It’s May, and I’ve finally finished the last of all the ebooks I bought with my Christmas money: David Sheff’s Gave Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World.
Game Over is one of the older Nintendo books I have found. I believe the author’s note is dated 1994, and there is no mention of more modern developments like the GameCube, DS, or Wii. The book mostly stays in the era I love, starting with Nintendo’s arcade days and moving through the Famicon, NES, Game Boy, and SNES.
While there is some talk about the development of classic games like Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda, the book mostly focuses on the business aspect of Nintendo (a fact suggested by the subtitle; you didn’t think they conquered the world just by having the best games, did you?). This was interesting and contained lots of information I had never heard before, but it was also a little disturbing. I have always regarded Nintendo as the white knight of the video game world and I hated to hear about some of their shrewdness in their business dealings. I also hated to hear about the few times they were bested in business. That was a fear I had expressed way back when I first wrote about purchasing this book, and it was slightly realized. Only slightly, though. I had already known that Nintendo could be shrewd and had made some missteps, so it isn’t as if their image was completely tarnished in my eyes. Just scuffed a little.
There is another book of this title by the same author. I don’t know much about it, though if I had to I would guess that it is an updated version. If you are at all interested in the business side of Nintendo, you will want to check out either one or both of them.