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Monday, July 13, 2015

Satoru Iwata: In Memorium

I'm not happy to be posting my two-hundred and first article. I was hoping on starting the road to three-hundred on a more positive note. Maybe I still can.

I'm sitting here, with a 3DS next to me, some cartridge cases of DS and 3DS titles in my backpack in the corner, and a Wii U underneath my TV. I write a great deal of music on my 3DS, so when a tune comes to mind I like to have it close by at all times. I think about this system's legacy- what came before it and what is soon to come. Much of how the Nintendo DS and Wii shaped my adolescence and teenage years is thanks to Satoru Iwata. My childhood, spent playing a sinful amount of Pokemon Gold and Silver, would be half as long if he hadn't worked on the title.

There's a lot that a Nintendo fan, and a video game enthusiast like myself, will remember about his work, his words, and his presence. He was a man that understood fun. He took on a very serious role, leading Nintendo from less-fortunate days into popularity and profit, and then having to try to replicate the same phenomena once again with less-than-successful results. Yet, at the same time, he was a man who understood video games on a number of different levels- he created a series of "Iwata Asks" interviews with developers to discuss the design process of many of Nintendo's greatest successes. He hosted a number of Nintendo Directs, poking fun at himself, at games, and more, with a symbolic and iconic hand gesture that will hopefully be used in the years to come.

He reiterated his stance on mobile games, DLC, and modern video game trends a number of times at investor briefings, and believed that Nintendo games needed to reflect quality and not diminish in price because of this. He is a man that "abnormally believed in the future". He lead his company through success and failure. But most of all, he thought that games were supposed to be fun, and wanted to share them with others.

He made Balloon Fight.

While I have only played the title a handful of times, he programmed the damn thing. He fixed the mess that was Earthbound- he allowed a whole other half of Pokemon Gold and Silver to exist, and helped put Pokemon on the Nintendo 64.

Satoru Iwata impacted my life before I even knew his name, and he has left an impact on me as I grow older. It is because of this that I believe we must do all that we can in order to share and touch others in the same way. The effects of such actions will be remembered. I will remember you, Mr. Iwata. My thoughts are with you on this day, where ever you may be.

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