In doing some web searching tonight, I came across the following:http://flagshipmagazine.com/BackIssues/issue94.pdf
Of specific interest to me was page 31, a commentary page by a longtime pioneer and legend in Play By Mail (PBM) gaming named Bob McLain. Bob McLain is important to the history of PBM as the founder of Gaming Universal, what was one of the three top postal mail focused publications at the height of the pre-PBeM era (the other two being the now defunct Paper Mayhem and Flagship, the latter still active in Britian but was over here in the US as well for a time).
He speaks of his dissatisfaction of the word 'legend' being used to describe two gamers in the business and somehow not being yet applied to himself. One of the gamers in question is my own father, John Muir (or John C. Muir as he's always preferred to be by-lined). What's funny is that the word only describes my Dad on one site, and if Mr. McLain had paid attention, *I* am the one using the word in an interview I did with my Dad for an online magazine called Sabledrake... and frankly I'm biased, but hey he's my Dad. I just wish Mr. McLain had paid attention, evaluated the source accordingly, and even jumped on me for my nepotism if he felt a need to complain - I think that would have been a bit more fair than his blanket dismissive statement. I'm at least thankful he still seems to show some respect for my Dad but conveys very little knowledge about him since their early days - my father did in fact study Library Information Systems long before we saw where things would head in the Information Age, but due mainly to his children being too tired of moving around after his years in the service and completing his GI Bill, he instead settled down to being a hardware technician for a community college.
What it really boils down to is that while my father still actively plays postal gaming, he isn't as active on the Internet past email and therefore his involvement seems diminished. I would agree his influence was probably greatest at the time of paper magazines for which back issues will never make the Internet. My father wrote articles not only for Bob McLain's Gaming Universal, but quite often for the late David Webber's Paper Mayhem (where I also got my start in PBM fiction following in my father's footsteps), and even occasionally for the US version of Flagship during its run. He was well known and respected for his fair and honest game reviews, the biggest impact I saw first hand when a major game company was willing to pull a game off the market for retooling after my father gave it a tough review with total respect and no hard feelings. Many other gamers would turn to him for alliances, help, mentoring, support. I'm only conveying to you the evidence I watched play out before my eyes growing up that even stretched far beyond looking up to my Dad, granted through my biases, but it's what I know.
I also know my own interest in gaming, which evolved to PBM fiction, to computer gaming, and now actively working in internet casual gaming/virtual worlds, all began because I grew up as the daughter of this incredible, wonderful man.
I refuse to let my father's many years in PBM be reduced to simply be reduced to a throwaway paragraph in an ascerbic commentary, no matter how old.
So, Mr. Bob McLain, if you're trolling the net all these years later... for the record, you too are one of the legends of PBM in my eyes. Your effort to put together Gaming Universal helped spread the word of the field that broadened to PBeM and beyond. And thank you for giving my father that first chance, because it definitely was influential in my life as making him an inspiration to live up to and follow.