“On my business card I am a corporate president. In my mind I’m a game developer. But I’m a gamer at heart.” Satoru Iwata

Perhaps there is no precise formula that explains this fascinating phenomenon that we commonly know as Nintendo magic. A pattern, reference, or way of seeing and doing things that can be extrapolated to anything to infuse it with the true spirit of Nintendo video games and systems. Is it an abstract concept? Rather in a way of seeing things. A vision embodied in one person: Satoru Iwata. And in the absence of a biography, the Ask Iwata book manages to be this inspirational conversation with a genius with a passion for video games.

To say that Iwata was the president of Nintendo, which isn’t exactly an understatement, would be an understatement. He was the soul of the company, an honest and consistent person, the heir to a legacy and enormous responsibility, Shigeru Miyamoto’s friend and laughing partner, and above all a true lover of video games. Someone who has devoted his life to understanding this phenomenon from every possible perspective and in the process managed to change the industry from the inside out and the way every house plays.

Curiously, Iwata rarely spoke about himself in public, apart from illustrating with anecdotes the Iwata Asks, a section dedicated to the humanization of Nintendo’s new games and the memory of the Big N’s most emblematic games. An informal and comfortable place where he shared their own memories and experiences showing that Nintendo shouldn’t be a company, but a space where creatives and engineers share the same passion for video games and a constant drive to be better.

Satoru Iwata left this world on July 11, 2015. His vision lives on. His way of understanding video games has been immortalized in countless games, his hilarious digital events, and his relationship with those who knew him. It was precisely this contagious passion that found a new way to thrive: the newspaper Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun (Hobonichi) was one of the media outlets closest to Iwata, due to the latter’s friendship with Shigesato Itoi, her editor-in-chief, with whom she particularly shared the Emptiness from Iwata felt his loss. Enough to give you one of the best tributes ever made: Ask Iwata.

Ask Iwata: An Inspirational Journey to True Passion for Video Games

The book’s title, Ask Iwata, is very easy to understand: it’s a complete twist on his talk show Iwata Asks, in which it attempts to offer a complete vision of who it is through the compilation and chronological arrangement of articles, interviews and reflections It was Iwata, what he was passionate about and how he came to embrace this philosophy that we now define so abstractly as Nintendo magic. And while it’s a tribute to a very specific person, it’s a true declaration of love for video games.

The Spanish edition of Ask Iwata: These were the wise words of Satoru Iwata, the legendary CEO of Nintendo, it’s almost 200 pages full of memories, anecdotes and interviews to be enjoyed in a very entertaining way. Knowing how to give the most important sentences their deserved space and value; Lessons learned in the most delicate moments and, when appropriate, also conveying the humor and humanity of one of the most important and influential Presidents in the history of video games. And despite this responsibility, a character who was always humble and close. Sometimes even an accomplice of the player himself.

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Because Iwata’s story in video games didn’t begin the day he signed on as a part-time sole programmer at the newly formed HAL Laboratories (in fact, he was to be his own boss), but the day he found a Hewlett Packard Pocket calculator on the way to class that changed his life. A piece of hardware that he had owned and began experimenting with to create games for his seatmate. A restlessness and curiosity would arise that would accompany him throughout his life.

Hobonichi’s book, which weaves together and organizes articles written by Satoru Iwata himself and excerpts from his interviews, goes beyond the traditional biography format and offers us Iwata’s thoughts, reflections and ideals from his early days to his rise as President of Nintendo; the division of the work into seven chapters, which can be read in two afternoons, but always invite you to read them again.

Seven chapters, of course, although not all bear Iwata’s signature: other personalities, such as Shigeru Miyamoto himself, wanted to remember and join the honor. In the end, for Miyamoto, Iwata wasn’t a company boss, but a laughing partner, someone he deeply admired, and most importantly, a friend. A unique chemistry that was evident in every video game and came across the screen in their hilarious digital events.

Logically, throughout the book we not only get a complete and coherent vision of Iwata’s creative aspect or mindset, but also an honest vision of a Nintendo that has gone through multiple crises. Drawn on the basis of creativity, excellence and, from time to time, very tangible magic: under Iwata’s leadership, counter-current revolutions were born within the video game industry, such as the Nintendo DS and its Touch generations or the Wii phenomenon and motion controls.

Beyond the biographical aspect of the book, scattered throughout the pages of Ask Iwata we find articles such as First, create the platform and gaming experience, The fear of staying the same course or Although the idea seems impossible, try what they are and should read A must for every developer and creative. Even beyond the video game. Words that come from unique moments and situations at Nintendo, but with the right approach can be applied to almost any circumstance.

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After all, Iwata never stopped learning about this passion in life. He learned and received instruction from the best, from those he admired and from those who would eventually become his friends. Like Shigeru Miyamoto or Masahiro Sakurai with whom he had the crazy idea to make Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, this is exactly Sakurai’s definitive attempt to pay tribute to his friend.

The book Iwata Asks refuses to be a mere biography of the character Satoru Iwata or an encyclopedic compendium of his achievements and milestones. Instead, through his word, it allows us to understand the person at different stages of their life. And in doing so, he wants to pass his legacy and vision on to a new generation of video game enthusiasts. It manages to be a read as entertaining as it is illustrative, a beautiful tribute to those who shared his philosophy and. Why not? also a bit of pure Nintendo magic.

VidaExtra’s opinion

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Ask Iwata: These were the wise words of Satoru Iwata. It’s one of those reads that infuses passion for video games with violence. A different look at the company that has made entire generations fall in love with this passion and a series of reflections that allow us to better understand what makes Nintendo different from everything else. An honor that goes beyond the awardee himself and humanizes the president of a large corporation, who was also one of us players under this suit.

Ask Iwata’s Planeta Comic Edition is as simple and fun as the Japanese original. Its 194 pages can be savored in small sips, although the most unconditional of company will surely devour it in an afternoon. Of course, it’s the kind of book that should be close at hand for inspiration and to revisit quotes and thoughts that not only cannot be lost, but must serve as the basis for all that is to come.

Of course, it’s also a fascinating collection of funny anecdotes and memories, spread out very practically. Learning that Iwata was affectionately called Kirby in his company because of his way of destroying all the candies and sweets in his path makes the myth full of humanity and inspires a new kind of admiration.

And it may be that the so-called Nintendo magic is an almost inexplicable phenomenon, but in the absence of a mathematical formula that will help us understand it better, the great milestone of Ask Iwata: these were the wise words of Satoru Iwata of his kind, to convey all these ideas and philosophies to a whole new generation. Delegating the flame and legacy of Satoru Iwata to those who are passionate about video games today and in the future.

Ask Iwata (His Manga)

Ask Iwata (His Manga)

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Ask Iwata Sheet: These Were the Wise Words of Satoru Iwata (2021)

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 8413425948
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-8413425948
  • Publisher: Planeta Cómic (Spain) Hobonichi (Japan)
  • Authors: Satoru Iwata and various authors / Blanca Mira (translation)
  • Number of pages: 194 pages
  • Size: 14*1.8*22.5cm
  • Format: softcover volume with flaps (Spanish edition)
  • Inside: black and white