Games are a major part of most computer enthusiasts’ lives. Many of us have played a variety of games, from role-playing game (RPG) to first-person shooter (FPS) to strategy and puzzle games.

A popular genre that has emerged in the last decade or so is the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. To be more specific, MMOs aren’t a separate genre but rather a segment of many other genres. MMOs began primarily in the RPG but have now spread to other categories. Several popular MMORPGs are EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, and World of Warcraft. An example of an MMO outside of the RPG genre is EVE Online.

In the book The Guild Leader’s Handbook: Strategies and Guidance from a Battle-Scarred MMO Veteran, author Scott F. Andrews details how players of these types of games can become effective leaders in the game using leadership tips and principles that are well established in the business world. He focuses primarily on MMOs of an RPG nature (especially his preferred game, World of Warcraft), but many of the tips are game-independent.

From tips about creating a guild, to tips about dealing with dramatic players, raiding, loot sharing, player-versus-player (PVP), and role playing (RP), Andrews covers virtually every area of guild leadership from the Guild Master/Leader (GM/GL) role to the Officer role.


  • Length: 192 pages
  • Formats: Paperback and e-book
  • Cost: $27.95 (print and e-book), $24.95 (print), $19.95 (e-book)
  • Additional contents: Extensive Contents and Index
  • Author information: The book is based on the author’s Officers’ Quarters blog at, where he offers tips every week.
  • More details: For more details about the book, visit the No Starch Press site.

What I like

  • Layout: The book is well laid out; it’s organized into concise chapters with a definite theme.
  • Leadership focus: The author focuses heavily on leadership principles that are well-established in the real world.
  • Game focus: The author focuses on games that are popular today, such as World of Warcraft. I think that potential leaders will be able to identify with this focus.

What I don’t like

  • Paper: The only minor quibble I have is that many of the tips are repeated from the author’s blog, which is available for free. The fact that it is printed on paper and then charged for may be excessive to some readers of his blog.

Geek bottom line

In many MMO games, leadership is essential to success in various aspects of the game. The Guild Leader’s Handbook is an excellent guide for current leaders, as well as gamers who aspire to be guild leaders in any capacity.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book, I recommend downloading Chapter 3, “Nonhuman Resources: Recruiting Players and Evaluating Recruits,” from the publisher’s site.

Geek gift score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: ***
  • Geek factor: *****
  • Value: ****
  • Overall: ****

Note: I received review copies of the book (a paperback and an e-book version) from the publisher.

Want more reviews of tech gadgets and gizmos? Download the PDF of TechRepublic’s Geek Gift Guide 2010.