There’s no denying that gamers love their technology. Being able to stream video games, download extra game content, or watch movies online is something that we almost take for granted now, and was pretty unfathomable 10 years ago. As we move towards a more digital delivery service (and 75% of you think we will be either mostly or all digital 10 years from now), we begin to adjust what we expect to receive for our money. With digital downloads, we generally don’t get a physical copy of the game, which means no box, no box art, no collectibles…
And no instruction manual.
Now, I know not everyone reads instruction manuals. I rarely read one before-hand unless I’ve bought the game at work, and need something to read while .. well.. when I need something to read. But I do end up reading all of the booklets at some point. Many are run of the mill, but some stand out (Assassin’s Creed’s first one was basically written as an instruction manual for the Animus, complete with developer’s notes in the margins). The problem is, companies are already getting rid of instruction manuals in lieu of having an online document, and this is in the physical games I’m purchasing. My new Assassin’s Creed Revelations was nothing more than a glorified post card telling me where to go for the manual online. It begs the question:
Do you care that games are moving their instruction manuals online?
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Now, I know that having a manual online (or even in game) can allow for more flexibility in how the information is presented, and can probably be more robust and interactive than a physical booklet that has to fit within the dimensions of a game box. But I like not having to be connected to anything to learn a little bit more about the game. I like being able to be immersed in my game before I can actually play it. I guess it’s like my preference to reading some physical magazines over digital ones; I’m more connected when I can hold something in my hands.
Unfortunately, the trend seems to be moving this feature away from gamers. What do you think? Vote above, and leave a comment below!
A Simple Question (ASQ) is a weekly segment for Platform Nation. Give a response and let the world know what you think; there is no right or wrong answer here. If you have a suggestion for a question, hit me up on twitter @vttym.