Things we'll miss if game manuals are done away with

Ubisoft is already phasing out manuals. But just think of the things we'll lose of they go altogether

Ubisoft isofficiallydoing away with printed game manuals. It makes sense from a certain perspective, but just think of all the brilliant things we'llmissif everyone else follows suit. Whether you read them or not, manuals are a seriously important part of the gaming experience, and here's why.

Without them, we'd miss out on:

The smell...

...of a fresh new, box-fresh manual. Everyone knows that new-game-smell is a fundamental part of the exciting ritual of game-buying, and that delicious scent that pops out of the box when you open it is around 50% made up of paper, ink, staples and gloss.

The journey...

...back from the game shop, during which you find it impossible to resist unpacking the game and reading the manual cover-to-cover on the bus so that you can sit down and immediately start playing like a pro the instant you get home. And pretend it's just because you're that awesome.

The relief...

...of realising that the 300 page manual you've just slid from the box, as if a vet birthing an overly fat calf, is actually half-filled with the French translation, meaning that you only need to dedicate a fraction of the lifetime you'ddesignated to reading it.

The creativity...

...that some publishers put into making the manual-reading experience a tangible, real-world extension of the game experience.

The smugness...

...of reading the hideously convoluted and arcane loading instructions for rival platforms in old multi-format computer game manuals. Invoking Satan on a Sunday was easier than loading a game on some of them.

The hand-drawn art...

...that some companies use to bring a game to life long before you even fire it up.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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