Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interview with Arcade Mania's Brian Ashcraft

PingMag interviews Brian Ashcraft, the author of the new Arcade Mania! book published in English by Kodansha International. The book - a must read for every gamer - takes you on a turbo-charged tour through a typical Japanese arcade, with facts about the history, background, and characteristics of each game. It is also full of interviews with game makers and star players. You can buy it at Kinokuniya Singapore for S$28. From PingMag:
A great part of your book is about the people behind the games. How did you select them, such as the genuine Sakurina the Sticker Model Queen from the sticker-picture booths?

The thing is, talking about video games is interesting, but talking about people and their interaction with these games or why they made them is much more interesting! Some people can read about the nuts and bolts arcade games, and that information is there for them; other people are more interested in the pop culture angle and what it means for society. So, that is also in the book and it was a matter of balancing those two different angles. Being a contributing editor at Wired, I thought that the best way to do that was find somebody to tell that story. For each chapter I wanted to find someone who would be a good representation of that genre. For example sticker pictures, who would be someone who knows a lot about that? There was this model, Rina Sakurai, who has been in advertisements for sticker-picture machines and she has worked for a company designing the machines. From her, we could branch out to other people.

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