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

Other Wikis

Alamaze Wiki

External links

Suspense & Decision issue 1.

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