Debauchery and Laughs: EGM’s Old Subscriber Inserts

Editor's note: I first met Matt at this past E3 trade show, where he managed to spot me at Nintendo's press conference in a room full of hundreds of people. The EGM superfan got my autograph and picture and hasn't stopped stalking me since (just kidding, Matt!).

He gave me the idea (and scan) to do this story about some of our antics at our old magazine. See below for more EGM craziness from back in the day…plus just how dedicated one guy can be in his fanboyism for a publication. (Click on any of the scans below for a close-up view.) -Shoe

Hello Bitmob!

Before I begin, let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Matthew Swain, and I am new to the site. I'm the self-professed biggest fan of Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ever.

That’s right, I said it.

I have over 200 issues of the magazine, dating from 1990-2010. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to meet most of the mag's editors at E3, where they signed my Final Fantasy 10 limited-edition Yoshitaka Amano EGM cover and took some pictures with me.

That was enough to get the attention of EGM founder Steve Harris, who saw my 1UP blog and offered to sign my FF10 cover and my EGM reboot issue. This…is gaming heaven.


A dream come true.

Mission accomplished!

EGM is simply my favorite magazine. I moved around a lot as a kid, so it was hard for me to make any meaningful, lasting friends. In a way, the editors of EGM were my friends in spirit. I could always rely on their witty writing to make me laugh and keep me informed on the video game industry.

EGM had, and still has, the coolest, and most honest, down-to-earth, hardcore-gamer editors of any magazine. That is what separated EGM from other magazines popular during my youth.

Now-legendary names like Dan "Shoe" Hsu, Crispin Boyer, Shawn Smith, and many others were newbies back then, but EGM had a charm and a vibe like no other magazine at that time. Instead of hiding behind stupid cartoon avatars or pseudonyms, these guys presented themselves as just that: themselves [ed: hmm..."Shoe"...]. Their personalities filled the magazine and made it an entertaining read.

Over the years, other heavy-hitters came aboard, like James “Milkman” Mielke, John Ricciardi, Che Chou, Mark MacDonald, John Davison, Dean Hager, Shane Bettenhausen, Bryan Intihar, and others. They brought even more fun and personality to the magazine.

Another thing that separated EGM from the rest was the cool things they would go out of their way to do for their loyal subscribers. Cool extras like posters, stickers, move lists, mini guides, etc. were always appreciated, but what I always loved were “The Sushi-X Files” inserts, later known as “Forced Feedback.”

These pages started out as move lists and mini strategy guides but evolved into something much more interesting. They started featuring the staff's behind-the-scenes antics and random stories, editor profiles, hot-or-not lists, interesting websites, random quotes, games, photos, and more. The content was almost always hilarious, and to this day I still have each one.

A few weeks ago, I was looking through some old issues of EGM. I like to bring a random issues with me to work, and on this particular day I grabbed the May 2000 issue. The insert was Dan Hsu's roast, from back when he left the magazine for Reading this insert brought back a lot of memories from those frat-like, antic-filled days of EGM. It was hilarious! That little bit of text really illustrated how close-knit and brotherly these guys were.

I emailed a scan of this insert to Shoe, thinking he would get a kick out of it. He was kind enough to write me back, having enjoyed it very much. He even wrote a story about it. I figured, why not send him all the inserts? I knew he couldn’t use them in his piece, but to my surprise he asked that I post them to Bitmob in my own article. Why I did not think of this before is beyond me, but yeah, when one of my EGM heroes asks me to write something for his site, I'm on it.

Without further ado, I present to you the subscribers-only EGM inserts. Enjoy!

Turkey Time at EGM

Turkey time at EGM.

Profile of Shoe.



RIP Andy Baran.



Puppet theater/John Davison.

Game Boy clip art, EGM style.

One of the first times I saw the name "Milkman."


Crispin Boyer.

Dan "Shoe" Hsu.

Johnny England arrives.

Seven Deadly EGM'ers.

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