I enjoyed the article for what it was, but it felt a bit like the unfinished Encyclopedic entries denounced in the introduction. The problem of "condensing" information about the Japanese creators of early video games is widespread in videogame writing. It is monumentally easier to browse through the available English sources of information on people like Yokoi and compile them for an article than to actually add something new to the story of their lives.
Indeed, one could retrieve the same information Crigger presents here out of entries in Wikipedia, Sheff's "Game Over" and Kohler's "Power Up;" although Crigger compiles the information nicely, with a personal touch and abundant reverence. But is this enough? Both Kohler and Sheff went a lot farther to gather their information; they have been to Japan, and they have talked to actual people, much like reporters do with their subjects in America.
I understand that there is an exceedingly daunting language barrier, but if you really want to get to know people like Yokoi, then it is possible to do an interview. You don't even have to go to Japan, people there have phones and email. To say "The only hard proof we have that Gunpei Yokoi graced this mortal soil is a few faded black and white photographs" is just wrong, and a bit insensitive. What about his family? What about his co-workers? I'm sure Shigeru Miyamoto has some ripping good yarns about him, why not ask? The history of early Japanese videogames is certainly shrouded in mystery--but videogame writers often just accept this, and, even more often, present it as some sort of exaggerated conundrum for dramatic effect.
I'd also like to point out that this sort of article seems to reveal an uncomfortable trend in videogame journalism (a double standard?), whereby American and European videogame authors (even those mysterious programmers of the golden-era) get interviewed and profiled, but Japanese authors receive a nostalgic and mysterious homage. Just look at the other articles in this month's issue.
Also, the R.O.B. consumes plenty of "D" batteries as well!