Gaming magazines are an almost universally fondly remembered aspect of gaming. Unfortunately, they’re mostly relics of the past now, so it’s rare to see one start out — rare, but not completely out of the question.
Little Player is the debut project for Massive Impact, Inc., a new publishing company headed by Electronic Gaming Monthly alumni Martin Alessi. Massive Impact has turned to crowdfunding through Kickstarter to help realize their ambition. Little Player’s intent is to be a ‘bi-monthly magazine that provides a safe, fun, advertising-free reading experience for the 7 to 12 year old video gamer’. This sort of child friendly gaming-focused magazine has been absent from the market since Nintendo Power’s final issue in December 2012.
A preview issue is currently available as a PDF, spanning twenty pages, and including reviews of titles like Splatoon and Spongebob Heropants. These reviews are bite-sized and the language used throughout is simple and appropriate for its targeted audience. Of note is that two reviews are published for each game featured — one written by a professional, and one written by a young professional-in-the-making, with a call for more children aged 7-12 to submit their reviews. In place of advertising, comics starring a pair of robot twins — Zheero and Wonne — impart important lessons like sharing the controller and remembering to take regular breaks during gaming sessions.
With just over two weeks to go until the end of the Kickstarter campaign, Little Player has only achieved slightly more than ten percent of its modest funding goal. It’s not unheard of to see major pushes in the dying weeks and days of a campaign, so there still is potential for a turnaround.