Back in the days when postal Diplomacy was at its peak, to have a zine reach issue #100 was quite a cause for celebration. With monthly issues, which was the most common schedule, for a zine to reach that milestone would require over eight years, and that doesn’t include any vacations or delayed issues. To last that long required a combination of perseverance and commitment on the part of the publisher, and a dedicated group of subscribers willing to support the zine and the staff with both feedback, and contributions in the form of material, subzines, letters, articles, and — most importantly — game participation.
Originally designed to come out every two months (and now a quarterly zine), Diplomacy World has required a bit longer to reach 100 issues: over 30 years. Through the ups and downs of the Diplomacy hobby, the zine itself has seen similar peaks and valleys. But it has persisted, admittedly with some periods of inactivity along the way. And now, at long last, we’ve reached that magic number.
Jim Burgess and I discussed a number of ways we could handle this special issue, from devoting the entire contests to a particular topic all the way to ignoring it altogether and simply producing another normal issue. In the end, we opted to combine the two strategies into one. With that in mind, Diplomacy World #100 will be both a celebration of the past and a look into the future for our hobby.
I have to admit that I spent more time harassing hobbyists for contributions this time around than any other issue of Diplomacy World I’ve been associated with during either of my stints as Lead Editor. But part of the reason for that is I made an effort to contact not just current Diplomacy fans, but names out of the past that may no longer be associated with the hobby at all. Some of those are people I remembered from my old PBM Diplomacy days — be they zine publishers, or players of note, or both. Other names were only vaguely familiar to me, because they’d been on their way out of the hobby by the time I because involved in the late 1980’s. Regardless of the era during which they were active, they all share one thing: a passion for the game of Diplomacy.
While I know I’ve found the articles or submissions from former hobby members entertaining, I am always left with some doubt as to how much interest some current Diplomacy fanatics might find in them. With that in mind, we’ve also made an effort to include the usual variety of material in Diplomacy World #100. I guess more than any other issue, this one has been a balancing act.
Here's a tiny sampling of the articles included in this issue:
…and SO MUCH more!
Overall, I think there’s something for everyone. But I do hope that those of you who generally prefer articles discussing the pros and cons of opening to the English Channel in Spring 1901 will give the rest of Diplomacy World #100 a chance. I believe the articles provide some very interesting perspectives on the game itself, and on the many ways it can influence your life and your outlook on the world. Diplomacy is a game based on relations between people, so the more you can learn about others, the easier it is to know yourself that much better as a result.
Besides, there may be a few surprises in the issue along the way!
The issue should be available in PDF format around the middle of January. Stop by www.diplomacyworld.net to download your copy, free of change, and please be sure to drop me a line and let me know what you thought!
Diplomacy World Lead Editor
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