As President and CEO of Nintendo, the late, great Satoru Iwata was an extremely busy man. In spite of this, it seemed like he always had time to lend a helping hand to others. There have been numerous stories over the years about Iwata stepping in to lend his programming skills to struggling developers, but today we have a story that shows off another side of his helping spirit.
A Nintendo fan who goes by kumozawa1203 on Twitter recently uploaded a letter he received from Iwata in 2013. He had chosen Nintendo as the subject for a school project and wrote to Iwata for advice. Iwata took the time to reply, sharing some of his own personal experiences and offering words of encouragement. You can read his letter below.
“Hello. This is Iwata from Nintendo. Thank you for the letter. I’m very happy that you chose Nintendo for your “Hello Work at 12” project.
“In middle school, I developed an interest in computers, and before long I’d decided to study computers seriously in college. While I was a college student, I realized how fun it was to make video games, and chose that for my job.
“Making video games is a job that requires a lot of energy, but for me it was even more fun than playing them. That and the fact that other people could also enjoy what I’d made gave me a sense of purpose.
“Game development requires the drawing together of many different fields. You need people to think up game designs, people to draw pictures, people to make music and sound effects, people to program, people to test the game people to make sure that the whole team is working together well, and so on.
“That’s why I don’t think there’s a right answer to the question of what you should study. I do think that you’ll be able to find what you’re good at by thinking deeply about all the things you’re interested in, not settling for spending your days without increasing your knowledge, making lots of discoveries, and repeating that process. While what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing might not necessarily be the same, I’ve had the experience of others recognizing things I’m good at, even if I didn’t actually like it at first. That’s one reason why you should continue studying and gaining experience without bias.
“Please do your best.”