I love hint books for video games. Sure they're fun to get help on a game, but they're also chocked full of interesting details on the game, extra tips, and even instructions superior to the game manual. They usually boast good production values as well – the really good ones are a pleasure to read and thumb through. I think my love of hint books is easy to understand.
As I'm quite fond of hint books, I've noticed some trends that makes me wonder what the future of these large, beautiful guides is:
- Downloadable content in gaming means more games coming out. With the speed-to-market of games, with more choices to write hint books for, how will companies that make them choose?
- eBooks. It's rather obvious that more and more people are reading books in electronic format. This is great to save trees, but are people going to keep their iPads on their laps to read their hint books while playing the X-box?
- The internet. Go to http://www.gamefaqs.com/ and you can get a lot of information for free on games. It may not be as big or beautiful as some of the truly elegant books, but it's there for the reading. Sites like GameFaqs also support communities so you can ask and answer highly specific questions.
So between more games, people getting used to electronic access of books, and the free online services used by people to get their game-hint fix, what is the future of Hint Books? As you may guess, I'm going to attempt to answer this because it's a geekonomic area, and an area of career interest – besides for some of you hopeful writers out there, it might give you some career ideas.