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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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Your Amiga
First issue release date:
Section: July 1987
Supplement: January 1988
Magazine: June/July 1988
Final issue release date: Late 1991
Publisher:
Argus Specialist Press
Alphavite Publications
Coverage:
Games magazine with some technical coverage
Country published: United Kingdom No. of issues: ?
Medium: Paper Status: Dead
Web Address: None

When the Amiga was launched it represented a clean break from the Commodore 8-bit machines. However, it's name allowed it to inherit the existing user base and marketing outlets. At the time (July 1987) the Amiga market was not considered to have a sufficient UK presence to warrant a magazine. The early market was covered by existing Commodore magazines, such as Commodore Computing International and Zzap! 64/Amiga. Your Amiga was a prime example of this trend, beginning as a dedicated section of 'Your Commodore'. This consisted of around 16 pages of Amiga news and reviews, focussing mainly upon serious applications. As the Amiga market expanded, Your Amiga became a staple-bound 36 page supplement, beginning with the January 1988 edition. This made a bimonthly appearance in the pages of Your Commodore.

A year after the title had first appeared the market was considered to be mature enough to support a separate title. In June 1988 Your Amiga was relaunched as an independent publication. The first issue expanded upon the serious content, introducing technical tutorials on the CLI (Command Line Interface), laser printing, and assembly language. Workshops on C and AmigaBasic gave users the opportunity to learn a programming language and use it to achieve a final goal - an application (This idea was later developed by Amiga Shopper). Issue 2 also introduced a technical support page called the Guru (unrelated to the Amiga Active Guru).
Guru's Guide
In addition to the technical coverage, games were also reviewed. These were rated according to four factors- graphics, story, playability, and value. The final score was illustrated by a pie chart to illustrate how these four areas contributed to the final score.

To coincide with its second anniversary the magazine had its first face lift. The most noticeable change was its move to a monthly publication with the July 1989 edition. The design, layout, and paper quality improved and the retail price rose to £1.95 UKP. The period also marked a change in product coverage- technical reviews and news took a backseat in favour of games gaining increasing prominence. This was highlighted by regular features on software houses and up-and-coming games. However, reviews remained short only revealing the basic game plot and a brief attempt towards justifying the rating.

The magazine hit a peak in December 1989 with the brief introduction of a PD disc (sic) and an increase to 100 pages. These events coincided with the promotion of deputy editor, Julian Woodford to editor. This decision seemed long overdue, it was clear that he performed many of the associated duties of this position for months.
This period also introduced the Your Amiga 'Platinum Disk' for games rated 85-94%, and the 'Diamond Disk' for those earning 95% or above. In addition, the game developer received custom advertising artwork and an award certificate. However, its significance was devalued by the frequency of its use- in one issue, 16 of the 19 games reviewed were awarded a score over 70%.

By early 1990 it had become obvious that the magazine was experiencing difficulties- the page count dropped to 76, it was plagued by printing errors, and the content had changed to a 99% games focus. It was later revealed that some of these problems were a result of Argus' financial difficulties and the magazine was sold to Alphavite Publications in March 1990. Julian Woodford departed to make way for games editor, Adrian Pumphrey and the editorial team moved from Hempstead to Milton Keynes.
These events had a positive effect and precipitated a return to more serious coverage. The April 1990 edition introduced a surprisingly in-depth examination of women and computers. The feature was particularly diverse in its coverage, examining women's representation in games (Barbarian, Vixen, et-al) and interviewed three high profile women in the computer industry to gain their views. There was also a feature on the OASIS pressure group (Organization Against Sexism In Software). At the time this issues was popular among the mainstream press and gained brief attention by Sociologists. This lead to a brief attempt to examine and challenge these notions.
While Your Amiga remained a predominant games magazine, the popularity of this feature demonstrated a demand for greater technical coverage. Later issues featured a basic examination of DTV (DestTop Video), modems, MIDI, and how to upgrade the A500 to a Checkmate 1500. However, production problems and the change to a more expensive type of paper surprised the designers, creating problems when the paper absorbed to much ink. This caused text and graphics to appear faded and difficult to read.

At this point 'Your Amiga' drops out of sight. I have been unable to find anyone with an issue after July 1991. However, the magazine is known to have existed for a few months afterwards. It is likely that it was continued until the fourth quarter of 1991 but disappeared soon afterwards. If anyone has additional information after this period I can be contacted via the address on the main page.

What did YOUR AMIGA do for the UK scene?
It is difficult to define how YA improved the Amiga market. Apart from its interesting approach to reader art (by printing artwork as an A4 poster), it is remembered as being fairly average. In retrospect the magazine lacked the guiding force of a strong publisher to support the development of a dedicated readership. The constant change in house style and type of coverage over the years (tech > tech/game > game > game/tech), resulted in a magazine that was uncertain about itself and what type of reader it had attracted. During its peak the magazine made some interesting contributions to a wider debate on computing. However, its closure had been expected for some time.

View Your Commodore, January 1988 (62.2k)
View first issue of Your Amiga (50.5k)
View Your Amiga February 1990 (59.2k)
View Your Amiga November 1990 (61.3k)

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