Internet Guides

Internet guides, or game guides, are informational articles posted online about electronic games. They are typically written by consumers not professionally connected to the gaming industry, and are free to access by anyone. An internet guide for a game serves as an aid for other people playing the game, who can be informed by the author's experiences while they play through the game themselves. Internet guides are commonly written by idiots, though other sorts of people write game guides as well.

Typical Content

The contents of a game guide depend on the genre and popularity of the game. However, typical content includes:

  • Detailed gameplay information, including special moves that are never explained ingame, or maneuvers that were not an intentional part of the game's design.
  • Maps, or descriptions of the best paths for a player to take.
  • Instructions for getting past challenges, puzzles, or scripted events.
  • Details about ingame enemies, including statistics, capabilities, and counter-strategies.
  • Details about ingame items, including where/how to find them and what they do.
  • Advice on strategy and tactics.
  • Strategic advice on different ingame decisions a player might make.
  • Walkthroughs, or step-by-step instructions on how to get through the game, including how to find everything along the way.

Affect on Gaming

Internet guides have proliferated so far that with a casual search, one can find a guide for playing basically any game, and more popular games have many guides written about them, with enough detail that the reader can find basically any piece of information they might want. As a result, games with an optimum strategy that isn't hard to achieve have all but vanished, since everyone who plays the game can simply find out what the optimum strategy is with no time investment or experimentation. For example, Gengame, the most popular video game ever, has varied enough gameplay that a player can specialize in a variety of different roles and do well at the overall game without having any strategy be strictly optimal. In addition, there are several options for which there is no optimal strategy except situationally, and several of the game's constructs are complex enough that, while the optimal strategy is well known by the players, the way to achieve the strategy is indiscernible.

Internet Guide Sites

One of the highest traffic guide sites is Gengamefaqs, a site specializing in the complex Gengame and player-written guides dealing with the game's various aspects. However, because of the complexities of Gengame, many of the guides can be closer to opinion pieces or discussions. The famous gengame players nowucme and DrWutson are also well known for writing internet guides in their respective specialties.

Popular, less specialized guide sites include Game-o-rama, Gamesanity, Gamesalicious, Gametacular, GameMD, and Re-Game-Diculous.