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