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

Other Wikis

Alamaze Wiki

External links

Suspense & Decision issue 1.

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