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There is a new Kickstarter campaign making the rounds, and this time it’s for a book on History. No, it’s not the kind of History you slept through in High School — it’s Videogame History.
The Kickstarter project is for John Szczepaniak’s book, The Untold History of Japanese Developers. It will reportedly contain interviews with key staff for such Japanese game companies as Hudson, SquareSoft, Konami, Capcom, and more.
Many books have been written about videogame history before (such as Steven Kent’s great book, The Ultimate History of Video Games, which I am currently reading, and loving), but the language barrier had so far prevented the history of Japanese videogames to be told completely. John Szczepaniak plans to remedy this by heading into Japan, hiring the best Japanese-English interpreters his money can afford, and using his many industry contacts to secure even more interviews than he’s already secured as of this moment.
The phrase “many industry contacts” is truly accurate, for Szczepaniak has been working as a videogame journalist and critic for many years. His Author Biography in Gamasutra states that “John Szczepaniak is a journalist, novelist, and copy editor. He’s written for Retro Gamer, GamesTM, Official PlayStation Magazine, The Escapist, plus over a dozen other publications. He frequently contributes to Hardcore Gaming 101, where he helped put together The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures book,” and he claims to have “interviewed over 100 people in the last 9 years.”
I have personally already made my pledge. If you are a fan of videogame history (and you may very well be. I certainly didn’t know I was one until I read David Sudnow’s Pilgrim in the Microworld), then you should take a look at the Kickstarter page, and see if the book entices you. It may very well turn out to be essential for critics and serious fans alike.