Microsoft wants to teach people how to better utilize Office, so it’s created a tutorial videogame starring everybody’s favorite anthropomorphic paperclip.

For all its usefulness and power, Microsoft Office has never been the most user-friendly piece of software, especially compared to similar programs created by Microsoft’s rivals in the industry. To remedy this, the Office team has thoroughly embraced the idea of Gamification – that is, they’ve turned the Office tutorial into a videogame.

What’s more is that Ribbon Hero 2 brings back the onetime scourge of all MS Word users – Clippy the paperclip. Yes, Clippy, the cheery little paperclip who popped up every time you wrote a phrase like “Dear Bob” to offer advice on writing a letter/resume/political manifesto/suicide note.

In Ribbon Hero 2, players must aid Clippy in his journey through time, helping him get back home to the present day. To accomplish this, they’ll be tasked with challenges in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote – the example in the video asks users to change the margins on a document, and then change the orientation. Simple enough, right? If you have no idea how to do so, you can get hints to walk you through the process, but completing the challenge hint-free awards you more points.

All joking aside, this is actually a pretty cool idea for a tutorial. Microsoft Office is notoriously arcane, and wrapping the tutorial in a friendly game-like skin can only help.

Plus, I never really minded Clippy all that much anyway. I thought he was kind of adorable in his earnestness. He just wants to help you write a letter; throw him a bone for once!

(Office Blog)

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