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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. Charles Mosteller
  51. Circle Games
  52. ChoZen FroZen Games
  53. Classified Information
  54. Clemens & Associates
  55. Cobra Games
  56. Coconut Council, Inc.
  57. Colleen Matteson
  58. Compu-Caper Gaming
  59. Computer Campaigns
  60. Combat Enterprises
  61. Conflict Interaction Assoc.
  62. Conquest Games
  63. Constantine Xanthos
  64. Cosmos Creations
  65. Crasiworld
  66. Create A World, Inc.
  67. Creative Games
  68. Creative Management Services
  69. Creative Simulations
  70. Cutting Edge Games
  71. Cyborg Games
  72. Cyclops Gaming
  73. Damien Games
  74. DareDevil Games
  75. Dark Magus Productions
  76. Daurada Games
  77. Delta Games PBM
  78. Deltax Gaming
  79. Desert P.B.M.
  80. DFS Productions
  81. DPI
  82. Dragon Games
  83. Dragon Byte
  84. Dracs Games
  85. DVS Productions
  86. Dymar Enterprises
  87. Dynamic Games
  88. E-Mail Games
  89. Earnshaw Enterprises
  90. Ebonrock Enterprises
  91. Eckert Gaming Group
  92. Eclipse Consulting, Inc.
  93. Eclipse Entertainment, Inc.
  94. Ed Bailey
  95. Empire Games, Inc.
  96. Emprise Game Systems
  97. Enchanted Horizons
  98. Entertainment Concepts, Inc.
  99. Entertainment Plus More, Inc.
  100. Eros Games
  101. Essentially Racing
  102. Ethereal Edge Enterprises
  103. Fantastic Simulations
  104. Fantasy & Futuristic Simulations
  105. Fantasy Workshop
  106. Fenris Games
  107. Fields of Nephlim
  108. Final Frontiers
  109. Flying Buffalo, Inc.
  110. Flying Dutchman Games
  111. Fractal Dimensions
  112. Frank Pompillio
  113. Frazier Games
  114. Freelance Games
  115. Friendly Fire Games
  116. Frontier Games
  117. Full Moon Gaming
  118. Furypost Games
  119. GAD Games
  120. Galactic Empires
  121. Galactic Simulations
  122. Galactic Society Four
  123. Game Anvil
  124. Game Systems, Inc.
  125. Gamemasters Publishers Assoc.
  126. Gamer's Den
  127. Gamers Guild
  128. Games By Mail
  129. Games Heaven
  130. Games Without Frontiers
  131. Gator Concepts
  132. Gem Games
  133. Gemini Games
  134. Gemini Systems, Inc.
  135. Genesis Games Design
  136. Global Simulations
  137. Graaf Simulations
  138. Grandel, Inc.
  139. Grenade Games
  140. Gryphon Systems
  141. Half Time PBM Football
  142. Harlequin Games
  143. Harold Kercher
  144. HCS Games
  145. Head Games
  146. Hemsoft Computer Consultants
  147. Henry Roepke
  148. HFR Games
  149. High Point Games
  150. Horizon Games
  151. Hunky Monkey Games
  152. Huscarl Hobbies
  153. ICBM
  154. Imagery
  155. ImagiCom, Inc.
  156. Imaginary Sports Competition
  157. Imagination Unlimited
  158. Imperial Games
  159. Incubus Designs
  160. Inferno Games
  161. Infinite Odysseys
  162. Inner Dimension Games
  163. Interesting Times
  164. Intergalactic Games
  165. International Research Associates
  166. International Software
  167. Irondragon Enterprises
  168. Jason Oates Games
  169. Jeff Perkins
  170. JFH Games
  171. John Justin
  172. John Morris
  173. Jolly Goblin Games
  174. Kage Interactive
  175. Kalei Enterprises
  176. Karl Zeimetz
  177. Keith Langley
  178. Kelem Games
  179. Kelstar Enterprises
  180. Keys of Bled
  181. Kimball Simulations
  182. Kingdoms of Telgard
  183. Kings
  184. Kings Guild, Inc.
  185. KJC Games
  186. KSK Concepts
  187. L & L Activities
  188. L A N Company
  189. LAMA
  190. Lanke
  191. Legend Incorporated LTD
  192. Leisure Time Unlimited
  193. Lightning Games
  194. Lombot Publishing
  195. Lucky Llama Games
  196. Madhouse UK
  197. Madhouse USA
  198. Madhouse Australia
  199. Maelstrom Games
  200. Manifestation Games
  201. Mailed Gauntlets
  202. Marguerite Dias
  203. Marguerite Hoang
  204. Mark Pinder
  205. Mark Walbank
  206. Mark Wightman
  207. Matteson
  208. Megalith Games
  209. Mercury Games
  210. Mialdian Press
  211. Micro Software Design
  212. Middle-earth Games
  213. Midgard USA, Inc.
  214. Midnight Games
  215. Midnight Sun Games
  216. Mindgate
  217. Mindless Games
  218. MindShift Design LLC
  219. Mitregames
  220. Monastic Software
  221. Nebula Star Productions
  222. New Dawn
  223. Nevanis Games, Inc.
  224. Nevaris Games, Inc.
  225. NLT Enterprises
  226. NoGate Consulting
  227. Norman Conquest Games
  228. Northwest Simulations
  229. Nostromo Games
  230. Nova Games
  231. Octagon
  232. On-Paper Baseball
  233. Opcon Games
  234. Oplon Games
  235. Orion Games
  236. Orpheus Publishing Corp.
  237. Outerquest Simulations
  238. Outlander Software
  239. Outremer Games
  240. Pagoda Games
  241. Palace Simulations
  242. Paper Tigers
  243. Paspa Games
  244. Patrick Price
  245. PBM Adventures
  246. PBM Enterprises
  247. PBM Express
  248. Pegasus Productions
  249. Pent Alpha
  250. Perseus Arm Enterprises
  251. Peter Mackay
  252. Pfodd Enterprises
  253. Piranha Games
  254. Phildee Enterprises
  255. Play By Electron Games
  256. Play By Mail Sports
  257. Post-It Games
  258. Post Age Games
  259. Prime Time Programming
  260. Prime Time Simulations
  261. Psi-Decay Games
  262. Quail Canyon Systems
  263. Quest Games, Inc.
  264. R3 Games
  265. Rampage Games
  266. Randy Gillette
  267. Reality Simulations, Inc.
  268. Rebel Enterprises
  269. Rebel Games
  270. Red Talon Gaming
  271. Rolling Thunder Games
  272. Roma Games
  273. Round Table
  274. Roy C. Rae
  275. Sandgroper PBM
  276. Sandlot Sports
  277. Sar-A-Kan Games
  278. Sardarthion Press
  279. Saul Betesh
  280. Sceptre Roleplaying
  281. Schubel & Son, Inc.
  282. Scoresheet Sports
  283. Scott Bowyer
  284. SE Technologies
  285. Sevenstar Games
  286. Shadow Island Games
  287. Sherwood Games
  288. Shrewd Expanse
  289. Silvius & Berchtold
  290. Simcoarum Systems
  291. Sinbad's Games
  292. Sloth Enterprises
  293. Slow Motion Games, Inc.
  294. Smokey Mountain Strategies
  295. Soccer By Mail
  296. Soccer Star
  297. South Bay Games
  298. Spellbinder Games
  299. Spyder Games
  300. Starlord
  301. Starry Knight
  302. Stat-Sports
  303. State of Mind Games
  304. Stephen Phillips
  305. Steve M. White
  306. Strategic Fantasy Games of Australia
  307. Sudden Asylum
  308. Summit PBM
  309. Superior Simulations
  310. Supernova Games
  311. Synchronicity, Inc.
  312. Talisman Games
  313. Tempus Fugit PBM Productions
  314. Terry Crook
  315. The Barons Australian Midgard
  316. The Baron's Regime
  317. The Dukes of Hell
  318. The Game Anvil
  319. The PBM Locomotive Srl
  320. Third Foundation
  321. Throne Enterprises LLC
  322. TimePatterns PBM Games
  323. Time Space Simulations
  324. Timewyrm
  325. Titan PBM
  326. Total Simulations, Inc.
  327. Treesahran Industries
  328. Triad Simulations
  329. TribeNet
  330. Tudor Games
  331. Twin Engine Gaming
  332. Undying King Games
  333. Union West
  334. Vengeance Games
  335. Vigard Simulations
  336. Village Computer Games
  337. Viking Games
  338. Vorpal Games
  339. Vortex Simulations
  340. Wanderer Games
  341. War College Simulations PBM, Inc.
  342. Warlord Strategic Gaming
  343. Warrior Games
  344. Waveney Games
  345. Whitegold Games
  346. White Lion Enterprises
  347. World Games
  348. WoW Games
  349. Wraith PBM
  350. Yellowseed Games of Canada
  351. Zan Erskine
  352. Zen Games
  353. Zephyr Enterprises, Inc.
  354. Zorph Enterprises

Other Wikis

Alamaze Wiki

External links

Suspense & Decision issue 1.

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