Valve and Prima have teamed up to release a new series of Prima game guides that can be viewed from within videogames on Steam.

You know what Prima game guides are, right? They’re those things people used to have to buy when they got stuck on tough spots in videogames, before the internet made all that stuff free. They’re still around, believe it or not, and in what I guess is an attempt to move with the times, Prima has teamed with Valve to create a new series of digital guides now available on Steam that are viewable at any time during gameplay through the Steam overlay.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one so I’m going to cut right to the obvious question: Why? “Real” Prima guides are nice for game fans who want to collect everything they can get their hands on, I suppose, or for folks who just enjoy some game-related reading on the can now and then. But going digital is a bit hard to fathom because if you’re on the internet anyway, you’re already up to your eyeballs in answers to just about any question you could possibly ask and you don’t have to pay a dime for any of it.

I suppose convenience is a factor. Being able to view the guides directly through Steam might be handy, although “alt-tab” never struck me as all that complicated either, and not having to wade through the brackish waters of stupidity that clog Google is definitely a plus. But is this really the sort of thing that appeals to… well, anyone who might actually be interested in an online game guide?

Prima guides for Dragon Age: Origins and Awakening, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, , Splinter Cell Conviction and Just Cause 2 are now available at an introductory price of $9.99, 50 percent off the regular price of $19.99. Interested? Give ’em a look at

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