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Sega Arcade pop-up book celebrates Space Harrier, Hang-On and other classics

Paper sculptures of some of Sega’s best stand-up machines

Read-Only Memory
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Read-Only Memory, publisher of fine art books celebrating video game history, has a wild new crowdfunding project. Called Sega Arcade: Pop-Up History, it’s a book filled with paper sculptures of classic games like Hang-On and Space Harrier.

The Kickstarter campaign, which ends on Aug. 9, features an ask of £40,000, or the equivalent of $52,796. Delivery is expected in April 2019. Given the current rate of backing, it should be successfully funded by some time tomorrow if not sooner.

The book will feature five arcade games in total: Hang-On, Space Harrier, Thunder Blade, After Burner and Out Run. All were the creation of Yu Suzuki, the father of the so-called “taikan” or “body sensation” games. Suzuki is currently at work on Shenmue 3.

“These cabinets remain high water marks for the once-vibrant arcade game scene,” states the Kickstarter campaign, “seductive, gaudy fusions of industrial design and 1980s graphic art.”

Paper sculptures will be surrounded with lavish art from the cabinets themselves and historical context.

Read-Only Memory has made a name for itself using Kickstarter to create unique art books that capture the vanishing history of early video games. Its titles include Sega Dreamcast: Collected Works, Britsoft: An Oral History, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works and The Bitmap Brothers: Universe.

Full disclosure: Publisher Read-Only Memory is also responsible for 500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII, written by Polygon’s Matt Leone.