Two new books, by me, are now available! Here’s the rundown:
Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life
My first book, Power-Up, was originally published by BradyGames in 2004. Building off the research I did at Tufts University and a Fulbright scholarship to Japan, it’s an examination of Japanese video games from a variety of different angles. It explores the cinematic nature of games like Donkey Kong and Final Fantasy, and features in-depth, original interviews with industry luminaries like Shigeru Miyamoto, Fumito Ueda, Masaya Matsuura, Eiji Aonuma, and many more.
Power-Up went out of print many years ago and has been unavailable to purchase ever since, so I’m very excited that an all-new, updated for 2016 edition is available as of October 19, 2016 from Dover Publications. The new edition has a foreword from Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony’s worldwide game development studios and one of the key figures in the Japanese gaming industry. I’ve written a new essay about Akihabara, Japan’s gaming district. Finally, there’s a massive new chapter all about the life and work of Nintendo’s late president Satoru Iwata. There’s also a beautiful new cover by my friend Karen Chu.
Even if you own the original, I hope you’ll want this new definitive edition as well. (More information here on its own dedicated page.)
Good Job, Brain: Trivia, Quizzes, and More Fun From the Popular Pub Quiz Podcast
Along with my friends Karen Chu, Colin Felton, and Dana Nelson, I’ve been co-hosting a pub trivia podcast called “Good Job, Brain!” for the last four years, and playing in a pub trivia league for the last eight. Along the way, we’ve collected a whole library of crazy-but-true stories, funny quizzes, tricky puzzles, and helpful tips for winning at your local trivia night.
The best of our work has now been collected into this massive trivia book, now available from Ulysses Press. Besides a greatest-hits collection of bits from the show, there’s plenty of new material, too. Especially for the book, I teamed up with my friend, five-time American Crossword Puzzle Tournament winner Tyler Hinman, to create a devilish “cryptic crossword” guaranteed to test the brains of even experienced puzzle solvers.
Some of my other contributions to the book include a poem to help you memorize the Bill of Rights, a story about a ship full of garbage that sailed up and down the United States, and a quiz about the movie Troop Beverly Hills. Although most of my other work involves videogames, this is a 99% video game-free book, making it a perfect gift for any brainy person in your life. I’m sure you know one or two.