There are countless facts in the gaming sector that are hardly a secret, even for those not familiar with the industry: the success of games like Fortnite or Pokemon, for example, or the fact that The Witcher III: Wild Hunt has sold extremely well. However, some other information and anecdotes cause even die-hard gamers to be amazed. Hands up: Who knew that it would take a pixel visitor in the Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 game over 2.000 game years to escape from the digital amusement park? If you can smile at these or similar weird facts about video games, you shouldn't miss the following book review on the Guiness Book for Gamers, the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2020.


Admittedly, the Guiness book starts out confusing for “mature gamers”. Ali-A jumps towards the reader in the foreword and reports how happy he is with the current edition of the Guiness World Records Gamer's Edition.

Ali-A? I agree! The detour via Google brought insight. Alistair Aiken, or Ali-A for short, is a British Youtuber who publishes in his vlog about Call of Duty and Fortnite. One could have guessed, but it was better to know. A few explanations would not have hurt here. So prepared, the browsing could begin.

A book of surprises

The start in the fact sheet pleases. The editors have clearly listed the highlights of the past months in an annual review. This includes a lot of interesting news, but also familiar ones. A successful trick: you take the reader by the hand and don't overwhelm them on the first pages with data and facts. On a total of 192 pages there is then the full package of nerd knowledge and "nice to know" anecdotes from the gaming world. And quite Guiness-like: colorful, entertaining and highlighted with many pictures.

This cozy feeling quickly sets in, which can also be felt when leafing through picture books. Every page holds surprises, even more if you read the records behind which well-known, self-played, sometimes popular video games are.
The Guiness Book is the printed proof that behind games there can be passion, tenacity and sometimes work. What many a fan accomplishes in their favorite game can be surprising. The Canadian Stephen Rowe had already achieved an Xbox gamerscore of 2019 in April 2.162.420. Anyone who has ever collected points themselves knows the effort involved.

Exciting: "Secret Agents" is a complex of topics in the Guiness Book for gamers. Photo: André Volkmann

Exciting: “Secret Agents” is a complex of topics in the Guiness Book for gamers. Photo: André Volkmann

The Guiness Book for Gamers is about many different records: from collecting successes in video games to presenting gigantic collections of merchandise. But the focus is not only on the performance of the fans, you can also learn a lot about the games themselves and the ideas behind the games. There is also a look behind the scenes of the game industry, for example when it comes to record-breaking development times or sales figures.

Everything included: the range of topics ranges from the pounding game to the adventure. Photo: André Volkmann

Everything included: the range of topics ranges from the pounding game to the adventure. Photo: André Volkmann

There is an enormous amount of research behind the Guiness Book. Ultimately, this is how the work draws its quality: As a reader, you come across pages of information that would be difficult to find outside of the book. The Guiness Book also throws in the “big reports”, such as those about the best-selling games or expensive trading cards, but the makers weren't content to be satisfied with that. There is plenty of room for surprises.

Video game history with a difference

There are countless books that tell the story of video games, sometimes comprehensively, sometimes pointedly. The Guiness World Records Gamer's Edition is no exception and keeps throwing records for titles that were popular more than 20 years ago - but mostly still are today. That closes the circle between retrospective and modernity. If the Guinness Book is about historical records for gamers, popular game series are thematized that are still played today, and in many cases have even received remakes or reworks. Most of the Guiness world records listed date from the past decade. 

The division into focal points is particularly successful. Instead of inconsequential individual listings, complex topics ensure an overview and readability. There are records for the “golden oldies” from Donkey Kong to BJ Blazkowicz or around ten pages about secret agents in video games. The attraction to get involved with the topics is there - and so you turn the page on, always looking to discover nerdy information about your favorite titles. 

A real hype with many records: Minecraft should not be missing in the Guiness book. Photo: André Volkmann

A real hype with many records: Minecraft should not be missing in the Guiness book. Photo: André Volkmann

The Guiness World Records Gamer's Edition 2020 sometimes feels like a trip into playful childhood. Where all Star Wars video games are shown on a double page, you catch yourself indulging in memories of your own gaming experiences. The games are mixed up: from jump'n run and role-playing games to mass phenomena such as Fortnite, Pokemon or Apex Legends, countless titles are represented in the book. Exciting: Current trends are also discussed, such as e-sports or battle royale shooters.

Is known like a sore thumb: the blue hedgehog Sonic. Photo: André Volkmann

Is known like a sore thumb: the blue hedgehog Sonic. Photo: André Volkmann

It is not uncommon for you to find yourself imagining what it would have been like if you had “worked” one of the records mentioned or had one of the many crazy ideas. For example, many have played Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch, but only one player was so crazy and recreated the Eponator Zera bike from the DLC “Ballad of the Recken” as a real-life model using the Nintendo Labo kit. The length of the cardboard motorcycle: an impressive 1,77 m! The bike was even completely Nintendo-Labo-compatible and could be used as a “controller” for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. 

Infobox

Scope: 192 pages
Publisher: Ravensburger (German version)
Translation: Bastian Heinlin
Year of publication: 2019
Language: German
Cost: 16,99 Euro

Summary

The Guiness World Records Gamer's Edition 2020 is fun. The colorful, comic-like pages invite you to leaf through them. You usually jump back and forth, always looking for records on video games that you have played - and maybe even loved - yourself. And you will often find what you are looking for. The greater your own wealth of experience, the greater the pool of well-known game titles, the more interesting it will be to browse the Guiness World Records Gamer's Edition 2020. 

Nicely prepared, mostly clearly arranged, every page attracts with small or big surprises. Linguistically, however, always adapted to the main target group, which is somewhere between “PUBG” and “Apex Legends”. The Guinness Book is not a linguistically powerful literary work, but a hodgepodge of bits of information. It was never different and it doesn't have to be. The combination of short texts, colorful pictures and screenshots works extremely well. An index makes orientation easier.

Anyone who finds crazy and sometimes absurd facts about individual games exciting will be well served with the content in the Guiness World Records Gamer's Edition 2020. The entertainment value is high. Reading about records - and thus often achievements - from other players, games, publishers and developers is fascinating. 

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