The last time we visited this series was with the 2013 edition, we dive in and see what’s changed since then.
Before I opened the Guinness World Records 2015: Gamer’s Edition I must admit that I had some reservations. Granted I really enjoyed my last venture with the 2013 edition, I was curious on how time has treated the series. You see I am what people call a video game enthusiast and I thoroughly enjoy not just playing games but celebrating video game culture in all it’s glory. I spend quite a bit of time playing games, but I probably spend more of my time reading about them and studying the culture, technology behind them, and the milestones accomplished by players and developers alike. The facts and records that are included in these books are right up my alley, but I was curious on how the GWR would go about keeping the content fresh and interesting. Sure it could include updated records, but how long could that be interesting?
One of the changes this year is the involvement of 55 Design which set out to bring an updated sense of style and amp up the presentation. After doing a side by side comparison the improvements are actually pretty substantial. The previous version was quite a bit more “blocky” and fact driven. Most of the information was just placed in various points on the page, and was mostly surrounded by a basic border that just wasn’t all that pretty. At the time I didn’t really see this as a distraction and I’m not sure if I would have noticed the upgrade if it wasn’t pointed out to me, but the new approached does look better by comparison. Content is much more dynamic and things are presented in a much more natural way. Is this the only thing done to keep the readers interested? Not at all.
Much like the visuals the content managed stay just as fresh. GWR have actually done the smartest thing possible and chose not to include most of the same records included in previous editions. Instead it features new facts and insights into some of the industries best bringing an even greater depth to both new titles and games previously mentioned. There are still sections for many of our favorite games and genres and they bring with them a wealth of information and achievements that leave us wanting more. I honestly can’t wait until the next edition to see what new information and trivia fodder that gets included for Elder Scrolls, Mario, Mortal Kombat and so many more.
Let’s look past the records for a moment, what else does this edition have to offer? Some really great articles for starters. One of my favorite sections breaks down the Next Gen (now current gen) consoles bringing with it facts on sales, exclusives and even a very interesting exploded view on the hardware contained within. The book also explores the evolution of handheld gaming and brings all the noobs a much needed history lesson. I also rather enjoyed the sections highlighting Women in Gaming and appreciation for Nintendo and their history of taking risks and revolutionizing the industry with their game changing hardware.
It’s quite obvious after reading a few editions of this series that these books are written by gamers who truly appreciate the content. After a handful of pages into this edition I was even greeted by a list of last years awards from some of the industries greatest events including E3, Golden Joystick and The Game Developer’s Choice Awards. With the numerous records, facts and information on awards received this series proves to be one of the greatest books for reference and a wonderful snapshot into all things video games. Interesting tidbits on gaming collections, video game advertisements and a very cool section dedicated to games based on TV series also serve to break things up with enjoyable content.
I really enjoyed my time with the Guinness World Records 2015: Gamer’s Edition. There are so many uses for these books whether it be for a periodic read through, statistical reference, the building of the “end all” video game trivia, or simply serving to introduce the culture and history to some new faces. There is certainly a place on almost anyone’s bookshelf for these and obvious motivations to stay current with each annual. Order your copy today!