Guinness World Records Gamers Edition marks Guinness's first romp into the gaming culture. The gaming culture is bigger than it's ever been before. For the casual gamer, this book is like a starter kit to getting you into the gaming scene. There's a lot of good information scattered throughout the book. However, for gaming aficionados, there's not a lot of stuff here that you probably don't know. Just the same, it's not a bad book.
By the looks of the Guinness World Records, you'd probably think right out that this was a book for the younger gamers. The page layout and design is similar to those World Almanac for Kids books that became popular among the youth. While this may bother a few other gamers, it does show that the book is very inviting.
It begins with a lengthy introduction chapter. This will show some of the highlights of 2007, including talking about some of the heavy hitting games like Halo 3, Super Mario Galaxy and Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Again, though, if you're big on the gaming scene and you keep up with the news, this is nothing new to you. Even a lot of what they mention is stuff that has been hammered into most gamers head time and time again.
After the introduction, there is a history of gaming. This showcases everything from the Magnavox Odyssey all the way up to the current generation involving the XBOX360, Playstation 3 and Wii. Afterwards, it goes into talking about some of the more mainstream consoles on an individual basis starting with the Nintendo 64 and Gamcube and ending with PC gaming. This section may have better had the consoles been talked about in the chronological order they were released. It is, after all, a history section. At least for all the hardware it gives you all the specs and a few factoids and some trivia concerning each console. These sections are also accompanied by crystal clear screenshots. At the end of the hardware history section there is a list of the top 5 bestselling games on each console. After all this is over with, we finally get into some of the records and trivia on some of the biggest selling gaming franchises in some of the industries most popular genres.
In the Record Breaking Games section is where the book can quickly become redundant for long time gamers, but a treat for newcomers to the gaming scene. It talks of some of the most popular games in the industry such as Halo, The Legend of Zelda, Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario Bros and Sonic as well as several other franchises that have made a huge impact in the gaming industry. Each section presents a few factoids to the series. Telling you things like whether or not it was the fastest selling in the series, the number of copies the bestselling in the series, etc. Perhaps the most interesting is when it shows you speed record completions for certain games. And despite all that, it isn't quite enough for some of these franchises. They only get two pages a piece. However, there are some interesting facts presented for many of them. This portion of the book spans through out several genres. From the Action/Adventure to the Puzzle genre.
As this section progresses there are also interviews, timelines and historical dates noted. It's also is decorated to the brim with pictures and screen shots.
After all this information, you get to see them count down the 100 best arcade games and then you see charts of high scores. The book ends with an index that'll help you find anything you need.
The biggest problem with the guide is, as I said earlier, that a lot of this information is not new to the experienced gamer. Much of the sales records and trivia has become common knowledge amongst most gamers. However, for many, I'm sure there's still a lot of information that's new to them.
You couldn't possibly expect the book to cover everything. There are many books with more comprehensive history and more trivia. But for what you get with this, it's detailed. It's not the Ultimate Gamer's Manual, but it serves as a great introduction and start for anyone curious to the video gaming culture.