In case you missed the "Level-X"
exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the
organizers have published a companion to the show -- a commemorative
book containing pictures of all 1252 Famicom games in their boxes
(well, mostly group photos), as well as extra features.
The two greatest features of this ¥2500
book are the interviews with key figures in the Famicom's, or
gaming world's, life in the 1980s and 1990s. These include Shigeru
the creator of m... God Himself;
Shigesato Itoi, famous novelist and creator of
Mother; Yuji Horii
and Kouichi Nakamura, creators of DragonQuest;
Yuji Naka, creator of Sonic;
The other great feature is a commentary
of some key games and their significance in the Famicom world,
and in the world at large. Topics such as nerd lore, game violence,
crap games, and others are explored here. It really is fascinating
(if a little short) reading. And, I think it has an appeal to
a wide audience. My manager at work, who scoffs a little bit when
I mention videogames, was sighing in nostalgic bliss when she
was leafing through this book.
The only downside to the book is that the
English translation is badly done. Not as bad as automatic translation
software, but nowhere near as good as the work of a professional
translator. The English side was probably translated by software
then given a cursory glance by some human being, native or otherwise.
For example, one of the most common verbs used in videogames is
the player's task of defeating enemies, which may be
a simple word; however, it is always translated into "get
down enemies" or "push down enemies," which reads
But this is still a highly recommended
book if you want some nostalgia or some light analysis of the
videogame world of yore.
The book is available for purchase at Amazon