Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

In the age of Google and gaming forums, it’s hard to imagine a time when game guides were the only way to get through a tough level or boss fight. But do they still have a place in today’s gaming landscape? As technology has advanced, so too have the ways in which we access information and help in games. In this article, we’ll explore the evolution of game guides and ask the question: are they still relevant in today’s gaming world? Let’s dive in and find out!

The Golden Age of Game Guides

The Rise of Printed Strategy Guides

Printed strategy guides first emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, coinciding with the rise of personal computers and the popularity of home video game consoles such as the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). These guides were typically small booklets or pamphlets that provided players with tips, tricks, and walkthroughs for popular video games. They were often sold separately from the games themselves and could be found at electronics stores, toy stores, and even in some video rental shops.

One of the earliest and most influential printed strategy guides was “The Official Guide to the Zork Trilogy,” which was released in 1981 for the popular text-based adventure game series created by Infocom. This guide, along with others like it, helped players navigate the complex and often cryptic worlds of early adventure games, which were known for their challenging puzzles and labyrinthine storylines.

As video games became more popular in the 1980s and 1990s, printed strategy guides began to proliferate, with companies like BradyGames and Prima Games publishing guides for a wide range of console and PC games. These guides often included detailed maps, diagrams, and screenshots to help players navigate the game world, as well as tips on how to defeat bosses, find hidden items, and unlock secret levels.

While some gamers derided printed strategy guides as “cheating,” many others saw them as a valuable tool for enhancing their gaming experience. After all, video games were often difficult to navigate without some guidance, and the ability to look up hints and solutions online was not yet widespread. For many players, having a printed guide in hand was a way to deepen their engagement with the game world and feel a sense of mastery over the challenges it presented.

The Impact of the Internet on Game Guides

The advent of the internet has significantly impacted the way game guides are created, distributed, and consumed. In the past, players had to rely on physical copies of game guides, which were often published in magazines or as standalone books. However, with the widespread availability of the internet, game guides have evolved to become more accessible and convenient for players.

One of the most significant impacts of the internet on game guides is the rise of online communities and forums. These platforms have become hubs for players to share tips, strategies, and solutions to challenges in their favorite games. Players can now easily find answers to their questions without having to purchase a physical guide or spend hours searching for information online.

Another impact of the internet on game guides is the emergence of video content. YouTube and other video-sharing platforms have made it possible for players to access game guides in the form of walkthroughs, tutorials, and gameplay analysis. This has become particularly popular among players who prefer visual aids to help them navigate through their games.

Furthermore, the internet has made it easier for game developers to distribute game guides directly to players. Many game developers now include built-in guides or tips within their games, which can be accessed through menus or by pressing certain buttons during gameplay. This has made it easier for players to access information without having to leave the game or search for information online.

However, the abundance of information available online has also led to a new challenge for players. With so much information available, it can be difficult for players to determine which sources are reliable and accurate. As a result, players must now be more discerning when searching for information online and must be careful to avoid misinformation or inaccurate advice.

Overall, the internet has had a significant impact on the way game guides are created, distributed, and consumed. While it has made it easier for players to access information, it has also introduced new challenges that players must navigate in order to find accurate and reliable information.

The Current State of Game Guides

Key takeaway: The evolution of game guides has been significantly impacted by the internet, streaming platforms, and artificial intelligence. Traditional game guides have declined in popularity, but digital game guides have risen in popularity. The future of game guides lies in interactive guides, incorporating social features, providing personalized learning experiences, and embracing mobile gaming.

The Decline of Traditional Game Guides

Traditional game guides, once a staple of the gaming industry, have seen a significant decline in recent years. This decline can be attributed to several factors, including the rise of digital gaming and the changing preferences of gamers.

  • Digital Gaming: The advent of digital gaming has drastically changed the way players access and use game guides. With the widespread availability of the internet, gamers can now easily find walkthroughs, cheats, and strategies online, often for free. This has made traditional paper-based game guides less relevant, as players can quickly access information through their smartphones or computers.
  • Changing Preferences of Gamers: The modern gamer is more inclined towards immersive and interactive experiences, seeking to explore games on their own terms. This shift in preferences has led to a decline in the demand for traditional game guides, which are often seen as limiting the player’s experience and hindering their ability to explore the game world.
  • Increased Game Difficulty: As game developers continue to challenge players with increasingly difficult levels and complex gameplay mechanics, the need for traditional game guides has diminished. Many gamers now feel that they can overcome these challenges on their own, without the need for external guidance.
  • The Rise of Video Walkthroughs: The popularity of video content platforms like YouTube and Twitch has given rise to video walkthroughs, which offer a more engaging and interactive experience for gamers. These video guides often provide a step-by-step walkthrough of the game, complete with commentary and live gameplay, making them a preferred choice for many players.

Despite the decline of traditional game guides, they still hold a place in the gaming landscape, particularly for niche markets and older gamers who prefer a more structured approach to gaming. However, the gaming industry must adapt to the changing preferences of gamers and embrace new forms of game guides that cater to the evolving needs of the gaming community.

The Emergence of Digital Game Guides

Digital game guides have become increasingly prevalent in today’s gaming landscape. With the rise of online gaming and the proliferation of mobile devices, players now have access to a vast array of digital resources that can help them navigate the complex world of video games.

One of the key advantages of digital game guides is their accessibility. Unlike traditional paper-based guides, digital guides can be accessed from anywhere at any time, as long as the player has an internet connection. This has made it easier than ever for players to get the help they need, whether they are stuck on a particular level or simply looking for tips and strategies to improve their gameplay.

Another advantage of digital game guides is their interactivity. Many digital guides include interactive maps, walkthroughs, and other tools that can help players navigate the game world more effectively. Some guides even include video content, such as tutorials and gameplay footage, which can help players visualize their progress and identify areas where they need to improve.

Despite these advantages, some players have expressed concern that digital game guides can take away from the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes with overcoming challenges in a game. Some argue that relying on guides and walkthroughs can make the gameplay experience feel less authentic and less rewarding.

Overall, the emergence of digital game guides has had a significant impact on the gaming landscape, offering players new ways to access information and enhance their gameplay experience. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that game guides will continue to play an important role in shaping the future of gaming.

The Impact of Streaming Platforms on Game Guides

Streaming platforms have had a significant impact on the way we consume video games and, as a result, the way we interact with game guides. In the past, game guides were often printed in books or distributed as PDFs, and players would use them to help them navigate through the game. However, with the rise of streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, players can now watch live streams of other players playing games, and these streams often include real-time commentary and advice from the streamer.

This has led to a shift in the way players interact with game guides. Instead of reading through a guide before playing a game, players can now watch streams and learn from the experiences of others. This has also led to the rise of “speedrun” streams, where players attempt to complete a game as quickly as possible, often with the help of viewers who provide tips and advice.

Another impact of streaming platforms on game guides is the rise of “let’s play” videos, where players record themselves playing a game and provide commentary on their thought process and strategies. These videos are often shared on platforms like YouTube and can be a valuable resource for players looking for guidance on how to play a particular game.

Overall, the impact of streaming platforms on game guides has been significant. While traditional game guides still have a place in the gaming landscape, the rise of streaming platforms has led to a shift in the way players interact with game guides and has opened up new opportunities for players to learn and improve their skills.

The Future of Game Guides

The Growing Popularity of Interactive Guides

The rise of interactive guides in game development has significantly transformed the role of game guides in the gaming landscape. Interactive guides, also known as in-game tutorials or context-sensitive guides, are designed to provide players with assistance in real-time, as they play the game. This type of guide is integrated into the game itself, making it easily accessible to players at any point during gameplay.

One of the key advantages of interactive guides is their ability to adapt to the player’s progress. These guides are typically triggered by specific events in the game, such as a new level or challenge, and provide tailored advice or instructions to help the player overcome the obstacle. This personalized approach has proven to be highly effective in helping players understand the game mechanics and overcome difficult challenges.

Another advantage of interactive guides is their ability to provide a more seamless and engaging gaming experience. Unlike traditional game guides, which often require players to pause the game or switch to a separate guide, interactive guides allow players to receive assistance without leaving the game. This helps to maintain the flow of the game and ensures that players can continue to enjoy the game without interruption.

Furthermore, interactive guides have become increasingly sophisticated, with many games now incorporating advanced technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. These technologies enable the guides to learn from the player’s behavior and adapt their guidance accordingly, providing a more personalized and effective learning experience.

Overall, the growing popularity of interactive guides is a testament to their effectiveness in enhancing the gaming experience. By providing players with real-time assistance and personalized guidance, interactive guides have become an essential tool for many gamers, helping them to overcome challenges and enjoy the game to its fullest potential.

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Game Guides

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been increasingly incorporated into various aspects of the gaming industry, including game guides. With the ability to learn from player behavior and adapt to their needs, AI has the potential to revolutionize the way game guides are designed and utilized. Here are some ways AI may play a role in the future of game guides:

  • Personalized Recommendations: AI can analyze a player’s gameplay data and provide personalized recommendations for levels, strategies, and equipment based on their preferences and performance. This can help players optimize their gameplay experience and avoid frustration.
  • Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment: AI can monitor a player’s progress and adjust the game’s difficulty in real-time to maintain a challenging yet achievable experience. This can help keep players engaged and motivated to continue playing.
  • Voice-Activated Assistance: AI-powered voice recognition technology can enable players to access game guide information and receive assistance through voice commands. This can provide a more seamless and hands-free experience for players, allowing them to focus on the game.
  • Predictive Analytics: AI can predict a player’s potential actions and outcomes based on their past behavior, allowing game developers to design levels and challenges that are more engaging and unpredictable. This can help keep players on their toes and enhance the overall gaming experience.

Overall, the integration of AI into game guides has the potential to create a more personalized, adaptive, and engaging gaming experience for players. As AI technology continues to advance, it is likely that we will see even more innovative ways in which AI can be utilized in game guides to enhance the gaming experience for players.

The Potential for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Game Guides

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have the potential to revolutionize the way game guides are presented to players. With VR, players can be fully immersed in a digital world, providing a more interactive and engaging experience. AR, on the other hand, can enhance the player’s real-world environment by overlaying digital information onto it.

Here are some ways VR and AR can be used in game guides:

  • Interactive Tutorials: VR and AR can provide a more immersive and interactive tutorial experience for players. For example, players can be guided through a level by an avatar or by using their own hands to manipulate objects in the digital world.
  • Enhanced Gameplay: VR and AR can enhance the player’s gameplay experience by providing additional information, such as health and ammo levels, without the need for a separate interface. This can allow players to focus more on the game itself, rather than having to constantly refer to a guide.
  • Improved Navigation: VR and AR can also be used to improve navigation within a game. For example, players can use AR to see where they need to go, or VR to teleport to different locations within a level.

Overall, VR and AR have the potential to greatly enhance the game guide experience for players. However, it remains to be seen how these technologies will be integrated into games and how they will be received by players.

The Debate Over the Value of Game Guides

The Argument for Game Guides as a Valuable Resource

Improving Gaming Experience

One of the primary arguments in favor of game guides is that they can significantly enhance the gaming experience. Game guides provide players with in-depth information about the game’s mechanics, puzzles, and hidden secrets. This knowledge enables players to navigate the game more effectively, unlocking new levels and challenges, and ultimately, leading to a more fulfilling gaming experience.

Enhancing Social Interaction

Another benefit of game guides is that they can foster social interaction among gamers. Sharing tips and strategies with other players can lead to a sense of community and collaboration. This is particularly true for multiplayer games, where working together with other players to solve complex puzzles or defeat challenging bosses can be a rewarding experience.

Supporting Accessibility

Game guides can also be an essential tool for players with disabilities or those who may struggle with certain aspects of a game. For example, players with visual impairments may rely on game guides to describe visual cues or provide instructions for navigating the game world. Similarly, players with dyslexia or other learning disabilities may benefit from game guides that break down complex mechanics into simpler, more accessible language.

Providing Economic Value

Finally, game guides can provide economic value to both gamers and game developers. Gamers can save money by purchasing game guides instead of paying for expensive in-game purchases or DLC. Game developers can also benefit from the sales of game guides, as they provide an additional revenue stream beyond the initial purchase of the game.

Overall, the argument for game guides as a valuable resource is strong. They can enhance the gaming experience, foster social interaction, support accessibility, and provide economic value to both gamers and game developers. As such, game guides remain a relevant and valuable tool in today’s gaming landscape.

The Argument Against Game Guides as Unnecessary Crutches

The view that game guides promote unearned success

Critics argue that game guides provide an unfair advantage by offering shortcuts to success. Players may rely on guides to progress through challenging levels or obtain rare items, diminishing the sense of accomplishment that comes from overcoming obstacles independently.

The contention that game guides hinder immersion

Another critique is that game guides disrupt the immersive experience by reminding players that they are playing a game. Following a guide may reduce the sense of exploration and discovery, as players are guided towards specific objectives rather than exploring the game world freely.

The assertion that game guides impede social interaction

Game guides can also detract from the social aspect of gaming. When players rely on guides, they may miss out on the opportunity to collaborate with others or learn from their mistakes. This can lead to a less fulfilling gaming experience and a lack of personal growth.

The argument that game guides stifle creativity

Additionally, some contend that game guides stifle creativity by promoting a rigid approach to problem-solving. Instead of thinking critically and creatively to overcome challenges, players may simply follow the instructions provided by the guide, reducing the potential for innovative solutions and problem-solving skills.

The notion that game guides compromise the replay value

Lastly, critics claim that game guides can reduce the replay value of a game. If players know exactly what to do and where to go, they may not feel motivated to revisit a game, as the sense of discovery and experimentation is diminished. This can lead to a less engaging and memorable gaming experience.

The Impact of Game Guides on Player Experience

While game guides have been a staple of the gaming industry for decades, there is ongoing debate over their value and impact on the player experience. Some argue that game guides detract from the immersion and challenge of playing a game, while others see them as a helpful tool for players to fully explore and enjoy a game.

Enhancing Immersion and Storytelling

One argument in favor of game guides is that they can enhance the immersion and storytelling aspects of a game. With the help of a guide, players can learn more about the game’s lore, characters, and backstory, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the game world. Guides can also provide hints and tips for completing quests and side missions, allowing players to fully experience the game’s narrative without getting stuck or frustrated.

Providing a Challenge

On the other hand, some argue that game guides can take away from the challenge and satisfaction of playing a game. Many gamers see completing a game without a guide as a badge of honor, and using a guide can be seen as “cheating.” In addition, relying on a guide can make it easier for players to skip over difficult levels or challenges, taking away from the sense of accomplishment that comes with overcoming obstacles.

Customizing the Player Experience

Ultimately, the impact of game guides on player experience is subjective and depends on the individual player’s preferences and goals. Some players may find that using a guide enhances their enjoyment of the game, while others may prefer to tackle challenges on their own. In either case, game guides can be seen as a tool for customizing the player experience, allowing players to tailor their gaming experience to their own preferences and playstyle.

The Impact of Game Guides on the Gaming Industry

The Relationship Between Game Guides and Game Design

Game guides have played a crucial role in shaping the gaming industry. They have been instrumental in enhancing the player’s experience and have had a significant impact on game design. In this section, we will explore the relationship between game guides and game design.

  • The influence of game guides on game design
    Game guides have influenced game design in several ways. One of the most significant impacts is the incorporation of tutorials and hints in games. This has become a standard feature in most games today, allowing players to learn the game mechanics and progress through the game without getting stuck.
  • The impact of game design on game guides
    Game design has also influenced the evolution of game guides. As games have become more complex, game guides have had to evolve to keep up. They have become more detailed and comprehensive, providing players with all the information they need to complete a game.
  • The relationship between game guides and player experience
    The relationship between game guides and player experience is another area where the two have influenced each other. Game guides have been designed to enhance the player’s experience, providing them with the information they need to overcome challenges and complete the game. In turn, this has led to game designers creating more challenging games that require the use of game guides to complete.

Overall, the relationship between game guides and game design is symbiotic. Game guides have influenced game design, and game design has influenced the evolution of game guides. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how this relationship develops.

The Effect of Game Guides on Sales and Marketing

The impact of game guides on sales and marketing has been significant. In the past, game guides were primarily seen as a way to enhance the player’s experience by providing helpful tips and strategies. However, as the gaming industry has evolved, so too has the role of game guides. Today, game guides are often used as a marketing tool to promote games and increase sales.

One way that game guides are used to promote games is through the inclusion of exclusive content. Many game guides are now published alongside the release of a game, and they often include exclusive content such as maps, strategies, and character guides. This exclusive content can be used as an incentive for players to purchase the game, as they know that they will have access to valuable resources that will enhance their gaming experience.

Another way that game guides are used to promote games is through the creation of communities. Many game guides have become hubs for communities of players who share tips, strategies, and advice. These communities can be a powerful marketing tool, as they encourage players to share their experiences and recommend the game to others. In addition, these communities can help to build a sense of loyalty among players, which can lead to increased sales and revenue for the game.

Finally, game guides can also be used to provide post-launch support for games. Many game developers use game guides as a way to provide additional content and support for players after the release of a game. This can include updates, patches, and new content that is only available through the game guide. By providing this additional support, game developers can keep players engaged and interested in the game, which can lead to increased sales and revenue over time.

In conclusion, the effect of game guides on sales and marketing has been significant. Game guides have evolved from simple player aids to powerful marketing tools that can be used to promote games, build communities, and provide post-launch support. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it is likely that the role of game guides will continue to change and adapt to meet the needs of players and developers alike.

The Role of Game Guides in Preserving Gaming History

Game guides have played a significant role in preserving the history of gaming. These guides document the evolution of games, providing insights into how games have changed over time. They also offer a unique perspective on the gaming culture of a particular era. By documenting the strategies, tactics, and techniques used in various games, game guides have become an invaluable resource for researchers, historians, and gamers alike.

In addition to preserving the history of gaming, game guides also provide a way to learn from the past. By studying the strategies and techniques used in older games, players can gain insights into how games have evolved over time. This knowledge can be applied to newer games, helping players to improve their skills and strategies.

Game guides also provide a way to document the impact of technological advancements on gaming. As new technologies are developed, games become more complex, and game guides document these changes, providing a historical record of the evolution of gaming.

Furthermore, game guides are a valuable resource for researchers studying the impact of gaming on society. By analyzing the content of game guides, researchers can gain insights into the themes, characters, and storylines of various games, providing a unique perspective on the cultural impact of gaming.

Overall, the role of game guides in preserving gaming history cannot be overstated. They provide a unique perspective on the evolution of gaming, document the impact of technological advancements, and offer insights into the cultural impact of gaming on society.

The Future of Game Guides in the Gaming Industry

The Potential for New Revenue Streams from Game Guides

The potential for new revenue streams from game guides is an exciting prospect for the gaming industry. As technology advances and gamers’ needs evolve, the industry must adapt to meet these needs. Here are some ways that game guides can create new revenue streams for developers and publishers:

  • Subscription-based game guides: Offering game guides as a subscription service can be a lucrative revenue stream for developers and publishers. Gamers are willing to pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive content, including in-depth walkthroughs, strategies, and tips.
  • In-game purchases: Developers can offer game guides as in-game purchases, allowing players to access specific sections or features of the guide without having to purchase the entire guide. This approach can help drive revenue while providing players with the information they need to progress in the game.
  • Advertising: Game guides can be monetized through advertising, with developers and publishers selling ad space to companies looking to reach a gaming audience. This approach can be especially effective for mobile games, where in-game purchases may not be feasible.
  • Affiliate marketing: Affiliate marketing involves promoting other companies’ products or services within a game guide. For example, a developer or publisher could include links to third-party products or services, such as gaming accessories or subscriptions to other gaming services, and earn a commission on any resulting sales.

Overall, the potential for new revenue streams from game guides is significant, and developers and publishers who can successfully monetize their guides can reap significant benefits. However, it’s important to balance monetization with the needs of the player, ensuring that the guide remains useful and engaging for those who use it.

The Need for Innovation in Game Guides

The world of gaming is constantly evolving, and so too must game guides adapt to meet the changing needs of players. While traditional game guides have been an essential tool for players to navigate and complete games, the rise of online communities, cheat codes, and video walkthroughs has made them less relevant in recent years. However, there is still a need for innovation in game guides to ensure they remain a valuable resource for gamers.

One potential area for innovation is in the development of interactive game guides that integrate with the game itself. These guides could provide real-time hints and tips as players progress through the game, allowing them to make informed decisions and overcome challenges without having to leave the game. This could also help to enhance the overall gaming experience by providing a more seamless and immersive experience for players.

Another potential area for innovation is in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create more personalized game guides. By analyzing a player’s gaming habits and preferences, AI-powered guides could provide tailored advice and recommendations that are specifically designed to meet the needs of individual players. This could help to improve the overall gaming experience by ensuring that players are provided with the most relevant and useful information at all times.

In addition to these innovations, game guides could also benefit from greater integration with social media and online communities. By allowing players to share their progress and ask for help from other players, game guides could become a more collaborative and social experience. This could help to foster a sense of community among gamers and make the gaming experience more enjoyable and engaging for everyone involved.

Overall, while traditional game guides may no longer be as relevant in today’s gaming landscape, there is still a need for innovation in this area. By embracing new technologies and developing more personalized and collaborative game guides, developers can ensure that these resources remain a valuable tool for gamers for years to come.

The Importance of Adapting to Changing Player Expectations

In the rapidly evolving world of gaming, game guides must adapt to changing player expectations to remain relevant. This means incorporating new technologies, evolving alongside the games they support, and understanding the preferences of modern gamers. Here are some ways in which game guides can adapt to changing player expectations:

Emphasizing Interactivity

As players increasingly seek interactive and immersive experiences, game guides must evolve to meet these expectations. This may involve incorporating multimedia elements such as videos, screenshots, and diagrams to enhance the learning experience. Additionally, game guides can leverage technology such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to create more engaging and immersive experiences for players.

Integrating Social Features

Social features, such as forums, chat rooms, and community-driven content, can help players connect with one another and share knowledge. By integrating these features into game guides, developers can foster a sense of community and encourage collaboration among players. This not only enhances the user experience but also creates opportunities for gamers to learn from one another.

Providing Personalized Learning Experiences

With the rise of personalized learning, game guides must adapt to offer tailored experiences to individual players. This may involve incorporating data-driven insights to understand player preferences and learning styles, and then using this information to customize content accordingly. By delivering personalized learning experiences, game guides can cater to the unique needs of each player, ultimately improving the overall gaming experience.

Embracing Mobile Gaming

As mobile gaming continues to grow in popularity, game guides must be optimized for smaller screens and touch-based interfaces. This may involve designing mobile-friendly interfaces, breaking content into smaller, more digestible chunks, and leveraging mobile-specific features such as push notifications and in-app purchases. By embracing mobile gaming, game guides can ensure that they remain accessible and relevant to a growing segment of the gaming population.

In conclusion, the importance of adapting to changing player expectations cannot be overstated. By incorporating interactivity, integrating social features, providing personalized learning experiences, and embracing mobile gaming, game guides can continue to play a vital role in the gaming landscape and meet the evolving needs of modern gamers.


1. What are game guides?

Game guides are resources that provide assistance, strategies, and information on how to play a video game. They can include walkthroughs, cheat codes, tips, and explanations of game mechanics.

2. What is the history of game guides?

Game guides have been around since the early days of video games. They were first published in magazines and books, and later transitioned to online formats. As gaming technology has evolved, so have game guides, with many now offering interactive maps, video walkthroughs, and community-driven content.

3. Why are game guides important?

Game guides serve as a valuable resource for players who are stuck in a game, want to learn new strategies, or simply want to enjoy the game without the frustration of getting lost or dying repeatedly. They also provide a way for players to share their knowledge and experiences with others.

4. Do game guides still exist today?

Yes, game guides are still relevant in today’s gaming landscape. They have evolved to include more interactive and multimedia content, and can be found on websites, YouTube, and mobile apps. Many game developers also provide official guides for their games.

5. Are game guides still useful in an age of online communities and wikis?

Yes, game guides are still useful even with the rise of online communities and wikis. While these resources offer valuable information, they may not always be up-to-date or accurate. Game guides, on the other hand, are typically created and maintained by experts who specialize in a specific game. Additionally, game guides often offer more in-depth and detailed information that may not be available on other platforms.

The DEATH of Video Game Guide Books

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