- Title: Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition: 2008
- Publisher: Guinness World Records Ltd.
- Pros: Lots of pictures and artwork; some interesting records; good for non-hardcore gamers
- Cons: Flawed concept; tons of “fluff” content; not all that many records; we’ve seen a lot of this better presented elsewhere
What It Is
The rest of the book is split up by genre and high profile games in each genre get their own pages. This is where the book becomes much more interesting. There are fastest completion times for games, high score lists, and little tidbits of information about each game. Some of the “records” listed here are pretty stupid and are too subjective to really be considered records, such as “Worst Game Dialogue Ever” going to the original Resident Evil or “Most Popular (tournament level fighting game) Character” going to Tekken’s Jin Kazama. There is still some interesting real trivia in between all of the fluff, but a lot of it is just stupid.
Secondly, real records like scoring the most points in a game or beating a game the fastest all have a cap on them. They are limited by the design of the games. You can only play so fast. You can only score so many points. You can only kill so many enemies. The real Guinness World Records book is interesting because there will always be someone that can eat more bananas in two minutes or grind a rail the longest on a skateboard (yeah, I watch Rob & Big, sue me …) than the previous record. But videogames will always have a cap. And once that cap is reached it is impossible to set a new record. So what is the point of this book exactly?
My third complaint is that we already have a great videogame record keeping organization in Twin Galaxies. It must be noted that Twin Galaxies is a partner in this book and helped put it together, but why would you spend the $20 MSRP to get only a tiny selection of real videogame records when you can go to the Twin Galaxies website and get it all for free?
With that said, I do freely concede that I am probably just not the target audience. If you are a hardcore gamer that reads blogs and news sites every day, you can skip this book. You would think that a book about gaming records would be all about the hardcore crowd, but it really isn’t.
On the other hand, if you are a casual gamer that doesn’t know a ton about the videogame industry already, or you are a parent of a gamer that wants to know what your kids are up to, or you are a kid under the age of 13 or so, I do highly recommend this book. If you fall into any of these categories, the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition 2008 is an okay resource that is a good starting place on your way to learning more about videogames.