Reggie Fils-aime

Loving video games hasn’t always been an easy thing to do. Games haven’t always been as popular as they are now. They weren’t always about where the boys were droppin’ in on the Fornite map or about people getting major endorsements because they play them.

Thinking back to my younger days, I remember the verbal bashings I’d get for spending hours locked in my room playing video games. My parents would shut them off, take away my controllers, and even unsuccessfully try implementing a chore schedule, exchanging hours of yard work for gaming time. Only a few of my friends shared more than a surface level enthusiasm to talk about our experiences playing them.

Stage presence

Within the last two decades, the popularity of gaming has risen to a level where you can’t deny their existence. What is even more astonishing is that the faces behind gaming companies have bled into the limelight. People like Bill Gates were pumping up generations of fans for the Microsoft Xbox, showing up at retail stores to issue the first sale. Years later, Reggie Fils-Aime would assume the role of Nintendo of America president to do the same.

One of the reasons I think Reggie rose in popularity was simply due to the fact that he was so relatable. Fils-Aime was the everyday gamer thrust into adulthood. The awkward kid that grew up and didn’t mind showing off his love for things that many would consider just toys or something only children play with. Reggie was really me.

From cheers to tears

I found myself tearing up at Reggie’s goodbye video on the Nintendo of America Twitter feed. I’m sure there are those out there who say things like, “Why would you care about some guy at a company?” Thinking about the times I’ve seen Reggie on stage, it hasn’t been so much what he’s done or said (although funny); it was mostly what he stood for.

Reggie, much like the rest of the faces of Nintendo, always seem to celebrate the gamer first. It wasn’t the hardware under the hood that drove excitement. It was the love and passion of gaming, and most of the time — just having fun.

Just one more thing

I’m really appreciative looking back on the Iwata and Fils-Aime era at Nintendo. Both persevered through some of the toughest economic climates and periods of company growth. The laughs and passion managed to shine through each video segment and company update. This is one reason why I and many others hold Iwata in such high regard.

I don’t know about anyone else, but at least for me, I just want to say thanks for always bringing that Fils-Aime flair. That sense of fun, enjoyment, and passion for the experiences that so many of us cherish. And most importantly, for not being afraid to laugh at yourself.

Being an adult isn’t always glamorous. Sometimes the most exciting thing in a day might be swapping out work attire for Hylian garb. But you’ve managed to keep that spark of excitement alive in a lot of people, many of whom continue to celebrate the thing that they love most — video games.

Greg Bargas
A console gamer gone rogue. Collector of retro games, pun and dad joke enthusiast. My spotify playlists are out of control. Rocket League anyone?

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