''Game Players'' was a video game magazine that had its best years in the mid-[[TheNineties 1990s]]. Starting out as a seemingly-regular game mag (that was actually the very [[NewerThanTheyThink first one]] not devoted to only one system and produced in-house by a video game company). There was very little to separate it from what came later as far as video game magazines went, but in the mid-90s, it shifted into a more comedic, irreverent style with Chris Slate taking over as its Editor. Under Slate, the entire magazine started getting more deliberately wacky, with the game reviewers gaining personality (and faux-personality, with Bill Donohue as an evil dungeon-master and Mike Salmon as a sarcastic ladies-man).

The letters page started with several running gags, with Donohue and the fans building upon each others' jokes, creating new fictional characters and personas, speaking of a "Cleansing" (and later, "The Rinsing"), and promises of world domination and violent reprisals. It was just that kind of a mag -- mostly nonsensical, and all in good fun (and vulgar taste). While ''Game Pro Magazine'' was far bigger, and ''EGM'' and ''Diehard Game Fan'' got all the "legit" industry cred, Game Players was a wild and wacky book with running gags, a letters page that was 80% joke-topics (leaving the rest for actual video games), and stands out even today.

As memorable as the magazine's humor was at the time, ''Game Players'' would change again after a few years. 1996 saw the magazine turning into ''Ultra Game Players'', at which point they tried to [[MagazineDecay drop most of the humor and changed a great deal of the staff]]. Their review system, originally based off of Graphics, Sound, Gameplay, Innovation & Replay Value, now exploded into a huge ''eighteen category'' scoring system. This did not go over well, so the humor was gradually worked back into the magazine. By 1998, the magazine had changed into yet another format under the name of ''Game Buyer''. Four issues later, the magazine collapsed and was shut down.

Its editors and writers moved on elsewhere -- Chris Slate has had the most success of the group; he would eventually become editor in chief of the now-discontinued ''Magazine/NintendoPower'', and is now editor in chief of ''Mac Life''. Bill Donohue, who worked with Slate at ''PSM'', still writes ''Jaded Gamer'' columns (they debuted in the ''Ultra'' era), Frank O'Connor eventually wound up at Microsoff in charge of the ''{{Franchise/Halo}}'' franchise, Chris Charla is running the new XboxOne Independant Developers divsion, Francesca Reyes is editor in chief of ''Official Xbox Magazine'', and Mike Salmon is Director of Research and Planning at 2K Games.

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!!This magazine contained the following tropes:

* {{Fanservice}}: Played straight in many ads inside their magazines (an ad for ''VideoGame/VoltageFighterGowcaizer'' in one issue was almost beyond belief in this regard), but they weren't above parodying the hell out of it in one article where, in response to a complaint about this trope they took a picture of a woman in a skimpy outfit holding a BFG and did a faux-serious run down of how practical the outfit really was (with tongue firmly in cheek).
** FanserviceCover: The final issue of Ultra Game Players (June 1998) featured a swimsuit-clad woman on the cover, as one of the features inside was a long-requested article about the hottest video game babes. Other fanservice-y covers include any cover with [[Franchise/TombRaider Lara Croft]], and the May 1998 cover, which featured Turok and a bikini babe hanging off him whose face was modeled after Pamela Anderson.
* IWasYoungAndNeededTheMoney: Their response to a female fan's complaint about Chun-Li's ShowerScene in ''Anime/StreetFighterIITheAnimatedMovie''.
* KillerApp: Frequent hype was common, despite a relatively-impartial viewpoint. They all but blew their wad with ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'', calling it literally the "Best Brawler EVER!" on their cover after playing the Japanese version. Though they were spot-on sometimes (''Tomb Raider'', ''SuperMario64''), things like that just look more hilarious in retrospect.
* MrFanservice: Reviewer Mike Salmon, especially with his 90s-style long hair and facial hair.
* TheNineties: Their decade of operation. They're also a major signpost of that era, going crazy over the most bloody and violent games, getting into the start-up of the Anime movement, and using that decade's lack of censorship to make tons of dick and fart jokes.
* RuleOfFunny: Ruled on their letters page, which eventually focused more on joke-y letters about "Moogoo the Mangler" and "The Cleansing" of the impure and weak, than it did towards actual video game coverage.
** Eventually, though, they did notice this was getting out of hand and politely informed fans that yes, most of that crap was funny, but they really needed to cover games sooner or later. Soon after, most of the more absurd writing atrophied away.
* SeriesHiatus: The main ''Game Players'' title went on one from October 1991 to June 1993.
* TakeThat: They were not above knocking crappy systems, and all but called-out various pieces of garbage for their lameness. ''Rise of the Robots'' was a big victim, as was the ''VirtualBoy'' console and the 32X add-on to the ''SegaGenesis''. ''Creator/{{Nintendo}}'' got called out a great deal for their VaporWare that they were known for in the 1990s.
** Their lowest possible rating (below even "Shoot Me") was named after a Japanese PS launch game titled ''Cosmic Race''. They had good reason.
** Gamer-X was also a thinly-veiled parody of ElectronicGamingMonthly's Sushi-X.
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