Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
Are games the last basion of documentation?
Industry old timers remember when software products came with a thick printed manual, sometimes an entire suite of documentation, and the rare exception might be a game or educational product aimed at those too young to read. But today the situation is quite different. The most complicated of application might come with a brief "Getting Started" booklet, with the rest of the documentation provided onscreen or online.
Yet somehow, games have managed to hang on to, if not grow, their printed materials. In a response to a reader's letter to Nintendo Power magazine praising one game's documentation, the Editors responded: "There's something really satisfying about cracking open a game case to find a thick, well-designed, colorful manual. [...] Little details like those help a game feel like a quality experience."
So if you're longing for the days of books cozy up with a new game, you might just be surprised at what you find inside the box.