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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. DMC Games
  82. DPI
  83. Dragon Games
  84. Dragon Byte
  85. Dracs Games
  86. DVS Productions
  87. Dymar Enterprises
  88. Dynamic Games
  89. E-Mail Games
  90. Earnshaw Enterprises
  91. Ebonrock Enterprises
  92. Eckert Gaming Group
  93. Eclipse Consulting, Inc.
  94. Eclipse Entertainment, Inc.
  95. Ed Bailey
  96. Empire Games, Inc.
  97. Emprise Game Systems
  98. Enchanted Horizons
  99. Entertainment Concepts, Inc.
  100. Entertainment Plus More, Inc.
  101. Eros Games
  102. Essentially Racing
  103. Ethereal Edge Enterprises
  104. Fantastic Simulations
  105. Fantasy & Futuristic Simulations
  106. Fantasy Workshop
  107. Fenris Games
  108. Fields of Nephlim
  109. Final Frontiers
  110. Flying Buffalo, Inc.
  111. Flying Dutchman Games
  112. Fractal Dimensions
  113. Frank Pompillio
  114. Frazier Games
  115. Freelance Games
  116. Friendly Fire Games
  117. Frontier Games
  118. Full Moon Gaming
  119. Furypost Games
  120. GAD Games
  121. Galactic Empires
  122. Galactic Simulations
  123. Galactic Society Four
  124. Game Anvil
  125. Game Systems, Inc.
  126. Gamemasters Publishers Assoc.
  127. Gamer's Den
  128. Gamers Guild
  129. Games By Mail
  130. Games Heaven
  131. Games Without Frontiers
  132. Gator Concepts
  133. Gem Games
  134. Gemini Games
  135. Gemini Systems, Inc.
  136. Genesis Games Design
  137. Global Simulations
  138. Graaf Simulations
  139. Grandel, Inc.
  140. Grenade Games
  141. Gryphon Systems
  142. Half Time PBM Football
  143. Harlequin Games
  144. Harold Kercher
  145. HCS Games
  146. Head Games
  147. Hemsoft Computer Consultants
  148. Henry Roepke
  149. HFR Games
  150. High Point Games
  151. Horizon Games
  152. Hunky Monkey Games
  153. Huscarl Hobbies
  154. ICBM
  155. Imagery
  156. ImagiCom, Inc.
  157. Imaginary Sports Competition
  158. Imagination Unlimited
  159. Imperial Games
  160. Incubus Designs
  161. Inferno Games
  162. Infinite Odysseys
  163. Inner Dimension Games
  164. Interesting Times
  165. Intergalactic Games
  166. International Research Associates
  167. International Software
  168. Irondragon Enterprises
  169. Jason Oates Games
  170. Jeff Perkins
  171. JFH Games
  172. John Justin
  173. John Morris
  174. Jolly Goblin Games
  175. Kage Interactive
  176. Kalei Enterprises
  177. Karl Zeimetz
  178. Keith Langley
  179. Kelem Games
  180. Kelstar Enterprises
  181. Keys of Bled
  182. Kimball Simulations
  183. Kingdoms of Telgard
  184. Kings
  185. Kings Guild, Inc.
  186. KJC Games
  187. KSK Concepts
  188. L & L Activities
  189. L A N Company
  190. LAMA
  191. Lanke
  192. Legend Incorporated LTD
  193. Leisure Time Unlimited
  194. Lightning Games
  195. Lombot Publishing
  196. Lucky Llama Games
  197. Madhouse UK
  198. Madhouse USA
  199. Madhouse Australia
  200. Maelstrom Games
  201. Manifestation Games
  202. Mailed Gauntlets
  203. Marguerite Dias
  204. Marguerite Hoang
  205. Mark Pinder
  206. Mark Walbank
  207. Mark Wightman
  208. Matteson
  209. Megalith Games
  210. Mercury Games
  211. Mialdian Press
  212. Micro Software Design
  213. Middle-earth Games
  214. Midgard USA, Inc.
  215. Midnight Games
  216. Midnight Sun Games
  217. Mindgate
  218. Mindless Games
  219. MindShift Design LLC
  220. Mitregames
  221. Monastic Software
  222. Nebula Star Productions
  223. New Dawn
  224. Nevanis Games, Inc.
  225. Nevaris Games, Inc.
  226. NLT Enterprises
  227. NoGate Consulting
  228. Norman Conquest Games
  229. Northwest Simulations
  230. Nostromo Games
  231. Nova Games
  232. Octagon
  233. On-Paper Baseball
  234. Opcon Games
  235. Oplon Games
  236. Orion Games
  237. Orpheus Publishing Corp.
  238. Outerquest Simulations
  239. Outlander Software
  240. Outremer Games
  241. Pagoda Games
  242. Palace Simulations
  243. Paper Tigers
  244. Paspa Games
  245. Patrick Price
  246. PBM Adventures
  247. PBM Enterprises
  248. PBM Express
  249. Pegasus Productions
  250. Pent Alpha
  251. Perseus Arm Enterprises
  252. Peter Mackay
  253. Pfodd Enterprises
  254. Piranha Games
  255. Phildee Enterprises
  256. Play By Electron Games
  257. Play By Mail Sports
  258. Post-It Games
  259. Post Age Games
  260. Prime Time Programming
  261. Prime Time Simulations
  262. Psi-Decay Games
  263. Quail Canyon Systems
  264. Quest Games, Inc.
  265. R3 Games
  266. Rampage Games
  267. Randy Gillette
  268. Reality Simulations, Inc.
  269. Rebel Enterprises
  270. Rebel Games
  271. Red Talon Gaming
  272. Rolling Thunder Games
  273. Roma Games
  274. Round Table
  275. Roy C. Rae
  276. Sandgroper PBM
  277. Sandlot Sports
  278. Sar-A-Kan Games
  279. Sardarthion Press
  280. Saul Betesh
  281. Sceptre Roleplaying
  282. Schubel & Son, Inc.
  283. Scoresheet Sports
  284. Scott Bowyer
  285. SE Technologies
  286. Sevenstar Games
  287. Shadow Island Games
  288. Sherwood Games
  289. Shrewd Expanse
  290. Silvius & Berchtold
  291. Simcoarum Systems
  292. Sinbad's Games
  293. Sloth Enterprises
  294. Slow Motion Games, Inc.
  295. Smokey Mountain Strategies
  296. Soccer By Mail
  297. Soccer Star
  298. South Bay Games
  299. Spellbinder Games
  300. Spyder Games
  301. Starlord
  302. Starry Knight
  303. Stat-Sports
  304. State of Mind Games
  305. Stephen Phillips
  306. Steve M. White
  307. Strategic Fantasy Games of Australia
  308. Sudden Asylum
  309. Summit PBM
  310. Superior Simulations
  311. Supernova Games
  312. Synchronicity, Inc.
  313. Talisman Games
  314. Tempus Fugit PBM Productions
  315. Terry Crook
  316. The Barons Australian Midgard
  317. The Baron's Regime
  318. The Dukes of Hell
  319. The Game Anvil
  320. The PBM Locomotive Srl
  321. Third Foundation
  322. Throne Enterprises LLC
  323. TimePatterns PBM Games
  324. Time Space Simulations
  325. Timewyrm
  326. Titan PBM
  327. Total Simulations, Inc.
  328. Treesahran Industries
  329. Triad Simulations
  330. TribeNet
  331. Tudor Games
  332. Twin Engine Gaming
  333. Undying King Games
  334. Union West
  335. Vengeance Games
  336. Vigard Simulations
  337. Village Computer Games
  338. Viking Games
  339. Vorpal Games
  340. Vortex Simulations
  341. Wanderer Games
  342. War College Simulations PBM, Inc.
  343. Warlord Strategic Gaming
  344. Warrior Games
  345. Waveney Games
  346. Whitegold Games
  347. White Lion Enterprises
  348. World Games
  349. WoW Games
  350. Wraith PBM
  351. Yellowseed Games of Canada
  352. Zan Erskine
  353. Zen Games
  354. Zephyr Enterprises, Inc.
  355. 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