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Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children is a non-fiction book written by David Sheff and published by Random House, New York in 1993.

Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children
Game Over (First Edition).jpg
Cover of the first edition
AuthorDavid Sheff
CountryUnited States
PublisherRandom House, Inc. (New York)
Publication date
Media typeHardcover, paperback
Pages445 (First edition, including index)
338.7/617948/0952 20
LC ClassHD9993.E454 N577 1993


The book details the modern history of Nintendo and its rise to become the most powerful electronic gaming company in the world as of 1993. The book also provides a history of the worldwide electronic gaming industry as a whole from the 1960s to the 1990s.[1][2][3]

Although bearing a very specific title, the book is fairly neutral; it mainly relates the history of the company while looking at both the positives and negatives of their business practices.[4] Sheff does suggest that many of Nintendo's successes are attributable to what reviewer James Fallows termed "the Japanese system’s tolerance for monopoly".[5] Sheff also defends the accuracy of the "enslaved your children" portion of the subtitle, stating that "kids will play the games compulsively and non-stop".[6]

The author extensively interviewed numerous established figures in the industry, such as Howard Lincoln, Nolan Bushnell, Shigeru Miyamoto (misspelled as "Sigeru" in the book if one regards Hepburn romanization as definitive), Alexey Pajitnov, and others, including people who spoke anonymously. This level of access to major figures in Nintendo's history, which US Gamer described as "unprecedented", made Game Over "the definitive work" which was referenced by nearly all other subsequent books and articles about Nintendo's history.[7]

Portions of the book were originally published in San Francisco Focus, Men's Life, Rolling Stone, and Playboy magazines.[citation needed]


Since its initial publication, Game Over has been reprinted with many different subtitles. One example is Game Over: Nintendo's Battle to Dominate Videogames.

Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered the World, an edition published by Vintage Press in 1994,[8] contains a new foreword written by author David Sheff pertaining to the controversy over video game content in the early 1990s.

In 1999, a revised edition of the book titled Game Over: Press Start to Continue – The Maturing of Mario (referencing Nintendo's famous character Mario) was released. Among error corrections, photographs and new chapters written by Andy Eddy were added.[9]

An edited version was printed by Coronet Books and given away free with the May 1999 issue of Arcade magazine.


Next Generation gave the book a positive review, praising the breadth, quality of research, and easy readability. They remarked that the one flaw is that the frequent detours from the Nintendo story give the reader the feeling that the book is an overview of gaming history in general with an unbalanced focus on Nintendo. They concluded, "Next Generation uses Game Over as a reference guide on a day-to-day basis, and we really can't give any higher recommendation than that."[10]


  1. ^ Coates, James (May 18, 1993). "How Super Mario conquered America". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Juster, Scott (February 23, 2012). "'Game Over': A Look at Nintendo's Past and Future". PopMatters. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  3. ^ Sheff, David; Eddy, Andy (1999). Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children. online . GamePress. ISBN 978-0-9669617-0-6. OCLC 26214063.
  4. ^ Levy, Steven (July 18, 1993). "Hey, It's More Than a Game". The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  5. ^ Fallows, James (March 24, 1994). "The Computer Wars". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  6. ^ Corr, O. Casey (July 18, 1993). "Nintendo: From Collapse to Empire". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  7. ^ Parish, Jeremy. "Essential Reading: 'I Am Error' Brings New Insight to the History of the NES". US Gamer. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  8. ^ Petersen, Clarence (July 17, 1994). "Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered the World, by David Sheff". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  9. ^ "Talking Game Over: IGN64 freelancer Dexter Sy chats with industry Veteran Andy Eddy about his updates to Game Over". IGN. September 9, 1999. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  10. ^ "Essential Reading". Next Generation. Imagine Media (4): 26. April 1995.