- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: BradyGames (September 24, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0744004241
- ISBN-13: 978-0744004243
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,738,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life
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From the Author
In writing Power-Up, I wanted to take what I had learned about Japanese art and culture and apply it to the video games that I had grown up loving so much, in an attempt to explain why Japan had been so successful throughout the world, from such an early point in gaming history.
From the Back Cover
"Chris Kohler brings the passionate intensity of a hardcore fan to his writing, but he also has the background knowledge and the critical facilities to explore video games as an industry, as a medium, and as a cultural phenomenon."—Wired.
Why are Japanese video games a worldwide sensation? This enjoyable and informative survey explores the reasons, starting with how Japanese developers raised the medium to an art form. The book also traces the ways in which the developers' ideas infused popular culture beyond the gaming world.
Interviews, anecdotes, and personal accounts offer insights from giants of the industry, including Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideo Kojima, and others involved in the creation of Donkey Kong, Mario, Pokémon, and other games. This revised edition includes updated material throughout the book as well as a new bonus chapter.
Dover (2016) republication of the edition originally published by BradyGames, Sacramento, California, 2004.
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Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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I recently purchased this book and, in one day, have gotten about 40 or so pages in. I can easily say that I am greatly enjoying my time with it so far.
Kohler writes very clear and concise. It has been very informative to read on the Japanese side of the video games industry, especially regarding its origins and both some of the significant people and companies that made it happen. Kohler's pacing for the two chapters I have read so far seems to be very balanced; just enough side information, fun facts, pictures, and minor variations throughout that make this so much more than a dry history book or thesis paper (which, ironically, this book started out as). It has been entertaining as well to read more in depth on Shigeru Miyamoto's beginnings (i.e., childhood interests, novel and academic/technical experiences, first encounters with Nintendo).
As Kohler puts it in the introduction, what you are getting here is a snapshot from his perspective and research of how the Japanese contributed to the video game industry as a whole. I noticed other reviewers stating things such as: "there were other companies other than Nintendo", it is "too narrow in scope", and it is "too short and too shallow", but would like to remind you that Kohler never claims his intent is to provide an all-in-one, comprehensive book on the subject matter. I believe, if you go in with this knowledge, it won't disappoint.
Even though I have a long way to go before I'm able to provide my definite thoughts, I feel confident in saying that I'd highly recommend this book to any gamer that has an appreciation for not only the games that they play, but the companies and individuals that started the games industry as well.
I hope this helps you in making a decision. I'm glad I chose to give this one a try.
First off this book is externally narrow in scope. Nintendo and Nintendo only apparently made video games. The authors bias toward Nintendo and Japanese culture is extremely apparent. Now I know the subtitle of this book is "how Japanese video games gave the gaming world an extra life" but Mr Kohler apparently thinks all video games came out of Japan and the one that didn't aren't worth mentioning.
The book is extremely scattered. The author jumps from topic to topic within chapters with no regard for narrative flow.
In short I struggled to read this book. I skipped many chapters (I don't care how many albums were based on FF games) and I found his complete disregard for any company or country other than Nintendo and Japan extremely narrow minded.
(only took ten years for me to correct "boot" to "book; give me a break, I was in Iraq). I heard on Retronauts the book is being republished - probably no SEGA love still) The book has very useful information for video game collectors and researchers who are looking for information related to mostly Nintendo oriented lore. I stress its for game collectors and researchers vice enthusiasts. Enthusiasts are looking to be entertained as well as informed and this book does very little entertaining. I found my self reading parts of the book over the course of several months. It just wasn't the page-turner that some other visual treats like "High Score" were. All in all it was worth 13 bucks, however I liken it too a History book on the 20th Century, with key events missing like World War II! Sega is not even mentioned as a footnote! Phantasy Star, Shining Force and several other important events in Gaming History never even captured the interest of the author, and it painfully shows here. Three Stars.