While it’s not exactly a new thing for publishers to publish game manuals (whether of the video variety or other, like Magic: The Gathering which all the SUPER-cool kids were really into when I was growing up and, frankly some of my friends kind of still are), the game (punny!) changes when big entertainment companies like Nintendo start opening up shop within bookstores.
Nintendo Germany has begun to open up mini-shops within established bookstores to sell their wares: consoles, games and, I assume, game guides. You know…books. These kinds of partnerships indicate the increasing convergence of entertainment culture. Books, games, music, movies, if viewed from a certain perspective, have more in common than they differ.
Will bringing newer technologies like video games into bookstores erode the value of the book or will it help bring new readers in? On one hand, as game strategy guides move into the e-book world, their resemblance to physical books might start to fade. Additions of video, updatability and other interactive features (like the multi-user features inherent in games like World of Warcraft) blur the lines even further.
At the same time, books tend to fare well in terms of bang for buck when compared to other recreational purchases—though I’m not convinced you can make the argument for books tied to games or movies. The shelf life of these types of books may veer closer to the value of the primary object (i.e. the game/movie) rather than the book itself. However, book buying is book buying and a gamer who picks up a collector edition of screenshots from Halo might also cast an eye towards other, more traditional, titles in the store.