Re: documentation going away

Subject: Re: documentation going away
From: Ryan Minaker <ryan -dot- minaker -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com\"" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 13:19:34 -0500

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the replies! It's been very informative.

My apologies for forgetting to include a subject in my original post.

What brought this topic to my attention is my frustration with the current
era of video games and their lack of documentation. Specifically, Modern
Warfare 3. Now this is a game that set an all-time record for revenue by
bringing in $400 million in one day. To say that they can't afford to
produce documentation is a bit of stretch. However, someone had mentioned
that these user guides are being utsourced and presented as stratgey
guides. I actually bought the Skyrim strategy giude as a Christmas present
for a friend and I received the Modern Warfare 3 strategy guide as a
gift... so these guides are obviously selling (I had to go to three
bookstores before I found one that had the Skyrim guide in stock).

My question is: Why can't the companies producing these games produce their
own strategy guides and make them available online? I'm sure the answer is
in lost revenue. Why give something away for free when you can charge
$21.99 for it?

I agree that it's no right to expect to get a printed book in a big box
like you did back in the late 80s/early 90s, but I do think that it's right
to expect that these software and hardware developers will provide some
sort thorough online documentation (PDF, HTML Help etc). Now with that
said, it's true that I'm not going to not purchase a product because this
is lacking... an interesting situation. When Moden Warfare 4 comes out,
I'll still be first in line to spent my $59.99 and then I'll complain again.

There's an assumption being made that people are getting what the want from
user-generated forums, but why? No one has ever asked for my opinion. I
don't like to waste time and official documentaion used to get me the
answers I needed quickly.

Just a note about Android. I have the Google Nexus S running 2.3.6. I use
it for just about everything (talk, web, navigation) and I agree that
there's a serious lack of documentation for this operating system -- either
that or I haven't been able to find it...

Something I don't think anyone mentioned yet is: what does this mean for us
technical communicators? Should we start looking for jobs working for Brady
Games or should we start our own YouTube tech support channels or sites
(e.g., Lynda.com)!?

Something to think about! Thanks for the comments!

Ryan
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: documentation going away: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Re: documentation going away: From: John Allred
Re: documentation going away: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Re: documentation going away: From: Connie Giordano
Re: documentation going away: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: documentation going away: From: Connie Giordano
RE: documentation going away: From: Porrello, Leonard

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