As you probably all know, I do enjoy video gaming and the passing of Nintendo’s president came as quite a shock to me. It also felt like I had lost something,
The reason and magic behind Mr Iwata was that he was first and foremost, a gamer. It was also quite remarkable that someone who had started as a game developer quickly grew to direct Nintendo. So we had someone that understood the inner workings behind the game and knew what other people wanted to see. While other gaming companies were always focused on the super mega-charged turbo graphics, he was always pushing for something else. Something different.
In all honesty, Nintendo really reminds me of, well, me. Someone who isn’t a technophobe or a Luddite but still plays around with old technology because there is still something that transcends well beyond time. There are many games from Nintendo’s library that are still being enjoyed by people around the world. Take Super Smash Bros. or Super Mario for example. Even after all these years, people are still hooked on the plumber with the moustache trying to save a princess. But with games that focus too heavily on graphics, there is a pitfall in that there is always something bigger and better just around the corner. There will be games with even higher definition graphics and before you know it, you’re stuck with pixels. If however, you have a great concept and foundation, you have something strong and evergreen.
Like a beautiful song, if you have a strong melody you can be sure that someone will want to hear it again and again. With a beautiful exterior but shaky scaffolding, how can you expect a house to withstand the elements? Iwata was someone who believed in making games readily available for everyone to enjoy, against the wishes of many disgruntled people (so-called ‘hardcore gamers’ and investors who were neither game developers nor gamers). Now that was something different.
Now some of you might be thinking that I’m in over my head and that I’m being a huge schmaltz who lives on nostalgia. Well, I wouldn’t say that’s 100% incorrect, but remember I’ve stated that I’m quite a sensitive person. My memories are linked to certain senses and my surroundings. Funny I can’t really remember what the password I set last week, but I can easily tell you when and where I was with my copy of Nintendo 64’s Super Smash Bros. I was at home, playing against my brother. I was playing with a handful of my friends from middle school and I was always laughing. Always.
I’ve played games when I was happy, sad, angry and bored. The point is, the video games were a part of my journey to growing up. And remember that time I wasn’t working full-time? I played a lot of video games. A lot. And in a world where everything seems to be weighing down on your shoulders – be it bullying or illness, a little escapism goes a long way. I’m not saying that it was the only thing that helped keep me sane, but sometimes friends and family can be unavailable for a number of reasons. A video game will never really turn you down. Not pretty enough? And so you’re not a guy. Well, that’s okay.
As the late and great Iwata said:
P.S. Mr Iwata, you will be missed. Rest in peace, and thank you.