magazine. It’s a bound volume of paper that I would not only need to physically acquire, but physically store and watch physically degrade.
Ladies and gentlemen: I’m a post-paper man. I can’t be having stacks of magazines growing in the corner of my office. But what’s the solution? Wired makes an iPad version, but I don’t have an iPad and I’m not interested in a tablet. Maybe if it were in some digital format that could sprawl over my twin 23″ monitors, that might certainly be worth the investment. I want to build a relationship with this magazine and I can’t, because I know that it won’t be long until their volume simply because a burden. I know I’ll have to switch my subscription address whenever I move and then wait two months for them to finally catch up on deliveries.
I suppose it’s a shame that I’m giving up on such legendary editorial work for what seems like arbitrary reasons, but the idea of holding and reading a physical magazine has simply become far too old-school for my taste. Maybe if they came out with a version ideal for my phone…