1st Edition

Nintendo Playing with Power

By Randy Nichols Copyright 2024
    110 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Originally founded in 1889 as a manufacturer of playing cards, this book examines the history and political economic status of the multinational consumer electronics and video game giant Nintendo.

    This book offers a deeper examination into Nintendo as a global media giant, with some of the industry’s best-selling consoles and most recognizable intellectual property including Mario, Pokémon, and Zelda. Drawing upon the theory of the political economy of communication, which seeks to understand how communication and media serve as key mechanisms of economic and political power, Randy Nichols examines how Nintendo has maintained its dominance in the global video game industry and how it has used its position to shape that industry. This book argues that while the company’s key figures and main franchises are important, Nintendo’s impact as a company – and what we can learn from its evolution – is instructive beyond the video game industry.  

    This book is perfect for students and scholars of media and cultural industries, critical political economy of media, production studies, and games studies.

    1. Introduction  2. The History of Nintendo  3. Nintendo’s Economic Profile  4. Nintendo’s Cultural and Political Profile  5. Conclusion


    Randy Nichols is Associate Professor in the Division of Culture, Arts & Communication in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington Tacoma. His work focuses on the critical political economy of video games. He has published three books: The Video Game Business (2014), Inside the Video Game Industry (2016), and Political Economy of Media Industries (2019), as well as various articles and book chapters analyzing the interplay of the video game industry with other media industries and the implications of video games on cultural and creative industries policy.