Friday, June 20, 2008

Does the world need another games blog?

In all honesty, probably not. If you are looking for an indepth analysis of monthly sales figures per console, or a peek at character models for Street Fighter IV, you've clicked the wrong link. There are some superb sites for that kind of stuff – many of them listed on the right. But this is a blog about a book about games, and however hardcore – or not – you are, you might want to check out the Rough Guide to Videogames (pictured on the right).

Why would anyone write a book about games when it's all out there on the Internet, you're probably wondering? Precisely because the book format gives you something different. For a start, book publishing works according to entirely different schedules from websites or monthly magazines – it took about eighteen months to put the Rough Guide to Videogames together. So it would be foolish in the extreme to try to emulate either a magazine or a website. Instead, we play to the strengths of our chosen format, which means we only just managed to get hold of Grand Theft Auto IV in time to write about it, then decided not to include it in our canon of the best 75 games ever.

To sum up, books take the long view. They're around far longer than a magazine and, unlike the Web, tend to stay put. You can flick through at leisure, in many more places than you'd want to take your computer, or read the whole thing cover to cover. There’s more to the book than reviews of games, too, but I'll leave that for another post.

If you're still blinking at the omission of Grand Theft Auto IV, let me confirm: we rejected it. It's mentioned, of course, but we didn't rank it up there amongst the top 75 games ever. Which sums up the difference between the Rough Guide and a site like Metacritic, jolly useful as that can be. My co-author Geoff and I are not computerized and we don't provide automatic rankings; we are, on the other hand, biased and opinionated, with a passion for games and for writing about them. Our personal selection of top games won't be the same as yours – we even argued with each other over what to include. So if you want to know what's officially the best, then head on over to Metacritic. If you're up for more of a challenge, we're ready.


cookie said...

I am looking forward very much to reading your book.

Richard said...

Looking forward to seeing your book in print and in the shops! Rxxx

gogmagog said...

Yep, looking forward to it as well. I'm not expecting to find the locations of those last 12 flags in Assassin's Creed in it (bloody things), but I'm fascinated what made it in at #75 in your list to edge out GTA IV. :)
Andy x