I haven't bought an issue of White Dwarf since last century but even so the news that the magazine is to end in February has come as a bit of a shock. I may not have read it for over half my life but even so there was a certain comfort in knowing that it was still out there, plugging away each and every month; it looks like the magazine is going to be replaced by a weekly newsletter version but White Dwarf as I know it is going away and that makes me sad.
I wasn't even aware of it during its golden -- pre #100 -- age and my current enthusiasm for those excellent early role-playing-heavy issues is all down to going back and catching up with what I missed. Even so, White Dwarf is responsible for getting me into the role-playing hobby in a roundabout way.
I had been playing Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and reading TSR novels for a number of years but I wasn't a gamer as such so I was just the sort of person that Games Workshop and MB were after with HeroQuest; one day I'll write about that venerable game but for now it's enough to know that I loved it. Then one day while in Hailsham town centre -- probably looking for comics -- I saw the HeroQuest logo on the front of a magazine and that was it for me.
The magazine was full of games that I didn't recognise but I did know that logo and I could tell that that the orcs with guns on the back cover were akin somehow to the ones in my HeroQuest box so I bought it and read it from cover to cover. Then I bought the next one, and the next, and I bought Space Marine, and started playing Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer and Blood Bowl, and I was very much a Games Workshop man. Then one day +Timothy Coxon told me that if I liked the orcs-with-guns of 40K then I would like the orcs-with-guns of Shadowrun and I discovered a whole new hobby. Some time later I found out that the magazine I'd been reading had once supported my new pastime and so I went back and uncovered a wealth of great content that still influences me today; my own Forgive Us owes no small debt to early White Dwarf articles and adventures.
So here's a pint of Bugman's Best raised in thanks to White Dwarf for years of enjoyment -- both direct and indirect -- and I suppose that at least this will stop people saying that it isn't as good as it used to be.