11-1 | Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Book Review

Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Dominic Arsenault
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2017. Introduction, notes, researches, and index. 226 pp. $29.95 cloth. ISBN: 9780262036566

by Joseph A. Loporcaro

First Paragraph:

Dominic Arsenault’s book, Super Power, Spoony Bards, and Silverware: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, offers a valuable reminder of what all scholarly activity should have at its core—the willingness to challenge firmly held beliefs. After all, a belief that does not stand up to rigorous scrutiny is not a belief worth having. Arsenault’s work allows us the chance to do exactly that, rigorously to scrutinize the widely held belief that the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) video game console was a stellar piece of hardware that enabled some of the greatest software in video game history. Arsenault uses extensive research and novel information to reframe most major factors that contribute to that belief. Ultimately, his book is not designed to change the reader’s mind regarding these widely agreed-upon beliefs of the Super Nintendo. However, it demands the reader flex some mental muscles that may have grown weak after decades of simply adopting the same old assumptions about the platform.