I miss those really big instruction manuals that used to come with games. When I was younger, in 5th-8th grade, I would bring my instruction manuals to school with me and study them during recess. I loved the information, pictures, and ability to bring my game with me wherever I go. Maybe that’s what was so great about having those wonderful smelling, cheaply bound pages.
Back in 1996 I met one of my best childhood friends because I overheard him and a few other kids talking about a video game with a Sorcerer, Rogue, and Warrior. At the time I had no idea what the game was about, but I did my best to pretend I had a clue so that I’d be included. I remember begging my Dad to take me out to the store later that day to pick up a copy of Diablo. When I got it home I ripped open (actually I carefully pealed back the tape) the box and pulled out the holy grail — my ‘in’ with this group of kids — the instruction manual.
Remember how big manuals used to be back then? Loaded with facts about potions, armor, spells, and everything we needed to know, or simply wanted to read about in the bathroom or on a lunch break.
Reducing costs, the internet, mechanical familiarity… I”m sure there’s a dozen reasons why instruction manuals disappeared. I just know that I love them and what they represent.