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

Other Wikis

Alamaze Wiki

External links

Suspense & Decision issue 1.

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