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Ninja's book is more useful than we expected

(Image credit: Penguin Random House)

A lot of kids are going to receive Ninja's upcoming book, Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming, as a present this year. Someone will probably get it for my nephew. He likes Fortnite. He likes Ninja. Ninja has a book. Boom. Christmas shopping doesn't get much easier. 

A preview of the book, published by Google ahead of the August release, gives us a glimpse at what's inside—and the good news is that my nephew probably won't be getting terrible advice, at least so long as there isn't a hidden section on avoiding streaming with women.

Much of what's previewable is stock sports and gaming advice. "You can be one of the highest individually skilled players in the world, but if you suck to be on a team with, your career isn't going anywhere," for example. 

There are more specific tips for beginners, though, and they're tips we'd probably all like our teammates to take to heart. Regarding communication, "You want to share as much information as you can, but you also don't want to confuse or distract teammates." That's sound advice. I have never heeded it, and never will, because I just can't shut up.

Another good communication tip: If you spot an enemy in a battle royale game, don't just say that you see someone. "Just like you should try to instrumentalize every aspect of your play, you should try to make your communication as intentional and efficient as possible." We gave similar advice when PUBG was breaking out in 2017.

Again, it's basic stuff, but if you've played a battle royale game you've probably had a teammate who barks at you vaguely instead of giving compass orientations. That teammmate may have been me.

(Image credit: Ninja/Crown Publishing Group)

The book also covers the creative and technical aspects of streaming, with nice-looking diagrams that illustrate how to design a capture setup. Ninja's "ultimate" workstation is a bit unreasonable, though. 

"It's not an 'ultimate content creation workstation' so much as a 'Here's how Ninja borged out his setup and grew his PC space over five generations of hardware,'" said our hardware expert, Jarred Walton, when we showed him the diagram above. There are more reasonable setups in the book, as well as an explanation of how capture cards work for beginners, so it's not all so extravagant.

Ninja's advice on what to do if you say something you don't mean. (Click the top right to enlarge.) (Image credit: Ninja/Crown Publishing Group)

On the non-technical side, one of the preview pages includes a brief paragraph about what to do if you say something "you regret or don't mean" on stream. 

"When it happens—and it will—the best thing to do is apologize right away, move on, and try to do better," writes Ninja. "There's no shame in admitting an error—you just need to make sure your apology is sincere and those errors don't become the norm."

It's not bad advice, though I'm doubtful that many kids or adults prone to acting immaturely on Twitch will have the maturity to recognize their errors in the moment. No mention of Twitlonger? 

Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming is out on August 20. Just be warned that if you or someone else gets a copy for your kid, you're going to have to explain that, no, they can't have multiple cameras and laptops to support their Twitch careers.

Funnily, the book includes a page about the popularity of Twitch, which Ninja just left in favor of Mixer. There are no details yet on how much his exclusivity cost Microsoft, but I'd guess a lot.

Tyler has spent over 800 hours playing Rocket League, and slightly fewer nitpicking the PC Gamer style guide. His primary news beat is game stores: Steam, Epic, and whatever launcher squeezes into our taskbars next.