''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 (debuting in 1989 around the same time as ''Game Pro'' and ''Magazine/ElectronicGamingMonthly''), there was very little to separate it from the competition 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'' 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 UsefulNotes/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.

!!This magazine contained the following tropes:

* AllWomenArePrudes: Deconstructed: One reader letter addressed the controversy of how women are depicted in video games by arguing that there are just as many hunky guys in games, and that women should open their eyes and enjoy the beefcakes instead of complaining about the scantily clad women. (the letter was from a woman, mind you)
* BackgroundMusic: One of the screens on the demo disc played the stock music piece "Visit to Florida" by Jack Arel and Jean-Claude Petit.
* BeeAfraid: One of the subscriber newsletters featured a comic strip about deadly bees. But they're no ordinary bees, they're... ''LASERBEES''.
* BlandNameProduct: Chicken Cookies ("Addictive snack cookies"), a parody of Chicken in a Biskit.
* DenserAndWackier: The format from roughly mid-93 to September 1996, and starting up again in mid-1997 after reader complaints that the magazine had gotten too serious.
* {{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.
* HaggisIsHorrible: A RunningGag when it came to Frank O'Connor.
* IWasYoungAndNeededTheMoney: Their response to a female fan's complaint about Chun-Li's ShowerScene in ''Anime/StreetFighterIITheAnimatedMovie''.
* MonsterClown: Bobo.
* MoralGuardians: As the magazine was hitting its stride right in the middle of the controversy surrounding video game violence (which eventually prompted the forming of the ESRB), a lot of letters to the editor were about this topic.
* 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, writing articles about Anime just as the fandom was kicking off in a big way, and using that decade's lack of censorship to make tons of dick and fart jokes.
* PunishmentBox: A RunningGag with Bill, who would stuff other staff members in it for his own sick kicks.
* 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.
* RunningGag: When ''VideoGame/PaRappaTheRapper'' was brand new, the magazine frequently made light of the fact that this was one instance where rap wouldn't cause a drive-by shooting. Some readers wrote in complaining of this [[LogicalFallacies logical fallacy]].
** Cheese was brought up frequently for jokes. Bill Donohue demanded offerings of it in the letters columns... only to be horrified when people actually ''delivered''. A few months and several dozen very, ''very'' smelly packages later, and he was begging them to stop. Apparently this continued for quite some time.
* 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 ''UsefulNotes/VirtualBoy'' console and the 32X add-on to the ''UsefulNotes/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 ''Magazine/ElectronicGamingMonthly'''s Sushi-X.
** They weren't above calling out their readers, either- though usually it was done tongue-in-cheek. They made fun of a reader for liking ''VideoGame/WarGods'', for example.
* TemptingFate: In one issue, they previewed the final Atari Jaguar game, "Fight for Life", and ended the preview by saying "Hope it's good!" When the game was eventually reviewed, it got a 30%.
* {{Turncoat}}: When Patrick Baggetta left UGP for Next Generation, the writers jokingly called him a traitor. They even made a cutout Patrick mask in the subscriber newsletter so now you, too, can look like a traitor!
* WritersCannotDoMath: The ''Stunt Race FX'' review is a notable example. The game scored "7" and "8" in every category, yet ended up with a 90% score.