“Video games are meant to be just one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone!” – Satoru Iwata
The news of Satoru Iwata’s passing came as a shock to me, as it did many others. I found myself with a deep feeling of uncertainty and genuine loss over a man that I have never met. This is in itself was a testament to Nintendo’s now-former president and CEO, a man who sometimes through sheer force of will kept Nintendo relevant in an age of high-powered consoles and PCs.
I have spent numerous hours trying to find the words to properly sum up the man’s career; to convey the impact that he has had on the video games industry. What I’ve come to realize is that I was going about it all wrong. To quantify Iwata’s accomplishments and place all of his successes and contributions to the industry into a finite space would be a great disservice. Men like Iwata are not remembered for some list or collection of accolades. Rather, they are remembered and honored for how they affected and inspired those around them.
I have had time to read some of the tributes and messages for Iwata on various websites dedicated to video games and social media like Twitter and Facebook. It’s clear that Iwata had a resounding effect on the lives of millions of gamers across the world, some indirectly, but most in a more direct fashion. Satoru Iwata was a rare breed in this industry, with unmatched passion and love for the games that we all grew up with. He was a man of vision, someone who cared more for the product he was providing than for the paycheck he was receiving. He was someone who, with every presentation, reminded the world at large that video games were meant to be enjoyed above all else.
Though I never had the privilege to meet him, I will miss Satoru Iwata like I would miss a dear friend. From him, I have learned the importance of passion and in finding fun wherever I can. If you are looking for a way to honor his memory, simply play the games that he worked so hard to provide to you and the rest of the world. Have fun. And remember.
Arigato, Iwata Senpai. I think I’m beginning to understand.