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Alive 5

Those of you who are  not from  the UK  might  well  not have  seen this  trade
paper/magazine. It was  circulated on a weekly basis to all computer dealers in
the UK and across some parts  of Europe in  later years. However, as I remember
it more from a UK point of view, it was with a slight feeling of sadness that I
logged onto  their website to be greeted with a message that  CTW itself was no

CTW was a strange magazine, in all respects. Virtually in charge of the leisure
and gaming marketplaces since it  arrived, various  industry  spokespeople were
usually  represented  giving  their views on the topics of the day  relating to
computer gaming.

It was in these hallowed pages that the  decision was  made by one or two large
software companies to stop developing games for the ST and later the Amiga. The
same pages before were also pretty much responsible for the death  of the 8-bit
scene as  a  market. I  guess  this  might  well  have  happened  anyway  given
developments  over the years. CTW were also left 'on the hop' a few times, with
their promotion of hardware that didn't make it  onto the  shelves for whatever

Take, for instance, Konix's now fabled console, which, while it  never got into
stores as far I  personally saw, it  was backed  up to  the hilt  by the biggie
software houses, despite the fact that it failed as a format. Other examples of
this were with the high  promotion of the  Amiga CDTV  and CD32, both  machines
which, while getting into the high street, failed to make their mark fully. The
Phillips CDi ? - well, less said about that the better.

Out of all the articles that were in the  issues of  CTW that I saw, one stands
out as being particularly memorable. During the furore of the trial of the kids
who murdered James  Bulger, the infamous British tabloids  started waging a war
against all stuff that kids  in particular  were interested  in. Computer games
was an obvious target, second only to Chucky, the killer 'Child's Play' doll in
some cases. The article  itself  was  about  the  backlash and  how independent
stores could survive despite that. Unfortunately, due  to the  recession at the
time in the economy, they were disappearing anyhow :(

I managed personally to see a few  copies of CTW, either  reading it at Dowling
Computers' (R.I.P) store  in  Bedford, or by  getting it  via  Del  Stables  in
Blackpool, who used to get it when he ran his games store in the town. Yes, the
same Del Stables who wrote  the  famous 'Behind the  Counter' article ! On that
note, I'm pleased to say that he is still alive and well, though retired now. I
hope to see him sometime fairly soon.

So, bye-bye CTW ........ You will not be missed that greatly, but even so, you
were a good read when you were obtainable :)


Alive 5