"A preservation of the shady side of the 90s internet in Japan"
January 27, 2020 1:37 PM Subscribe
Game Urara (ゲームウララ) was a Japanese magazine focused on underground gaming culture (and BBSes and fetish material and warez and hacking and piracy) with a short lifespan of just five issues in the mid-1990s. The content could be described in one word: Madness. Every issue of Game Urara is available online at the Internet Archive [NSFW].
Picture yourself in mid-90s Japan, Tokyo. After hearing rumors from your friend about a supposed magical device that would allow you to play “virtually every single Super Famicom game,” you take an interest in hunting down said device and pay a visit to a shady part of Akihabara that you know of. Within these suspicious stores, you come across a row of magazines with attractive ladies on the covers and huge, bold text with too good to be true claims of a CD-ROM with “every Super Famicom game” and game copying devices called Magicoms. Without realizing it, you’ve discovered the world of the underground gaming community.
Boasting more than 200 pages in each volume, Game Urara was infamous for its off-kilter presentation with absolutely no filter. Even though it remained in obscurity after its quick demise in 1996, it’s still remembered fondly by those who managed to read it back then.
The magazine quickly transitions from casual discussions of video games and guides, to borderline illegal practices of suspicious “drug” dealings, piracy, hacking, and whatever of illegal interest found in the communities back then. It’s genuinely a bizarre sight as among the innocent video game content lies disturbing articles and ads, such as Mr. Kurosawa’s (of Hong Kong 97 infamy) shock value section, and advertisements for an extremely bizarre “do it at home” foreskin removal tool. (Yes, you read that right.) This magazine did not attempt to sugar-coat gore, scat, and other bizarre paraphilia, and neither did it try to filter its advertisements.
We want to share a few of the most intriguing parts of the magazines here, to help guide you through the madness that is Game Urara.
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