Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cover to Cover: Virgin Games 1992 Catalog (pp. 1-3)

U.K. entrepreneur Richard Branson has had his hand in any number of businesses -- Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and most recently Virgin Galactic as a commercial spaceflight operation.  Branson made investments on the fringes of the game industry as far back as the early 1980s, and Virgin Games grew into a major developer through mergers in the late 1980s and 1990s.  Today the company survives as an online gambling concern, but along the way Virgin published quite a few notable (and some not-so-notable) titles for home computers and videogame consoles.

So in our second "Cover to Cover" series, we're going to take a trip back in time and survey the Virgin Games catalog from early 1992, one page at a time.  The recognizable Virgin logo adorns the cover, along with a blown-up semi-abstract screenshot of some (probably) Amiga title I have not been able to identify.

The cover is counted as page 1, so the first interior page is already numbered as page 2.  It presents the company as a daring but safely commercial entity, with a cheeky "SEX and DRUGS and ROCK N' ROLL" attention grabber, before noting that these "are not the kind of stimulation that VIRGIN GAMES is proud to offer in the pages of this catalog."

The text, which continues onto page 3, promotes several upcoming titles we'll see in more detail later on.  Page 3 also promotes other Virgin businesses, with a very 80s picture of Paula Abdul (releasing on Virgin Records) and a map of the Virgin Atlantic Airways international routes, should any gamers perusing these pages suddenly need to fly to Miami in search of the fabled Sound Machine.

With the introductory formalities out of the way... in our next installment... let the games begin!

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