Guinness World Records 2013 Gamer’s Edition Book Review
Give Me Something To Break –
Every year Guinness, overseers of mankind’s world records, publishes a Gamer’s Edition. Often working alongside Twin Galaxies, this annual publication is a place where hardcore gaming fanatics, developers, and publishers can be honored for their fastest times, highest scores, and all around gaming dedication.
The book is broken down by category: hardware, shooters, action-adventure, casual gaming, fighting, MMO’s, Platforming, Racing, RPGs, sports, and strategy/simulation. The last portion is saved for the evolution of gaming graphics as well as some Twin Galaxy scoreboards.
Each section is introduced in a basic way with the following pages focused on one particular game or series. For example, the shooter section specifically highlights Call of Duty, Counter Strike, Boarderlands, Halo, and Bioshock. The Boarderlands’ 2-page spread, for example, mentions specific World Records like how it has the most guns in any game and had the bestselling multi-platform series debut. All pages are designed with large images of these corresponding games with small caption-like blurbs that quickly mention World Record factoids. Even though this book is over 200 pages, it is a very quick read.
I have a couple issues regarding new features unique to this 2013 edition. First, each section has a nonsensical comparison between two main characters. For example, the book compares a Big Daddy Vs Nathan Drake on page 55. This small Excel-like chart scores each character on dumb categories like Feet, Pheromones, Weaponry, and Charm. Clearly this small section is designed to be humorous but in a book that is strictly supposed to be about facts makes these opinionated comparisons a waste of space.
Secondly, each section opens with a little box that explains “how to spot this genre.” Like the character comparisons, this section is also slightly opinionated. Further, for a publication that prides itself on defining facts, they completely misrepresent the “shooter” section. Instead, they should have called this section First or Third Person Shooters and saved the term “shooter” for games like Ikaruga or Gradius.
Most pages contain a welcomed random trivia question. This casual test will most likely please hardcore gamers, the target audience of this book, as they get to prove their gaming knowledge. However, it is awkwardly printed vertically on the edge of the page. And given that each 2-page spread can be read within just a minute or two, the reader constantly has to rotate the book to read this question. In prior years, these trivia questions were printed on the bottom of each page; that system was much more reader friendly.
Most of the book mentions large World Records that are based around entire companies, like fasting selling THIS, or most downloaded THAT. However, I found the Twin Galaxies scoreboard section in the back of the book to be the most interesting. These few pages list a random assortment of games along with the individual that set the record. And that is why this section is the most impressive and interesting as these records are set by everyday people. If anything, I wish there was more of these types of records in the book. But at the same time, I suppose anyone interested enough can look up records online and on the Twin Galaxies website.
The Gamer’s Edition is an interesting read for anyone interested in gaming. This book can also inspire fellow gamers into setting a record of their own. It would have been nice if the book explained the process of submitting an entry for a World Record though.
This book has a retail value of $14.99 but Amazon usually sells it for a little cheaper. It is designed to be a quicker read as each page just lists a bunch of impressive facts alongside tons of official art assets. The front and back covers are not really that impressive but for the cheaper price point, you can’t complain too much.
Watch Out For: the website typo error on page 71
Also Try: setting your own personal record, like holding “it” for three days
Also Try #2: reading the Dictionary