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Video gaming magazine pioneer Joyce Katz dies

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Launched Electronic Games, the first dedicated video games magazine, in 1981

Joyce Katz, a pioneer in the publishing of video games magazines in the 1980s and 1990s, died on Saturday. She was 76. Katz was part of the founding team that brought the first dedicated video games magazine to shelves in 1981.

Katz had a long and prolific career in the publishing of fanzines and the hosting of fan conventions. She spent the last 25 years in Las Vegas organizing cons there, such as Silvercon and Corflu, an annual convention for fans of fanzines.

Katz, along with her husband of 45 years, Arnie Katz, and the writer Bill Kunkel, founded Electronic Games in 1981. Electronic Games originated many terms still in use for the description and criticism of video games.

The magazine published until 1985 and was closed, but the three remained active in the games industry as consultants. The three revived Electronic Games again in 1992 but it closed three years later.

The entire original (1981-1985) run of Electronic Games is archived here in pdf form.

Katz died of lingering health problems connected to a stroke she had suffered in May. She is survived by her husband. Kunkel died in 2011. This past winter the Society of Professional Journalists initiated an awards series recognizing excellence in games writing, naming the awards in Kunkel's honor.