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Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America Hardcover – August 4, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
The history of how a Japanese video game featuring two Italian brothers became one of America's favorite pastimes is covered in exhaustive, enthusiastic detail by video game reviewer Ryan. The author takes readers through Nintendo's early business machinations; the story of Mario's eccentric creator, Shigeru Miyamoto; and the game-changing emergence of Nintendo's motion controller for the Wii, with a breezy journalistic style. At times the tone slips into the white hat–black hat morality employed in most video games, often painting Nintendo's business competitors or detractors with broad reductive strokes—"hardcore gamers sneer at Wii"—and paeans to new Nintendo releases get smattered with exclamation points, so that some pages read like Nintendo promo material. All of this is distracting but not fatal, and the book is a thorough history of Nintendo's victories, written by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable fan. (Aug.)
About the Author
Jeff Ryan, a lifelong gamer, has been featured on Salon.com and All Things Considered. He reviewed over 500 video games and covered four console launches as the games editor for Katrillion, a popular dotcom-era news and entertainment Web site. He lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
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With that said, the book's main issue is that there will occasionally be blatant factual errors. It's rather odd because the information is very easy to verify, and makes the book seem like it wasn't properly edited. Just as one example, the author claims that Super Paper Mario is a spiritual successor to New Super Mario Bros. This is information that is very easy to verify, with only a couple seconds of Googling, making me wonder how such an error might slip through. There are several of these scattered throughout the book, so I would be reluctant to use this book as an academic source or anything of the sort.
If you can look past the occasional error, this book is a great read for Nintendo fans. It illustrates the history of Nintendo in an engrossing way, making you excited for each new development, even though you've known what they are for the past 30 years.