- Super Mario
- Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
- Year: 2011
- Pages: 304
We were a Sega household growing up; I’m not sure what drove my parents to wrap up a Genesis one Christmas instead of a Nintendo, but my childhood was nonetheless more about Sonic the Hedgehog than Mario the “plumber”. That being said, we had no shortage of interaction with Nintendo products either before or after, generally playing them at friends’ houses. Or, as was the case for a number of years, occasionally renting an original NES from the video store for the weekend.
It was impossible to avoid Nintendo’s cultural impact in the late 80s and most of the 90s, even as other manufacturers began to make inroads into the console market; and far from being simply a video game company, Nintendo cultivated a brand that included magazines, mail order merchandise, and a two-hour commercial called The Wizard. And while Nintendo had various hits, and its name alone could sell swag, its name was intrinsically linked with a little Italian named Mario Mario.
- Masters of Doom
- Publisher: Random House
- Year: 2003
- Pages: 352
I can still remember buying—as a child of 7 or 8—Doom at the local grocery store; it was $5, and came in the form of two 3.5″ floppy disks. At the time, I had no real inclination what it was, other than than package promised a first-person shooter video game that involve monsters and machine guns. What’s not to like? At the time, I could not have known than I was only one of many tens of thousands—hundreds of thousands—discovering the same phenomenon. Of course, I had only bought the shareware version, which comprised the first of three episodes, and lacked the finances to pay $40 or $50 for the full version, but I played those 9 levels over and over again, and my new obsession also caused me to pluck the first of four novelizations from my dad’s bookshelf. Eventually, I would get the full, expanded Final Doom version of the game, and its followup, Doom II.