Arcade Mania!: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers

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Kodansha International, Sep 24, 2008 - Games & Activities - 190 pages
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Home of Sega, Nintendo, and Sony, Japan has a unique and powerful presence in the world of video games. Another thing that makes Japan unique in the gaming world is the prevalence of game arcades. While the game arcade scene has died in the U.S., there are 9,500 "game centers" in Japan with more than 445,000 game machines.
Arcade Mania introduces overseas readers to the fascinating world of the Japanese gemu senta. Organized as a guided tour of a typical game center, the book is divided into nine chapters, each of which deals with a different kind of game, starting with the UFO catchers and print club machines at the entrance and continuing through rhythm games, fighting games, shooting games, retro games, gambling games, card-based games, and only-in-Japan games.
Covering classic games from Space Invaders to Street Fighter, games that are familiar to Americans in their home console versions (Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Dance, Dance Revolution), as well as the unique, quirky games found only in Japan, Arcade Mania is crammed full of interviews with game makers and star players, and packed with facts about the history, background and characteristics of each game, all lavishly illustrated with photographs and game graphics. This book is a must-have for gamers everywhere.

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User Review  - Disquiet - LibraryThing

This breezy read covers the Japanese game-arcade community, as broken down into a variety of categories, including music-based games, card-based games, dedicated-cabinet games, etc. Each chapter ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Osaka-based co-author BRIAN ASHCRAFT is the editor of Kotaku, one of the biggest gaming blogs on the net (one of the top 20 most popular blogs in the world, according to the website Technorati: with approximately 750,000 hits (23 million readers) per day.

Based in Tokyo, JEAN SNOWs art, design, and media-themed blog ( boasts about 3,000 readers per day. Both are experts on the Japanese gaming scene, and are experienced writers: in addition to their blogging activities, Ashcraft is a contributor toWired Magazine, and Snow has a column on design in The Japan Times.

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