PC Zone Lives!

Members of the PC ZONE team are reunited with the pages they worked on
to bring you stories from beyond the games.

Episode 4: The Far Cry 2 Issue (July 2008)

July 30th, 2021

Doom, Quake, Half-Life... PC Zone has championed some of the greatest FPS games ever released. It has also championed the most successful, such as the Far Cry series, which has outsold all Doom, Quake and Half-Life games combined.

Revealing the story of how Far Cry became a signature PC Zone game are Far Cry advocate and one-time PC Zone editor Will Porter, Far Cry 2 reviewer Jon “Log” Blyth, Far Cry 4 champion Ed Zitron and the person responsible for Issue 195’s Far Cry 2 cover preview, Steve Hogarty.

As well as arguing the case for Pagan Min to be recognised as Far Cry’s greatest villain, the assembled guests join host Richie Shoemaker to discuss the merits of Games For Windows Live, the lingering appeal of Mass Effect, free World of Warcraft mounts, Katie the monkey, whether Penny Arcade was ever funny, and how PC Zone might have covered Cyberpunk had the magazine survived to witness its release. 

PC Zone Issue 195 (July 2008) is available to read and download from archive.org.

Episode 3: The Half-Life 2 Issue (June 2003)

June 17th, 2021

When PC Zone revealed Half-Life 2 to the world in its June 2003 issue, it was as much a surprise to its provincial rival as it was to the magazine's readers. Securing the exclusive and keeping it a secret was, of course, a delicate operation, never before told - until now!

Masterminding the scoop of the century were PC Zone's then-editor Dave Woods, his “associate” and successor Jamie Sefton, and senior reviews editor Martin Korda (who became the first journalist in the world to play the greatest PC game sequel of all time). Entirely oblivious to the plans were host Richie Shoemaker and fellow freelancer Steve Hill - who at least has a vague memory of reviewing the original game to justify his inclusion in the Episode 3 line-up.

As well as the origins of Half-Life 2 and Steam, the team recalls an intense period of magazine rivalry, falling asleep in E3 meetings, and the perils of being a homeowner in a virtual online world.

PC Zone Issue 129 (June 2003) is available to read and download from archive.org.

Episode 2: The VR Issue (October 1994)

May 14th, 2021

PC Zone may have been resting during the second coming of virtual reality in 2016, but the magazine was awash with youth and vigour when the first VR headsets were previewed in the October 1994 issue. Your Sinclair veteran Phil South and CD-ROM Magazine’s Warren Chrismas were among those granted early access to the first consumer head-mounted displays, and remember what it was like to experience Doom in headache-inducing 3-D for the very first time.

As well as PC Zone's earliest VR correspondents, host Richie Shoemaker is joined by the magazine's first disk editor, Dan Emery, as well as then-outgoing editor Laurence Scotford. In addition to reminiscing over VR and Doom, the guests remember the bad old good old days of CD-ROMs, multimedia PCs, PVC catsuits and avoiding scoring games. They also pay tribute to PC Zone legend Duncan MacDonald, one of gaming’s most creative and influential writers who died in 2017 - and to whom this episode is dedicated.

Please check out South Coast Diaries if you were ever a fan of Duncan’s work.

PC Zone Issue 19 (October 1994) is available to read and download from archive.org.

Episode 1: PC Zone’s Alive!

April 20th, 2021

The reprobates of PC gaming™ are back, reliving their time on the UK's first and best PC games mag!

For this introductory episode, eight former editors have been revived to tell their side of the PC Zone story - from before the days of Doom to when the magazine was being left for dead.

Joining host Richie Shoemaker are Paul Lakin, Laurence Scotford, John Davison, Jeremy Wells, Chris Anderson, Dave Woods, Jamie Sefton and Will Porter, who between them edited more than 200 issues of PC Zone from 1993 until 2008, championing the most memorable games while overseeing the finest back pages ever to close a games mag.

  • 0:00:38 Paul Lakin and Laurence Scotford, 1993-1994
  • 0:23:03 John Davison and Jeremy Wells, 1995-1998
  • 0:49:09 Chris Anderson and Dave Woods, 1998-2005
  • 1:12:18 Jamie Sefton and Will Porter, 2005-2008

Thank you for listening and see you next issue!

PC Zone will be alive again, soon!

April 14th, 2021

Hello and welcome to the first post about the first podcast devoted to the UK’s first PC gaming magazine. Ok, so it’s a magazine that’s been dead and buried for more than a decade, but just because no one thought to dig it up before, doesn’t mean there won’t be a posse of imitators appearing in six months to pan through the upturned soil. It wouldn't be the first time.

The plan is to publish a new episode of PC Zone Lives every month, with the first due to go out soon. Each will run at just over an hour and feature three to four guests talking about their time working on a particular issue. The introductory episode is closer to feature-length, with eight guests appearing.

There are still a few death rattles, whistles, coughs, clicks, burps and farts to edit out, but it shouldn’t be long now until you can feast your ears on the magazine like you once did your eyes.

Richie Shoemaker

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