This is the first time I’ve reported on a death here before, though there have certainly been other times when I thought about it. It was very sad when Ralph Waite died last year and when Joe Conley died the year before him and I was certainly very close to writing about it, but I didn’t feel I’d have anything substantial to say (not that they weren’t equally tragic)
I was surprised by how much the death of Satoru Iwata affected me. It was the first thing I read in the morning and it added a rather downbeat note to the whole day. I wrote a bit about it on the Sellr blog at work today too, by the way. With an actor, you almost feel like you get to know them through their performances, but you wouldn’t expect to get that feeling so much from the CEO of a big company. You wouldn’t expect a death like that to feel like such a personal loss.
But I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I know why. For one thing, he always took the time to do regular Nintendo Direct presentations, where he would announce upcoming games. I’d always be very excited for those presentations and they were purely positive experiences of which he was a big part; those positive experiences will never be the same again. It’s not only that though; the world of video games is something which has remained pretty much unchanged throughout my life; sure, graphics and style might change, but at their hearts, games have remained the same. Iwata has been a part of that, and now things have been irreversibly changed. The chain that went all the way through my life has finally been broken.
I certainly don’t mean to take this terrible thing that happened and make it about me. Of course, I am just a fan of his work, and will not be affected anywhere near as much as his family or the people who actually knew him. Nonetheless, the news of his death has left me quite sad and I wanted to write about it.