Too poor/thrifty for magazines, or if I did have a magazine then it was computer shopper instead (had PC game demos on game CDs, less on games as a thing and more on PCs). Various friends might have the odd one on a birthday or something, as might I (think I still have the copy of pc gamer when they reviewed carmageddon) but for the most part none and same with comics really but that is a different different discussion. The Sunday paper would also have a game section in the TV guide. Not a great thing but what they managed to pack into a few words impresses me to this day, even if I might not be said to have properly taken the lessons from that.
Channel 4 teletext. Digitiser at first, game central after that when digitiser stopped.
Some of the same people behind it have a new site on https://www.digitiser2000.com/
and it has some archives of their old stuff.http://www.teletext.org.uk/index.php?cat=30_Archived-nbsp~Pages&page=41_Digitiser-nbsp~1995-1998
for other archives.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTHGiWxH6ZE
could cover some stuff on its history.
Would also watch TV shows. Saw many of the UK efforts in the end but the one that stood out above all was gamesmasterhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKBNzjgN_hkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeSoTeYr8qQ
The main host (ignore the Dexter Fletcher series if you want) does the occasional thing still as well.
The N64 spot linked there (there were some others too)... I was late for dinner that day and remember it to this day.
By the time I got online (just after the cut off there) it was probably http://www.gamerevolution.com/
at first, today a shadow of its former shadow's shadow. Can try the archives though and at the time I was mostly there because they had a reasonable take on emulation and some good articles. That would have been the library in town at the weekend or maybe during school (though 20 minute blocks monopolised by kids emailing relatives in distant countries meant not much got done there). Would also have been around then I discovered emulation, though in this case it was from a burned CD (an impressive thing at the time) of megadrive ROMs and a copy of genecyst from a computer fayre (other friends had a SNES version but I played less of that, and even to this day there are many SNES classics I have not played).
If anybody then wonders why I am generally an irreverent and tactless disrespectful bastard when it comes to dealing with the game industry... well it was probably an inevitability but a diet of that sort of thing growing up did not hurt at all on that front.
Today it is probably also why https://www.youtube.com/user/BitHead1000/videos?disable_polymer=1
is one of my favourite video channels on old games. Takes a while to get into but once there (you can pretty much pick a point and start as well if you want).
Experience wise. Lack of information. Playground, skate spots/parts, bored adults in the game shops (were some local, some chain) that were not inclined to talk to kids, relatives if you spoke to those and not much else. Rumours that could not be debunked easily, lack of knowledge of what is out there (even more so being PAL country, and Japan being even more opaque than it is today if you don't speak Japanese) where today I regularly play data harvester with entire libraries of games and info on them.