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Issue #9 of Suspense & Decision magazine, a publication focusing on play-by-mail and turn-based gaming.


Active PBM Games

NOTE: This section is under active construction. More active PBM games are listed on the PBM Hivemind section on the front page of the PlayByMail.Net website. This section on the PBM Wiki site began construction on March 5th, 2014, and will take a while to flesh out with relevant information. When completed, it should be a useful resource for gamers looking for PBM games to play. In the mean time, don't make the mistake of thinking that all that is listed here is all that there is. Nothing could be further form the truth!

Play By Mail
(PBM via Postal Service)
Ancestral Descendants
(Electronic/Digital PBM)
Paper Mayhem issue 22.

PBM Hivemind - Where PBM Players Gather

NOTE: This section is under construction. Links will be transferred from the front page of the PlayByMail.Net website to this section, in due time.

PBM Forums PBM on Yahoo! Discussion Groups PBM on Google+ Discussion Groups PBM on Facebook PBM on Facebook Discussion Groups

Definition of PBM

Galactic Prisoners was a computer-moderated, open-ended, futuristic game that featured an alien race, the Nibor, destroyed all humans, except for a very few who were placed on a planet to be studied by Nibor observers. The player played the role of a human captain of an All Terrain vehicle (ATV), who was given a crew of 100 human prisoners by the Nibor. As the captain, it was the responsibility of the player to provide his or her crew with survival.

So, what - exactly - is PBM?

PBM is an acronym, one that stands for Play By Mail. It is a reference to a genre of gaming that was - and still is - played through the postal system, which, in the United States of America, is the United States Postal Service.

Whether one says PBM, PBM games, PBM gaming, play by mail, play-by-mail, postal games, postal gaming, play by post, correspondence games, or correspondence gaming, they are all variations on the exact, same thing.

Later (as in newer or more recent) variations on the core genre that is postal gaming have manifested themselves as PBeM (play by e-mail), PBM (play by web - as in the World Wide Web), PBI (play by Internet), TBG (turn based gaming), and even BBG (browser based games).

During its course of existence, play by mail gaming has been covered by a wide variety of sources, and this genre of gaming (which many view to be classic gaming at its very finest, providing a form of quality gaming entertainment still unrivaled in terms of the overall gaming experience that the player has), is still alive and popular with many gaming enthusiasts and gaming adherents, whose interests in gaming entertainment run the gamut from RPGs (role playing games) to wargaming.

Included within this broad range of coverage of the PBM hobby and of the commercial PBM industry were numerous magazines dedicated specifically or largely to coverage of play by mail gaming. Published titles such Nuts & Bolts, Paper Mayhem, PBM Universal, Gaming Universal, Flagship, American Flagship, Campaigner's Newsletter, American Gamer, The PBM Report, Simulacrum, PBM Worm, and 1st Class covered every aspect of PBM gaming, delivering a cornucopia of PBM news to a gaming public thirsting for details of an ever-changing PBM scene.

Within the genre, postal games covered an exceptionally broad portion of the entire gaming spectrum. Space conquest games, fantasy role playing games, and hardcore wargames that would make any grognard proud are but a few of the many popular categories of games that fell under - and to this day are still encompassed by - PBM gaming.

Play by mail gaming shares many similarities with board gaming, as well, the turn based aspect a signature feature of many PBM games. Unlike many modern-day massively multiplayer online games of various types, postal games tended - and still tend - to deliver a more personalized gaming experience, one that did not leave the player lost in a tsunami of player pools that number in the millions, for some of the more heavily populated massively multiplayer online games, particularly where MMORPGs of note are concerned.

Hyborian War wall map showing land provinces, coastal provinces, and sea zones.

Combining a beer & pretzels sort of appeal with a community of both commercial and non-commercial game moderators, PBM left an indelible mark upon the history of gaming. Rich gaming experiences that were unique to postal gaming helped elevate the hobby and the industry to such a place in the public eye that good old correspondence gaming soon carved out a place for itself in the pantheon of gaming genres.

As with many different sectors of the gaming industry at large, PBM has endured its share of periods where the industry would consolidate. Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, though, play by mail gaming continues to thrive heading into the second decade of the Twenty-First Century. Numerous groups of hardcore PBM gamers can be easily located on the Internet, today, with new industry champions joining PBM's venerated Old Guard in celebrating play by mail gaming in the modern era.

Both nostalgia and a desire to return to the roots of what a true, honest-to-God multi-player gaming experience should be like, are helping to create a Renaissance of the core postal gaming experience for new generations of gaming enthusiasts, even as more and more PBM old timers find themselves returning to the play by mail fold. The resulting diversity can only benefit PBM gaming, as the PBM hobby and the PBM industry chart a new path into the future.

Whether a player's turn results are delivered to him or to her in a paper envelope, or in one of a variety of different electronic equivalents, the PBM experience continues to act as a catalyst for positive change within the gaming industry at large. In this way, PBM continues to push the gaming envelope, after all these many years.

Other definitions of PBM

PBM Magazines

Flagship issue 1.
  1. 1st Class
  2. American Flagship
  3. American Gamer
  4. Campaigner's Newsletter
  5. Flagship
  6. Gaming Universal
  7. Nuts & Bolts
  8. Paper Mayhem
  9. PBM Monthly
  10. PBM Universal
  11. PBM Worm
  12. Simulacrum
  13. Suspense & Decision
  14. The PBM Report

PBM Associations

PBM companies

This is a list of Play-By-Mail companies and individuals that have run PBM games, over the years. Some of these companies and their games are still up and running, today. Many of them, unfortunately, have fallen defunct with the passage of time.

Starweb is a play by mail game run by Flying Buffalo, Inc..
  1. 4 Sight
  2. 7th Dimension Gaming
  3. Acheron Simulations
  4. Advanced Gaming Enterprises
  5. Advent Games
  6. Adventure Simulation Games
  7. Adventures By Mail
  8. Adventures Design Group, Inc.
  9. AGEgames
  10. Agema
  11. Agents of Gaming
  12. Aggressive Addiction Games
  13. Aleator Games
  14. Allen Kimball
  15. Allsorts PBM Games
  16. Alternate Realms
  17. AMM Enterprises
  18. Anarchy By Mail
  19. Andon Games
  20. Apocalypse
  21. Archmage Games
  22. Arden Enterprises
  23. Ares Games
  24. Argus Adventure Simulations
  25. Ark Royal Games
  26. Armageddon Games
  27. Athena's Avatar
  28. Australian Wizard PBM
  29. Balrog Adventures
  30. Bard Interactive Games, Inc.
  31. Baron's Regime
  32. Battle-Magic Gaming
  33. Bill Paspaliaris
  34. Bill Wood
  35. Bizarre Play By Mail
  36. Blue Panther Enterprises
  37. Bob Stribula
  38. Bronze Star Games
  39. C2 Simulations
  40. C-T Simulations
  41. Capitol Consulting/VRL, Inc.
  42. Central Texas Computing
  43. Centurion Game Company
  44. Chain Mail Games
  45. Chameleon Games
  46. Charles Bennett
  47. Circle Games
  48. ChoZen FroZen Games
  49. Classified Information
  50. Clemens & Associates
  51. Cobra Games
  52. Coconut Council, Inc.
  53. Colleen Matteson
  54. Compu-Caper Gaming
  55. Computer Campaigns
  56. Combat Enterprises
  57. Conflict Interaction Assoc.
  58. Conquest Games
  59. Constantine Xanthos
  60. Cosmos Creations
  61. Crasiworld
  62. Create A World, Inc.
  63. Creative Games
  64. Creative Management Services
  65. Creative Simulations
  66. Cutting Edge Games
  67. Cyborg Games
  68. Cyclops Gaming
  69. Damien Games
  70. DareDevil Games
  71. Dark Magus Productions
  72. Daurada Games
  73. Delta Games PBM
  74. Deltax Gaming
  75. Desert P.B.M.
  76. DFS Productions
  77. DPI
  78. Dragon Games
  79. Dragon Byte
  80. DVS Productions
  81. Dymar Enterprises
  82. Dynamic Games
  83. E-Mail Games
  84. Earnshaw Enterprises
  85. Ebonrock Enterprises
  86. Eckert Gaming Group
  87. Eclipse Consulting, Inc.
  88. Eclipse Entertainment, Inc.
  89. Ed Bailey
  90. Empire Games, Inc.
  91. Emprise Game Systems
  92. Enchanted Horizons
  93. Entertainment Concepts, Inc.
  94. Entertainment Plus More, Inc.
  95. Eros Games
  96. Essentially Racing
  97. Ethereal Edge Enterprises
  98. Fantastic Simulations
  99. Fantasy & Futuristic Simulations
  100. Fantasy Workshop
  101. Fenris Games
  102. Fields of Nephlim
  103. Final Frontiers
  104. Flying Buffalo, Inc.
  105. Flying Dutchman Games
  106. Fractal Dimensions
  107. Frank Pompillio
  108. Frazier Games
  109. Freelance Games
  110. Friendly Fire Games
  111. Frontier Games
  112. Full Moon Gaming
  113. Furypost Games
  114. GAD Games
  115. Galactic Empires
  116. Galactic Simulations
  117. Galactic Society Four
  118. Game Anvil
  119. Game Systems, Inc.
  120. Gamemasters Publishers Assoc.
  121. Gamer's Den
  122. Gamers Guild
  123. Games By Mail
  124. Games Heaven
  125. Games Without Frontiers
  126. Gator Concepts
  127. Gem Games
  128. Gemini Games
  129. Gemini Systems, Inc.
  130. Genesis Games Design
  131. Global Simulations
  132. Graaf Simulations
  133. Grandel, Inc.
  134. Grenade Games
  135. Gryphon Systems
  136. Half Time PBM Football
  137. Harlequin Games
  138. Harold Kercher
  139. HCS Games
  140. Head Games
  141. Henry Roepke
  142. HFR Games
  143. High Point Games
  144. Horizon Games
  145. Hunky Monkey Games
  146. Huscarl Hobbies
  147. ICBM
  148. Imagery
  149. ImagiCom, Inc.
  150. Imaginary Sports Competition
  151. Imagination Unlimited
  152. Imperial Games
  153. Incubus Designs
  154. Inferno Games
  155. Infinite Odysseys
  156. Inner Dimension Games
  157. Interesting Times
  158. Intergalactic Games
  159. International Research Associates
  160. International Software
  161. Irondragon Enterprises
  162. Jason Oates Games
  163. Jeff Perkins
  164. JFH Games
  165. John Justin
  166. John Morris
  167. Jolly Goblin Games
  168. Kage Interactive
  169. Kalei Enterprises
  170. Karl Zeimetz
  171. Keith Langley
  172. Kelem Games
  173. Kelstar Enterprises
  174. Keys of Bled
  175. Kimball Simulations
  176. Kingdoms of Telgard
  177. Kings
  178. Kings Guild, Inc.
  179. KJC Games
  180. KSK Concepts
  181. L & L Activities
  182. L A N Company
  183. LAMA
  184. Lanke
  185. Leisure Time Unlimited
  186. Lightning Games
  187. Lombot Publishing
  188. Lucky Llama Games
  189. Madhouse UK
  190. Madhouse USA
  191. Madhouse Australia
  192. Maelstrom Games
  193. Mailed Gauntlets
  194. Marguerite Dias
  195. Marguerite Hoang
  196. Matteson
  197. Megalith Games
  198. Mercury Games
  199. Mialdian Press
  200. Micro Software Design
  201. Midgard USA, Inc.
  202. Midnight Games
  203. Midnight Sun Games
  204. Mindgate
  205. Mindless Games
  206. MindShift Design LLC
  207. Mitregames
  208. Monastic Software
  209. Nebula Star Productions
  210. New Dawn
  211. Nevanis Games, Inc.
  212. Nevaris Games, Inc.
  213. NLT Enterprises
  214. NoGate Consulting
  215. Norman Conquest Games
  216. Northwest Simulations
  217. Nostromo Games
  218. Nova Games
  219. Octagon
  220. On-Paper Baseball
  221. Opcon Games
  222. Oplon Games
  223. Orion Games
  224. Orpheus Publishing Corp.
  225. Outerquest Simulations
  226. Outlander Software
  227. Outremer Games
  228. Pagoda Games
  229. Palace Simulations
  230. Paper Tigers
  231. Paspa Games
  232. Patrick Price
  233. PBM Adventures
  234. PBM Enterprises
  235. PBM Express
  236. Pegasus Productions
  237. Pent Alpha
  238. Perseus Arm Enterprises
  239. Peter Mackay
  240. Pfodd Enterprises
  241. Piranha Games
  242. Phildee Enterprises
  243. Play By Electron Games
  244. Play By Mail Sports
  245. Post-It Games
  246. Post Age Games
  247. Prime Time Programming
  248. Prime Time Simulations
  249. Psi-Decay Games
  250. Quail Canyon Systems
  251. Quest Games, Inc.
  252. R3 Games
  253. Rampage Games
  254. Randy Gillette
  255. Reality Simulations, Inc.
  256. Rebel Enterprises
  257. Rebel Games
  258. Red Talon Gaming
  259. Rolling Thunder Games
  260. Roma Games
  261. Round Table
  262. Roy C. Rae
  263. Sandgroper PBM
  264. Sandlot Sports
  265. Sar-A-Kan Games
  266. Sardarthion Press
  267. Saul Betesh
  268. Sceptre Roleplaying
  269. Schubel & Son, Inc.
  270. Scoresheet Sports
  271. Scott Bowyer
  272. SE Technologies
  273. Sevenstar Games
  274. Shadow Island Games
  275. Shrewd Expanse
  276. Silvius & Berchtold
  277. Simcoarum Systems
  278. Sinbad's Games
  279. Sloth Enterprises
  280. Slow Motion Games, Inc.
  281. Smokey Mountain Strategies
  282. Soccer By Mail
  283. Soccer Star
  284. South Bay Games
  285. Spellbinder Games
  286. Spyder Games
  287. Starlord
  288. Starry Knight
  289. Stat-Sports
  290. State of Mind Games
  291. Stephen Phillips
  292. Steve M. White
  293. Strategic Fantasy Games of Australia
  294. Sudden Asylum
  295. Superior Simulations
  296. Supernova Games
  297. Synchronicity, Inc.
  298. Talisman Games
  299. Tempus Fugit PBM Productions
  300. Terry Crook
  301. The Barons Australian Midgard
  302. The Baron's Regime
  303. The Dukes of Hell
  304. The Game Anvil
  305. The PBM Locomotive Srl
  306. Third Foundation
  307. Throne Enterprises LLC
  308. TimePatterns PBM Games
  309. Time Space Simulations
  310. Timewyrm
  311. Titan PBM
  312. Total Simulations, Inc.
  313. Treesahran Industries
  314. Triad Simulations
  315. TribeNet
  316. Tudor Games
  317. Twin Engine Gaming
  318. Undying King Games
  319. Union West
  320. Vengeance Games
  321. Vigard Simulations
  322. Village Computer Games
  323. Viking Games
  324. Vorpal Games
  325. Vortex Simulations
  326. Wanderer Games
  327. War College Simulations PBM, Inc.
  328. Warlord Strategic Gaming
  329. Warrior Games
  330. Waveney Games
  331. Whitegold Games
  332. White Lion Enterprises
  333. World Games
  334. WoW Games
  335. Wraith PBM
  336. Yellowseed Games of Canada
  337. Zan Erskine
  338. Zen Games
  339. Zephyr Enterprises, Inc.
  340. Zorph Enterprises

External links

Suspense & Decision issue 1.

PlayByMail.Net
Galactic Prisoners fan site
PBM Gamer
OlyWiki (Wiki for Olympia)
The Hyborian Tome