I like to read guidebooks of computer games.
In my childhood, soon after Family Computer was released by Nintendo, some publishers began to sell guidebooks for playing the computer games. Some of them were well written with the idea and great effort of the writers. I was also impressed with the pictures drew by illustrators other than the original game's.
We sometimes bought a guidebook without the game itself due to the lack of money. Someone wrote a senryu: "Sofutoyori sakinikatteru kouryakubon" [You buy the guidebook before the software]. I was satisfied to know the information about the game instead of playing it.
Some computer games are quite difficult to play efficiently due to the complexity of their system. It is necessary to get a guidebook to understand such a game. For example, "Wizardry 4 The Return of Werdna" is one of the most difficult computer games as far as I know. A total of three guidebooks was required to complete this game.
Today, I received a guidebook of "Master of Magic", one of my favorite games as I wrote. Because this English guidebook is out of sales, I was a little troubled to get it.
However, I noticed that some descriptions of this book were wrong. Maybe the software was reformed after the release of this book. Softwares are more easily to revise than books. It is painful for both the publishers and readers.
Actually, I have already two Japanese guidebooks, one of which I posses now. This one is that I was given by the Japanese provider of this game after I sent an email reporting an error of the program. This is one of my treasures.
Nonetheless, to understand another point of view to conquer this game is quite fun for me.
Nowadays, selling guidebooks of computer games is getting harder to harder. The main reason is the develop of the internet. Recently we can see several websites in which summarized information about the games are available. Many consumers voluntarily make these sites. And publishers hardly overcome them. I remember the anecdote that Britanica Encyclopedia was forced to withdraw due to Wikipedia.
In spite of reduced value, game guidebooks have some kinds of the taste. I will keep my favorite guidebooks forever.