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Nintendo's Iwata: 'There's A Depth, A Wonder To The Act Of Making Games'

Gamasutra's latest feature contains many details about Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, from new book 'N
Gamasutra's latest feature contains many details about Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, from new book 'Nintendo Magic', which details the company's executives and how their philosophies lead to success with the DS and Wii. The chapter offers a biography of Iwata, the president of Nintendo who came to the company after running second-party developer HAL Laboratory (Kirby's Dream Land, Super Smash Bros. Melee.) Nintendo Magic: Winning the Videogame Wars, written by Nihon Keizai Shimbun reporter Osamu Inoue, and published in English by Vertical, is out now. Iwata's background with computers started early. After first programming games in high school on an HP calculator, he decided to study programming in college, writes Inoue: "In love with computers, Iwata entered the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1978 to study computer science. This time he used the money he received as a graduation present to buy a Commodore PET -- with integrated monochrome display, keyboard, and cassette tape reader, it was the world's first all-in-one computer. "He would store his programs on cassettes, and bring them every week to the Seibu department store's computer department to show off. By the time he was a sophomore, a group of the store's employees had formed a company called HAL Laboratory -- and they invited Iwata to join them. It was the beginning of his career as a game designer." Says Iwata: "I feel there's a depth, a wonder to the act of making games. Creating a single game involves constant trial and error, integrating control and play while remaining true to your theme, your concept. You wade through the vast possibilities, converging on a product. I really don't think there's anything else quite like it." Inoue continues, "To Iwata, game design was a quest for truth. That truth could be found at the end of a long, hard development process akin to spiritual training. The endless depth of that progression captivated Iwata. Ever since high school, he had loved games more than anyone else he knew, and his desire to create them had led him [to Nintendo]." The full excerpt, which contains the expanded biography of Iwata featuring much more history of HAL Laboratory and many more quotes, as well as a look at Nintendo head designer Shigeru Miyamoto's background, is live today on Gamasutra.

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