Looking for a 1986 magazine article about adventure games

Shortly after we got our first PC in late 1985, my dad subscribed to Personal Computing magazine. An article in the first few issues we got captured my imagination, and I’ve never been able to forget it. I have learned that it was called “Who Plays Adventure Games…And Why”, and that it was in the Leisure column of the March 1986 issue. Its definition of “adventure game” was quite broad, including both Zork-style parser games and Wizardry-style RPGs. Unfortunately, those issues were discarded long ago.

For as long as I’ve known about some 1980s computer magazine articles being available online, I have searched for the text of this article. It would be nice to have the actual page images, but not so important to me. None of the usual sites have the March 1986 issue digitized. Could anyone here help me find the article?


I was just having a look at the four scanned 1986 issues on the Internet Archive. They were all scanned in December 2022 and January 2023, and by the same person. You can see who scanned something by scrolling to the bottom of the main page for any particular issue of the magazine; it’s bottom-right, but above SIMILAR ITEMS.

I’d say it may be worth trying to contact that person to see if they have the March 1986 issue on their to-do pile. Looking at their profile, they have submitted tons of similar material, and as recently as June 2023.

The fact they stopped scanning Personal Computing at that time could hint they’d scanned all those they had, but we don’t know that for sure. I know some folks who scan this kind of material, and it can be a very opportunistic or whim-driven hobby, or logistical (“everything after the March issue is in that cupboard over there. I don’t want to open the cupboard right now.”)

I joined the archive just to try to work out if you can contact someone that way – and you can’t necessarily. Then I found this FAQ suggestion:

“Internet Archive is unable to release any contact information for patrons. However, it may be worth your while to post a review for the item in question - this automatically contacts the uploader’s account, notifying them that their upload has been reviewed. You could pose queries/requests for information therein.”

(which was being quoted here: Internet Archive Forums: How can I contact the person / group who uploaded an item?)

So I’d try reviewing this person’s most recent Personal Computing scan and mentioning what you’re looking for there. And while waiting for a reply, you could potentially identify other Personal Computing scanners in case you can ask them. But nobody else has uploaded any 1986 issues.



Tech journalist Benj Edwards has posted scans of two different pages from the March 1986 issue of Personal Computing, so you could try to contact him and see if he still has the physical magazine somewhere.