Why you should read: Super Mario Bros. 3 by Alyse Knorr


Boss Fight Books just concluded their Season 3 Kickstarter which includes games such as Katamari Damacy, Kingdom Hearts, and  Mega Man 3. One book is ready to hit shelves so far from season 3: Super Mario Bros. 3 by Alyse Knorr.

I have read most of the BFB catalog (minus the S3 items) and I can say with certainty and confidence that I have yet to be disappointed by any of these books. Each book is so unique and different from the rest of the catalog (inevitably, as different writers have different writing styles), but nevertheless each BF book is interesting, enjoyable, and thought-provoking.

Alyse Knorr’s SMB3 is a brilliant edition to the catalog for, I think, many reasons. For one, there is much care into the research and information that Knorr puts into the book. My own knowledge of SMB3‘s development is limited and what Knorr has provided has been both useful and education. In addition, Knorr expertly describes what SMB3 is like for those who may not be as familiar to the game. As such, if a reader is worried that they may be bogged down reading SMB3 because she had not played it somehow…have no fear–Knorr does a fantastic job describing SMB3 with such elegance and pleasantness that one needn’t worry about whether or not they had played Super Mario Bros. 3.

Perhaps most importantly (at least to me), I think the reason why SMB3 is a fantastic read and excellent addition to the BFB catalog is because, intermixed with bits of research and information, is storytelling. Knorr gets intimate with the reader, discussing her own personal story, experience, and journey–not just with SMB3 but with herself and others. She describes experiences such as how she would watch her father play Super Mario Bros. 3 or how she felt embarrassed when she went to parties and friends would whip out their old NESs with SMB3. In addition, the bits of storytelling that Knorr brings up is the reason why I am such a huge fan of Boss Fight Books in general. Unique and surprising perspectives of individuals in video games have always interested me, and I believe that these perspectives give us new lens to look at video games. Instead of looking at them as toys, we ought to look at them as experiences or forms of art. And reading Knorr’s perspective on SMB3 highlights this shift from games as toys or forms of entertainment to games as important historical artifacts that have the power to change lives and histories. Many Boss Fight books excel in this (one reason why I particularly love them), and SMB3 is no exception. If you are interested in video games being something more than just entertainment, SMB3 is a book for you. Knorr’s writing is so pleasant, her stories are so heartwarming and engaging, and her persepctive so refreshing, that it seems obvious that I have to recommend this book to any and all who care about video games and minorities’ perspectives on them.

Honestly, my only complaint for this book is…that it is too short. I read it in 3 sittings, over the course of 2 days. (To be fair, even if the length was doubled, I still would have thought it to be too short–it’s that good.)

So, if you are interested in reading Knorr’s SMB3, it comes out July 18th, 2016 and can be found here (about $5 for the ebook, but hard copies will also be available). I am confident that if you care about video games you would enjoy it.

(Also, if you want to check out the other books offered by Boss Fight, you can check them out at https://bossfightbooks.com/. I highly recommend them).





  1. Alyse Knorr · July 9, 2016

    Thank you so much for this kind review! I really appreciate your insightful reading and remarks. –Alyse Knorr


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