The Extinction of the Instruction Manual

NDJIr

The other night I pulled out my original copy of Halo 2, it had been quite a while since I played it last. Soon as I grabbed the case, I noticed how heavy it was. Opening it up I saw the good size gaming booklets inside. Over the years these things have slowly disappeared, without causing much problems.

It really has no need to cause much concern, as it really isn’t a big problem at all. I have steadily forgotten about them, and you most likely have done the same. Unless you pull out an old game, and those memories come back.

Halo 2 came with two different books, one included each muliplayer map, weapon spawns, charge ups, along with giving a nice description of each map. The second one focused on the story, giving descriptions of a few characters, the weapons, vehicles, the whole nine yards. At the end it had some up and coming releases for new games at that time.

Steadily reading through each one brought back memories of buying a game. Opening the case to grab this booklet, only playing the game once I was done. This made me grab Destiny, since it is a fairly new release, and made by Bungie. I opened the case to see two sheets of paper. 1. Saying get the Destiny Expansion Pass. 2. Game Add-On Download for the Vanguard Armory.

It made me laugh in how pathetic I thought that was, but that’s the direction everyone is going in. It got me curious though to look up what brought the changes, as I couldn’t remember. It didn’t take long for a article on Kotaku to pop up, so I had to read it. Here is a little of what I found

“Ubisoft is often recognized for making great games, but it’s a special privilege to be the industry leader at saving trees,” said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America. “Eco-friendly initiatives are important to the global community and introducing in-game digital manuals on Xbox 360 and PS3 is just the latest example of Ubisoft’s ongoing commitment to being a more environmentally conscious company.”

^That article was in 2010, you can read it here if you want. You would think with doing away with these. Ubisoft would be putting out better games, instead of the rehash, technically worlds they have been releasing.

I’m not against saving trees, that’s great if you want too. I myself have planted a few after I’ve knocked some down. But am I the only one that misses these booklets? Now, that’s not to say every company did them right. The older Halo games had interesting ones to read, as did the Grand Theft Auto ones.

This isn’t suppose to be a serious topic, only one to get your opinions on. A lot of newer games probably couldn’t care. But I’m sure a lot of older ones have memories of these, even if you liked them or didn’t care for them.

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About crazysnake513

I'm currently 24, I love video games, and animation. I also love to sketch, and write poetry. I plan to maybe start college soon for animation, if all goes well. In the mean time, I'm working on my own animation project.
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20 Responses to The Extinction of the Instruction Manual

  1. Aether says:

    I still miss the older books, the days as a kid when I would get a new game and absolutely devour the instruction manual before I got the first chance to play it. I’ve very rarely used them over the past ten years, though, so I suppose I can’t complain that they’re gone, but it’s still a little nostalgic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m newer to gaming so I never really had the booklets and you’re right, I don’t miss them. I also don’t feel like I need them, because I can just look anything up online!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Red Metal says:

    It’s kind of a paradox when you think about it; instruction manuals were longer in an era where most games didn’t feature goals more advanced than “get to the end” or “kill everyone,” and they ended up becoming shorter when games with more complex goals started appearing. Then again, games have also become better at introducing game mechanics through gameplay and even the narrative, which I feel is a more organic approach than the instruction manual. Even as a kid, I mainly learned how to play the game through experimentation and only resorted to the manual when I got stuck or couldn’t figure it out at all. So even though I’ve liked video games all my life, I don’t find myself missing instruction manuals all that much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The digital manual is a good substitute but it lacks personality, the digital manuals on the Wii U feel really cold and electronic, lacking the characteristic writing and illustrations of traditional manuals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The digital ones do make up for it in some ways. I haven’t had the pleasure of using a Wii U yet. But even with them coming off that way it doesn’t seem to matter lol. The general concept I’ve gotten with this post is that people simply don’t care for them.

      Except for the older gamers in the group. Thanks for giving your input.

      Like

      • I feel like the younger ones don’t appreciate the time when gaming was small and the artistic nuances that went into everything, even the flavour text on the first page of the manual. Personality in writing, a means to learn the game without having to sit through tutorial messages and the 50 odd training sessions in some fighting games, it was fantastic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed, and very well said. I enjoy hearing your thoughts on things such as this.

        Like

  5. vahrkalla says:

    I miss the blank bit at the back of the manual that said ‘Notes’, where you could write, that’s where I would note down all the easter eggs I found 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All this digital stuff is okay but, sometimes you just need a good solid book in your hand, you know what I mean?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Obviously, due to all the other comments, you’re not the only one who misses the books. Here’s the thing: saving trees is cool, and of course, we have the internet. HOWEVER, there is something significantly unsatisfying about opening that much-wanted game as a gift, and then realizing that not only do you have to wait to get home to play it, but you also can’t even read about it in the meantime. It’s almost like opening an I.O.U., something you can’t immediately enjoy.

    And yes, people who are too young to remember the books don’t miss them. I’ve never owned an iphone, so I don’t miss the one I never had. As for the game companies, “tree saving” isn’t as high on their list of priorities as “money saving.” As you pointed out, you can plant trees!!! Keep making the manuals, and replant the trees. Games cost A LOT of money already, so I’m sure I wouldn’t notice the extra couple of bucks to do my part replacing some saplings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Games are getting more expensive everyday. Of course even taking these booklets away hasn’t lowered the cost.

      This was just a little post that was interesting to write. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

      Liked by 1 person

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