Dear Santa, My Christmas Wish

Dear Santa,

In 1998, you left a [submarine simulation] video game under my tree called 688i Hunter/Killer. I’ve always considered this to be one of the best games I’ve ever played, so thanks Santa for that really great present. One thing that made this game so great was that it came with extremely comprehensive documentation.    I know your technical writing elves worked really hard on it.  The user guide was over 200 pages and it described, in exceptional detail, every aspect of how to play this game most effectively (i.e., step-by-step instructions, suggested strategies, and reference material, including photographs and images).

Since then, as Christmas days have come and gone, I’ve noticed that the video games you’ve been bringing me have contained documentation that has been exponentially less useful.

In fact, last year you left me a [first-person shooter] video game called Call of Duty: Black Ops. As far as documentation goes, this game came with a 12 page leaflet that provided very basic information about the game (i.e., how to use the game controls, how to read the heads up display (HUD), what the different game modes are, and some other ‘getting started’ type information).  Maybe the TW elves transferred to another department or something, but going from 200 to 12 pages is just a little disappointing.

In the last year, according to my combat record, I’ve played this game for 5d 22h 21m 26s. Obviously I’ve played this game quite a bit, but my issue isn’t that I can’t play the game and have fun, it’s  that I’ve never really completely understood everything there is to know about this game, and there’s no easy way to get this information — third party strategy guides and forums with user-created content just don’t work for me.

So Santa, this year, what I’d like for Christmas is a video that comes with documentation that is comprehensive enough to maximize my gaming experience (if this is possible).



Your Friend Ryan

Cheryl Voloshin


12 years ago

Hi Ryan,
My son is with you 100%. He’s all about reading the instruction booklets (which is why his friends see his skills as preternatural). He’d much rather read the manual than wade through You Tube videos.

Ryan Minaker

Ryan Minaker

12 years ago

Cheryl, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only person who feels this way! I’ve recently resurrected a World of Warcraft character and spent an incredible amount of time clicking through forums trying to refresh my memory on how to play… I have the same problem everywhere I go… I’ll have to see what Santa brings me this year.


Technical Writing Conundrum: Can Less Really Be More? - TechWhirl

12 years ago

[…] comprehensive documentation available for the current generation of video games. Since I wrote that Christmas wish, I’ve discovered that gamers aren’t the only people suffering with this issue. Poor […]

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