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on March 25, 2005
Frankly, unless you're as enamored with Nintendo as Kohler is, you'll probably find the scope of this book far too narrow to be of any real interest or provide any insight. Kohler has essentially (and I don't begrudge him his good fortune for being able to do so) translated his love of video games and anime into both a successful thesis and a published work. To the uninitiated, "Power-Up" would appear to be an insightful, well-researched treatise; as someone who is approximately Kohler's age and grew up with the same influences of Japanese video games and culture, I found myself time and time again saying, "Yeah, so what?" Save for some of the historical background, the book was largely a collection of geek common knowledge, where "geek" refers to someone whose interests include video games, anime, computers, and the like.
Futhermore, as I mentioned earlier, from the way this book is written, you'd get the impression that the only company that has ever made a video game is Nintendo. References to Atari, Sega and Sony are extremely rare. While I agree that Nintendo has played the largest role in the rise of video games, other major players have established themselves in the last five to ten years, and their contributions are largely glossed over, particularly Sega. These omissions are what give the feeling that Kohler has basically taken his childhood experiences of playing Nintendo, fleshed them out a bit and put them on the shelf.
In short, I wouldn't change the content of the book but I would most certainly change the title to reflect the heavy, one-sided Nintendo bias of the book. If you're in your twenties or early thirties and grew up as a fan of video games and anime, don't bother reading this book - you already know what happens.
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