This web site was founded and is maintained by Al Amaloo, an avid technophile who has owned every significant video game system from the 8-bit classics to today's current generation of consoles. GameWinners.com is an independent project that is not affiliated with or related to any large corporation.
Game Winners is the latest incarnation of a series of online systems designed to provide tips, tricks, and secrets to video and computer gamers. Our two decade history began long before the World Wide Web, in the era of the computer bulletin board system (BBS).
Established in 1985 as The Archives, it was one of the premiere gaming BBSes dedicated to the Commodore 64 and early console systems. Our initial system ran on a Commodore 64, a 1541 disk drive, and a 300 baud modem with a customized version of the C-NET BBS program. Following the technology of the time, the system eventually progressed through 1200 and 2400 baud modems, as well as growing to 3 SFD-1001 one megabyte drives. Users in the Chicago area and throughout the Midwest used our system to transfer games as well as use an extensive T-Files (text file) section that featured a growing amount of walkthroughts, hints, and cheats for the 8-bit titles of that time. The BBS eventually spawned a group of similar systems and became the HQ BBS of The Archive Network.
When Commodore released its Amiga computer in late 1985, I saw its potential as a powerful gaming platform and changed focus to cover it, as well as the Atari ST and PC. The BBS was transferred to a 30 megabyte PC-XT based system in 1986, running on Searchlight (SLBBS) software. Now known as Channel 708, the BBS continued to grow in popularity due to its zero to one day files, as well as docs and help sections. Through the rest of the decade and up to 1991, the system evolved into a PC-AT platform with storage in the hundreds of megabytes, as well as transfer speed increasing from 2400 baud, 9600 baud, to 14.4K (USR HST). Gaining international callers, the system was able to gain further popularity as a distribution point for the German group Vision, and later for Tristar and Red Sector.
With the decline of the Amiga in the 1990's, the BBS changed focus again. Re-launched as Destruction's Realm, more attention was given to PC games as well as new support for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis consoles. In 1993, the BBS turned private and discontinued public access to new users. Building on its elite status, the BBS continued to thrive in a Sysops-only environment. I turned my attention to finding and organizing the hints, tricks, and tactics hidden in the system's massive database of games, documentation, and support files.
The advent of the World Wide Web provided another venue to distribute the video and computer game knowledge that had accumulated along the years. I began my efforts with the newest console at the time, the 3DO Multiplayer system. An unpublicized site was established in 1995, and was opened to private members of the old BBS system, as well as anyone in the general public that was lucky enough to find it. Basically an unedited group of plain text files, it was gradually organized into The 3DO Gamer's Advantage, which was officially launched to the public on January 1, 1996 with an announcement on Usenet.
Support for the other 32-bit consoles of that time, the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, were added after that point, and the name of the site was shortened to The Gamer's Advantage. The tedious task of editing and organizing information for other, older, game systems followed.
In 1997, I learned of a company started by Scott Kurnit, a former executive at Prodigy and MCI/News Corp. The Mining Company (later known as MiningCo.Com and now as About.Com) was looking for Guides to build niched areas on their service. Given the extensive background in video and computer gaming developed through the BBSes and web sites, the possibility of developing such a venture seemed quite reasonable. My application was accepted, and the Video Game Stategies site went live in April of that year. Meanwhile, the original web site was re-launched as GameWinners in order to better reflect its mission of helping players win their games with the help of cheats, codes, and hints.
This effort continued through the transition of The Mining Company into About.com until the end of 2004 when both sites once again became independent entities. GameWinners has continued to grow, and remains today one of the first places that gamers visit to get help for their titles, whether its a dusty classic or the latest next generation release.