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Manual Labor: Why We Don’t Need Game Manuals Anymore

GameFront, "Once upon a time, a videogame manual was a treasured item. As well as containing tutorials on game mechanics and controller layouts, it was a place to read extra narrative material and gawp at some gorgeous artwork. These lavish productions are undoubtedly a thing of the past now, and the Internet isn’t short of gamers expressing their unhappiness at the fact. Due to packaging costs or manufacturers not being bothered anymore, detailed videogame manuals are practically extinct and it’s not uncommon a new game’s manual to be little more than a slapdash pamphlet, containing only the most basic of controller information. F.E.A.R. 3′s manual, for instance, was two pieces of glossy paper stapled together. More effort went into the paper advertisements and online pass that had been tossed in there than the actual game booklet."

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3GenGames2923d ago (Edited 2923d ago )

You'll need them because it completes the product and it also good for people who don't need it but like the art, like me. You'll lose me from buying any more games if I don't get my money's worth in physical media with it and make me want to. That package include the disk AND THE MANUAL. Nothing less.

dangert122923d ago

why we need game manuals...because the packaging and game has gone up despite the loss of the complete packaging

FragGen2923d ago (Edited 2923d ago )

Agree with both of the above. I still look at manuals and always appreciate it when the publisher shows a little effort in making a cool package, includes artwork, or gametips. A freaking pamphlet is not too much to ask for when WE are being asked to pay $60 for a brand new game, you'd think they'd include MORE bonus material rather than less.

colonel1792923d ago

I don't like this new trend at all. I loved to see/read the manual when I got a new game. Especially when I couldn't play the game until days later.

I don't understand why review copies come with these awesome manuals and game review guides (like Epic Mickey, LAIR, etc) when the people that should be learning about the game, and the people that need to be convinced about a the games is us, gamers. The ones who pay for it.

Canary2923d ago

Manuals haven't existed for years and years. These days, you're lucky if the manual even contains copy-pasted character/setting info from the first few minutes of the game itself.

These manuals are utterly worthless. Everyone would be much better off if they were replaced with, say, digital copies ala Sony's PS1/PS2 classics and digital PSP titles.

colonel1792923d ago

I don't agree. Although is a fact that they are much more practical to be digital. You loose the art that comes with it.

If they were digital, but they still had the same format, with the same art, etc. Like some digital books, and they were very well done, then it would be another story.

Mass Effect 2 digital manual for PS3 sucked.

Canary2923d ago

But that's the thing--how many manuals offer ANYTHING unique these days? It's pretty goddamned rare. Big RPGs that used to generate the best manuals in the past, what are they like now? They've got nothing. Unique art for the cover is hardly adequate justification--particularly when most of the "artsy" games end up with the same half-assed manuals, and end up coming bundled with special "art books."

You can disagree all you like, but answer me this: when was the last time you saw a game manual with enough content to sustain more than a brief 30-second perusal?

Face it: the physical manual is as dead as the foot-high game box.

DarkBlood2923d ago

anything to help lessen the enviroment pollution i can live without it

DarkBlood2923d ago

i guess some people want to destory the planet?

BATMANS COMING TO @#$#$ GET YOU na na na na na na na na na batmaaaaaan

Tuxedo_Mask2922d ago

Paper is made from trees, which are a renewable resource. The printing of manuals also provides jobs, and while those jobs do produce pollution, the trees used to produce the paper use the CO2 from that pollution in photosynthesis, producing O2 as a byproduct.

DarkBlood2922d ago

ah ic then in that case we need more trees, lets just hope in the future the entire planet isnt covered in cities

ginsunuva2923d ago

Because every game is now just L1 + R1.

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