Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art


  back to blog


Posted by pierson


By now, we’re all familiar with video game strategy guides; surely, either in our childhoods or in the reading we’ve done on early games and game culture, we’ve all run across the idea of the comprehensive game guide. I, for one, used to use them as experiential windows into games that, owning to my parents’ all-consuming desire never to see a game console cross the threshold of our house, I had no means of accessing. Although the memories have faded somewhat, the many hours spent in my elementary school’s library staring at crumpled old Nintendo Power Magazines (undeniably the most overused ‘books’ in the school’s entire collection) have left me with a sense of ethereal intimacy toward games I have yet to play.

Join us this Thursday as author Jordan Osterer walks us through Unofficial Guide: an illustrated novella that’s presented as a walkthrough of an unnamed, non-existent video game. Our agoraphobic, mute hero battles an army of creatures invading his house while trying to maintain his declining sanity. The narrative unfolds through a series of second-person instructions, where the reader learns how to navigate dungeons, defeat enemies, and earn achievements. Taking inspiration from Nintendo Power-era player’s guides, we’ve tried to create a new take on the self-help book. We describe a bleak and difficult game, but the walkthrough – and the act of play itself – is designed as a process that encourages personal growth and perspective. And to make sure things don’t get too morose or serious, the book is filled with dozens of references to old and new games. The book’s art is by Garrett Hanna, whose most recently served as a concept artist on Carbine Studios’ MMORPG WildStar.

About the Author:

Jordan Osterer holds an MA in Film from Columbia University School of the Arts, where he led a number of lectures on the relationship between movies and video games. He’s recently spoken at Harvard University and the University of Victoria. Unofficial Guide is his first book.


Hope to see you all there!


What: Good Game Series #2: Jordan Osterer and Unofficial Guide
When: Thursday, October 9th, from 5-7pm
Where: Centre for Technoculture, Art, and Games – EV 11.655, 1515 St. Catherine W.
Who: Everyone is Welcome!