In the fast-paced world of gaming, where speedrunning and internet resources reign supreme, the question arises: are game manuals and instructions now obsolete relics? As a speedrunner, my focus is on optimizing gameplay and achieving record times, making me wonder about the relevance of traditional gaming manuals in today’s digital era.
When I think of game manuals, images of thick booklets filled with basic controls and bland descriptions come to mind. They often seem like a waste of paper and resources, offering little beyond what can be intuitively learned by picking up a controller. For games like shoot ‘em ups (shmups), a quick rundown of button functions is all you need before you’re off to the races, or rather, shooting galleries.
Of course, there are exceptions like the Ultima series, where manuals provide in-depth lore and background. But even then, these details rarely contribute to the kind of gameplay I’m interested in – speedrunning. These manuals don’t usually offer insights into the deeper mechanics or strategies needed for record-breaking runs.
Today’s gaming landscape has shifted dramatically with the advent of the internet. Websites, forums, and videos provide a wealth of information far surpassing any manual. Why sift through pages when a quick online search can yield better, more detailed strategies and walkthroughs? This digital shift has made manuals almost redundant for players like me, who are looking for the fastest way to beat a game.
While I understand the nostalgic charm of game manuals for some, from a practical standpoint, they seem unnecessary. The thrill of gaming for me lies in mastering the game itself, not in reading about it. In an age where every second counts and efficiency is key, the physical manual feels like an artifact of a bygone era.
For speedrunners and players who thrive on gameplay over lore, game manuals are a relic of the past, replaced by the vast, accessible information network of the internet. The question of their relevance is subjective, but for those in pursuit of gaming excellence, the controller and the game are all we need to get started.