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The Father of Gaming in Profile

Discussion in 'General Video Game Discussion' started by Doctor Oak, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    I had to do a profile on Hiroshi Yamauchi for my course this week and now that it's marked it's safe to put online. Enjoy:

    Hiroshi Yamauchi 1927-???

    Known to many in the industry as ‘The Father of Gaming'; Hiroshi Yamauchi, former president of Nintendo, was the man that brought the Videogame Industry back from the brink of destruction and is the reason that videogames are now part of almost everyone's home entertainment centres.

    Born on November 7 1929 Yamauchi was already gifted with the success of Nintendo, founded in 1889 by great grandfather Fusajiro Yamauchi to sell his new Hanafuda Cards, a Japanese gambling game and led the company to becoming Japan's biggest producer of playing cards with ties all over the world.

    In 1940 at the age of twelve Yamauchi worked in a military factory during World War Two, being too young for military service. After the war he moved onto to the esteemed Waseda University to major in Law. His family life, however, was not as idyllic. Yamauchi's father had abandoned his family in 1933 and his grandparents raised young Hiroshi while his mother moved in with one of her sisters.

    Yamauchi himself was brought in as president of Nintendo in 1949 when his grandfather, having taken over the company again since Hiroshi's father had left, died of a stroke. It was in the period between 1950 and 1970 that Nintendo moved into new markets outside of the Hanafuda Cards. Various children's toys including spinning discs and the classic ‘cup and ball' game were released with the Nintendo brand as the company grew within in a Japanese Economy under repair.

    1969 saw the creation of Nintendo's Games department and in 1970, the late Gunpei Yokoi — later to create the best selling videogame system in history, the Gameboy - came up with the ‘Ultrahand', a ‘beam-gun' used in simple arcade games. Ten years later, after various similar devices and contracts to sell the Magnavox Odyssey game system in Japan, Yamauchi moved Nintendo into making games themselves.

    Having seen the success of Nintendo's devices in the arcades in America, Yamauchi was keen to get a game of his own on the market as well, but his first attempt failed. Seen as little more than a clone of another popular arcade game, ‘Gladius' the game was simply abandoned by most arcades. The failure was one Yamauchi learned from and he hired in a new "bright-eyed student" for his Retail and Design team to create a new game for him.

    The student was Shigeru Miyamoto and the game was to be Donkey Kong. Miyamoto, also known as the ‘Godfather of Gaming' alongside his boss, became a fierce duo with Yamauchi in the industry and led to Nintendo's monopoly thanks to the face of Mario and the wits of the president.

    Yamauchi created the home videogame industry as we know it today, with Miyamoto supplying the games to keep Nintendo in demand. Though also famed for his outspoken views on his competitors, he remained respected and revered as president among his rivals until he stepped down in 2003 as the last Yamauchi president — having no children to take up the role and leaving Satoru Iwata to take over.
    #1 Doctor Oak, Oct 19, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014

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