Source: LSG Family Collection
July 16, 2015
Do you have a Nintendo product in your home? Maybe a DS or a Wii console? Do your grand/children play video games?
Then, you should know this: Satoru Iwata, President & CEO of Nintendo, passed away this week at the age of 55. His philosophy was summarized in his keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference in 2005: “On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.” The Farewell Tribute video can be watched at the end of this post.
I find myself saddened by this news, saddened because the industry has clearly lost a talented leader. Saddened because Nintendo has been a part of our home since our son, Adam, then 3 or 4 years old, introduced us to the gaming industry in the early 90s. Adam saw his path from moment one before he could even have a turn (older children not sharing) with the controller or a hand-held, before there were memory cards (hence the frustration of stopping and losing all of one’s efforts, only to have to start over), and way before an MS degree in Interactive Entertainment existed (Thank you FIEA).
Our second son, Zachary, believes he has been playing since his toddler years with the Nintendo playing path paved by Adam. We hosted many a large sleep-over all nighters while our sons played this “new” activity with their friends & we shared in the joys & frustrations of the “boys” winning & losing. The University of Florida’s College of Fine Arts surely did not anticipate Adam’s every project would revolve around, dare I say, video game topics, heavily loaded with Nintendo themes, as he pursued his BFA in Digital Media & co-founded the Interactive Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA).
Now, as I spend my days with this Center’s “friends”, I continue to surprise these children, teens and young adults with “video-game knowledge”, limited, but they do not realize that since I have “advisors” who make sure I have the right information. This shared knowledge gives me credibility in their eyes, allowing them to trust and share an interest, and allows us to start off on the right foot. But there is more value in video games than meets the eye.
And, after more than twenty years, this Center will officially begin to use video game consoles within the therapeutic context later in 2015. WAIT, I know what you are thinking, but please hear me out! There are many studies (which have been posted on this site and elsewhere) supporting the benefits of using video games for a wide range of speech, language, learning, social communication & related needs.
I knew this time would come, where the value of the art and technology of video games outside of “gaming” would be supported. I knew it first as a parent, second as an SLP and last as the Director who must approve this idea. To be clear, this “tool” will be just that, another tool used to benefit each “friend’s” communicative needs, and will be used in conjunction with a long and wide range of low-tech and traditional tools. ~ Lori
Thank you, Zachary, this Center’s Social Media Advisor, for sharing this important post. Thank you, Adam, this Center’s Technical Advisor, for sharing your passion of the video game industry with our family. Remember Iwata’s reference to the framed Japanese characters hanging behind him, “Doku-so”, which translated means, “creating something unique.” A goal we can all embrace no matter our path. ~ Mom