Seagulls on the Horizon: Remembering Xbox World 360

Image #1Guest writer and Low Fat Gaming co-founder Bill Boreham looks back on the reason LFG exists… Xbox World 360 magazine…

I was thirteen years old when I purchased my first copy of Xbox World 360. Looking back years later, I can see now that was the most formative time of my life.

I happened upon it by chance; Issue 65 – Tom Clancy’s Endwar on the cover.

For me this was pre-internet, a time when magazines were the only way to take a glimpse at both the world’s current state and future (and also stare longingly at half-naked ladies – usually located on the back pages of magazines at the time).

I remember reading the introduction: “Michael Gapper has a runny bum this month” and looking at all the different faces of the team, and then listening to the podcast at home and not knowing what they were talking about, as their accents seemed so strong.

Billy, what the hell are you listening to?”

“I don’t know, it just came with the magazine, they’re talking about rats or something?”

To say I was a fan immediately would be a lie, it took me quite a long time to appreciate the oddity of the team (*cough* Jem), and how each personality complimented the other. I had been reading Official Xbox Magazine at the time so would often revert to them, but eventually it became apparent there was something special about Xbox World and I decided to stick with them.

Image #2Not only were they the most informed about new developments in the world of Xbox (things they predicted years ago are still being announced this very moment, like Microsoft’s new “HoloLens”), but you instantly felt as though every single member of the team had a huge love and appreciation of gaming. This extended to the community.

Every subject, regardless of content, has at least a handful of followers. But I challenge you to find a nicer, more passionate community than Xbox World’s. Their passion was so strong, it caused three people with minimal experience in running a website to sacrifice a part of their lives in an attempt to hold a broken and scattering community together following the magazine’s closure.

Eventually I arrived on the internet and was able to connect with all these people, before this my interaction was limited to the Reader Questions page. Whenever I had a moment to spare I’d quickly load up their Facebook page and engage in whatever discussion was present at the time. Sometimes talk would revolve around the magazine’s future, other times it would be about breasts and how many times we’d all taken a crap that week. No matter where you were in the world or what time it was, the community was always there – post a question at three in the morning and within minutes a handful of people would arrive.

Image #3 The closure of Xbox World was inevitable, we all knew that. I was surprised at how much it affected me when it actually happened though, it really did feel like losing a great friend. So when David Green contacted Matt Reynolds and myself about potentially building another boat for fans to jump over to, it was a no-brainer for me. I felt as though I owed something to Xbox World’s staff and community, and within months the creation of Low Fat Gaming was underway.

I have a huge amount of respect towards the LFG team, I don’t think people realize the amount of time and effort that is needed to create even just a single article or review.  First you have to gather the facts, then there’s the whole process of writing, editing, comparing facts and rewriting, which is then followed by the actual publishing of the piece and hours of sharing in the hope you’ll attract at least one more reader than last time. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that this is the internet, where thousands of articles are available to you at all times and are being released daily.

I’m happy to see Low Fat Gaming does still exist, it gives me hope that the years of quality over quantity have not yet passed and the return of unique magazines like Xbox World and PSM3 may be lying just over that distant horizon. For me, this site was never about becoming the next IGN, because who wants that? It’s always been for you; the Xbox World fan, the PSM3 fan.

And, most importantly, that little part inside of you that misses those 3 o’clock conversations about 80’s action movies and seagulls that call out Tim Weaver’s name.

– Bill Boreham

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