The digital wilderness can be a confusing place. Thankfully, when we need a guide or a helping hand, we have the luxury of being able to turn to the gaming equivalent of CliffsNotes: FAQs. Whether they are called walkthroughs, guides or cheats, it's likely that every gamer out there has at some some point consulted them for clues on how to get the most out of a game. This week, inspired by Robert Janelle's profile on some dedicated FAQ writers, we discuss the relationship between games and guides. FAQs have always been more than simple spoiler lists, and we explore the different ways to use walkthroughs, the role they play in gaming culture, and what it takes to write a great guide. As always, feel free to offer your own thoughts on tips, tricks, and techniques in the comments.
Some discussion starters:
- Are there any particular games you have played in which FAQs were particularly useful? Does this correspond to specific genre or gameplay style?
- In what contexts are FAQs most useful? Should guides be more integrated into games? How have services like YouTube affected the way you seek out hints?
- Have you ever written a FAQ? If so, how did you like the experience? If not, would you ever consider writing a FAQ for any particular game?
To listen to the podcast:
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- Run time: 27 min 44 sec
- "Bad MotherFAQers," by Robert Janelle, via The Escapist
- Music provided by Brad Sucks