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Matt Barton's picture

Game Demos: Then and Now

One of the many aspects of gaming culture that tends to get ignored by the majority of critics is the game demo. No, I'm not talking about the "produkts" of the "demoscene" groups, but rather those programs that purport to offer users a "trial sample" of a commercial title. Who cares? Well, game demos have played (and continue to play) an intriguing and potentially vital role in the game industry--they expose gamers to new games, help sell game magazines, and might eventually become more important than the "full versions" they represent. Although I'm not prepared here to offer a full history of the phenemonon, I would like to mention a few important developments and hopefully raise some issues for discussion.

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