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Are game manuals crucial to the experience, or just outdated pieces of paper?

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Darryl Campbell of The Bygone Bureau has written a love letter to the lore found in old video game manuals. Campbell relates his personal experience of being drawn deeper into a game's universe through the supplementary manual material, and mourns the loss of similar experiences in today's increasingly digital games. While Campbell is correct — some games nowadays are little more than action-packed hallways — there have always been games that aren't deeply rooted in lore.

Often times, games that used to rely on manuals to further describe the universe now have that fascinating element baked directly into the game, which only adds to the sense of immersion. The journal entries in the Mass Effect franchise expand the characters and story line, as do the ECHO recorders in Borderlands 2, and you can spend days reading through the books in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Regardless, Campbell has some valuable points and nostalgic memories about the importance of game manuals, and you can read more about his experience at the source link below.

The Verge
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