Eulogy for Iwata

Posted: July 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

(crossposted from Facebook)

Something that I love doing, maybe a little more selfishly than altruistically, but really one of my biggest joys in life is sharing what I know about video games and trying to turn that information around into fun experiences for other people by showing them journeys they had yet to take, characters they had yet to meet, skills they had yet to learn.

Not everyone is a gamer. And not every game is a trip worth taking necessarily, certainly not for everyone you meet. But what I’ve come to realize today reading all of the tributes to Mr. Iwata, a man whose technical skill was nothing short of stunning but was apparently still outweighed by the size of his heart and the goodness inside of him, what I’m reminded of is this: Nobody is immune to fun.

Our ideas of what fun is, or how we arrive to that point, these things are fluid; dynamic. But a large piece of the equation is who shares your fun. Who suggests where to go, what to do, who calls you on the phone just to see you and do things together, who you think of and smile when you’re having a good time or snap your fingers and say “They would LOVE this.”

Fun is only ever more fun when it’s shared out of love and kindness and sincerity. Even if it stumbles a step or two to get there, with those ingredients, it will get there. And Satoru Iwata understood that so amazingly clearly. He believed in fun. And he believed that it was a thing best shared intimately with the people you love, that sharing fun is, simply put, more fun when it’s with the people you love the most.

“Adults, children, even your older sister.”

When somebody passes, if you know them or not, it can be hard: mortality is a tall demon to face. When you hear what everyone else knew and understood about that person and how little you did, or what you never had the opportunity to find out first-hand, it can be outright devastating. But when those stories and experiences come together and you find a narrative or a driving factor that aligns with you, it pushes you forward rather than wanting to go back. It inspires you to know that what you’re doing you do with an ally.

In that regard, I have a renewed sense of purpose. And my advice to anyone who finds his or anyone else’s sudden passing to be harder to swallow than they had expected is simple: have fun. Because when you’re having fun, you think and you remember the people that you love, and you honor them so profoundly deeply by enjoying what there is of your life and considering how adding them to the situation would only make it better.


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