September 19, 2013 10:58 am
Hiroshi Yamauchi didn’t invent video games. He wasn’t the man responsible for first putting video games in the home—not in the specific sense of the word “first,” anyway. But Hiroshi Yamauchi was, with all likelihood, the man that first brought video games into your home.
Yamauchi took over as president of Nintendo in 1949, back when Nintendo was still “Nintendo Playing Card.” It was under his oversight that “middle-aged guy” became Jumpman, and, finally, Mario. Through five decades of work, Yamauchi turned Nintendo from a playing card manufacturer into a cultural icon and an economic juggernaut, and himself into, at one point, Japan’s richest man. In 2002 Yamauchi left Nintendo, and today he died, of pneumonia, at 85 in a Tokyo hospital.
Rob Crossley, associate editor of Computer and Video Games magazine, told the BBC: “You cannot overestimate the influence the man had on the games industry.”
“He spearheaded Nintendo as they moved into the arcade business, with hits such as Donkey Kong.
“This man was the president of Nintendo during the NES, the SNES, the N64 and the Gamecube – the first two were transformative pieces of electronic entertainment.”
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