Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where Art Thou, My Game Manual

Where art thou, my game manual? I know, I know, game guides are paper eating waste of spaces, they have no real use and they’re not environmentally friendly. So what? No one is advocating the end of books are we? End all homework assignments… well maybe homework. It used to be that one of the pleasures of buying a new game was reading and smelling that freshly printed manual. I bought Gravity Rush for the Vita a couple days ago and it’s a fantastic game, I’m sure I’ll write about it later, but it has no manual. My freshly minted first Vita game and it has no manual. I have such found memories of my most treasured games and the manuals that came with them. Knights of the Old Republic, Final Fantasy VI, Halo, in the time before the game guides and the FAQS on the internet, manuals were the link between the game maker and you. They were the treasure trove of the ‘I didn’t know you could do that’ moments and I’m sad to see them leave. This is the digital age, in a decade or two most everything we do will be electronic, no more paper for most anything. And I know that’s progress, but no matter how much I welcome change the memories of reading a good book on the sofa is unlikely to be superseded by reading the kindle or iPad on the couch; some things just don’t translate. It’s the small pleasures in life; I leave you with a paraphrase from the 1985 John Cusack movie Better Off Dead ‘manual, manual, I want my manual’.

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