It's been close to three months since I last wrote a blog of any sort. Three months that have been filled with college classes, comic book reading, going out on the town with friends, and having wild parties filled with drugs, booze, and lots of shame. Okay, that last one may have been a bit exaggerated, but as you can tell, college has been a busy time in my life. I haven't really had time to write as much as I'd like to. That and I haven't played a game in the time I'd taken off writing since my last blog.

However, my first year of college has come to a close, and with summer vacation now upon us, it looks like I'll have a bit more time on my hands to write and maybe even do more gaming in the future. Admittedly, a new love has come into my life. No, not of the human variety (*sob* *tears* sob*). As mentioned previously, I've recently gotten into comic books, and have actually enjoyed reading comics more so than playing video games. Not to say that I no longer love video games, but reading comics has just been a far more enjoyable activity to me, and has actually led to some fun moments. Just recently (yesterday, as of this writing), I took a trip around town with a few friends of mine and visited all my local comic shops in celebration of "Free Comic Book Day". All those comics... (*drool*)

Now I realize I've been talking up comics a lot, and that this is a video game website, so it's about time I got to talking about something video game related (as I'm sure you've noticed by the title), with the subject of this blog being about the now almost-extinct video game instruction manual. An exciting topic, I know.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, "Why is he talking about, of all things, a topic as boring as instruction manuals? Isn't that the thing no one ever bothered to read?" Well, you may be surprised just how much instruction manuals meant to me as a kid (it's not as pathetic as it sounds), and maybe find an understanding as to why I appreciate them as much as I do. It'll be interesting, just trust me.

"Beautiful. Simply Beautiful"

When I'd pick out a game, I'd be filled with excitement, unable to contain my need to play the game I had just picked out (something sadly and sorely lacking in my life today). The car rides back were really only a few minutes, but at that time, for a kid my age, it might as well have been the most excruciatingly long car ride of my life. So what's a kid to do with all this time on his hands? Read the instruction booklet that came with the game, of course! I mean, why not? Learn a little about the game before actually playing it, get even more pumped for the game in the process; it's just a win-win.

Never would my heart sink lower, though, than when I'd rent or buy a used game, open the game box up, and see to my dismay the contents of the left side of the box missing. As a kid who was in need of being excited about the game he was playing (I wasn't someone that looked at gaming websites as a kid, mind you), I NEEDED that instruction manual! Look, I even put "needed" in all-caps to stress just how important the instruction booklet was to me! Okay, that feeling of sorrow might have gone away in about a second, but the feeling was still there, and it was heart breaking.

So yeah, instruction manuals were kind of a big deal for me when I was a kid. So big, in fact, that if I would've been one of those cool kids with high self-esteem when I was younger (self-esteem that's still missing, by the way), I probably would've made instruction manuals the hip thing to show off at school, using them as a way to rub it in the faces of my fellow prepubescent colleagues that I had played the hot new game that was out at the time, and watch them cry as I held my instruction booklet up in the air proudly! Alright, that got pretty intense, but don't tell me you wouldn't do the same thing! Oh, what's that? You're not insane like I am? Well then...

"Embarrassing. Simply Embarrassing"

It seems like I've managed to write a lot about instruction booklets. Some things I wrote were, admittedly, more violent than intended. Guess that just goes to show the importance of instruction booklets for as a kid. It's a shame that they've now gone the way of being just a useless slip of paper, only there to show you a picture of a controller and talk about health risks. Doesn't get me nearly as pumped up for a game as what I had when I was younger. The youth of today may have "technology" to help them kill time, but it's just not the same as the good ol' instruction manual. Kids these days, they just don't know what they missed out on.