I’ve been slowly packing up my house this week and part of that task included pulling my strategy guides off the bookshelf and filing them away into moving boxes. As I did this, I took some time and flipped through some of my favorite guides. I also enjoyed some of the added bonuses such as art books, maps, and even the feel of some of the covers.
This process got me feeling all nostalgic. When Keri first brought me onto SGR, it seemed like we were getting guides every month. Time passes, things happen, and slowly we saw less and less guides heading our way. Part of the reason is due to shake ups in the industry. Another part is that strategy guides aren’t nearly as necessary as they once were.
I used to work at Electronics Boutique, otherwise known as the GameStop of the 90s. Back then, we had two items we needed to try to push to customers. One was the SkipDr, which was a terrible device that sanded your CDs/DVDs to help reduce skipping. The second item was strategy guides. In fact, we offered a discount if you bought a strategy guide with the game the guide was for. Having all those guides on the store walls made for some great reading during lunch breaks.
Now I know things change. We now have Twitch.TV, YouTube, GameFAQs, and countless websites to offer up knowledge to players. I get that. Still, as I boxed up my collection of guides, I got a bit of a tear as I remembered back to the days of having to figure out if the official strategy guide was better or worse than the unofficial strategy guide. Heck, even just having a strategy guide to lend to a friend is something I miss. Passing around a web link just doesn’t have that same feeling as telling your friend that if they bend a page in your precious guide, you will murder them. Ah, the good old days!