By: Drew Martz

                I’ve been playing video games since before I can remember clearly.  The only things I can recall from my hazy memories of childhood was that I owned both a Game Boy Color and a Nintendo 64 and played them both liberally enough to cause my parents to physically pick me up, put me outside, and force me to play outdoors.  Pokémon was my life back then.  I remember playing Pokémon Snap and Professor Oak constantly telling me that Pokémon don’t like it when I take pictures of them with their backs turned (an important life lesson).  I remember the exhilaration of looking at all of the new Pokémon on a poster when Gold and Silver were first released.  I remember winning a 2nd grade class spelling bee because I knew how to spell the word “attract” from playing Pokémon Stadium 2.

Then there was middle school.  I was still an avid Pokémon addict, but I also found a new franchise to love: Animal Crossing.  I literally cannot tell you how much I played Animal Crossing: Wild World on my DS.  I was so obsessed that I would sometimes sneak up past my bedtime and play it under the covers, knowing that if I got caught I would be in big trouble (I was such a rebel).  It was all worth the risk.  I had other friends who played it, too.  For a time when most children want nothing more than to fit in seamlessly with their group of friends, I had my own world in my hands where I could express my individuality in any way I wanted.  I had my fair share of friends in real-life, but it was almost if I had my own extra set of friends in the game world.  Being far from the pinnacle of fitness in my youth, I remember running a lap and desperately trying to get through it, thinking, “just imagine you’re running an errand for Mitzi… she needs it done quickly.”  I finished the lap.

It doesn’t matter how long this “console war” goes on.  I’ve had my phases come and go.  I used to be a big Xbox fan, but now I mostly play on the PC.  The thing is, though, Nintendo will always and forever be a constant.  Let me assure you, there will not be a time in the forseeable future where I will say to myself, “You know what? I’m not going to buy that new Pokémon/Animal Crossing game on its release day.”  I doubt that I am ever going to be truly bored of playing Super Smash Bros. with my roommates, or that I am ever going to not have fun when playing Mario Party or Wii Sports with my family.

On June 12th, 2015, the Nintendo of Japan President Satoru Iwata died of a bile duct growth.  Truly, this man has touched more lives than we can comprehend.  He made it his mission in life to put a smile on peoples’ faces around the globe, and he succeeded, even if he was, to many, a nameless man behind that familiar red logo.  It may be a cliché, but it’s the truth: I do not know what kind of person I would be without those iconic video games I played as a child.  Thank you Nintendo, and thank you Iwata.  Thank you for putting countless smiles on my face over the years.

                RIP.  You will be missed.


About the blogger

aaaaDrew Martz is a junior at the University of Michigan studying Computer Science, and has been an avid gamer since he was only 5 years old. His favorite games include League of Legends, Pokémon, and Animal Crossing, but also is a big fan of the RPG genre.  His dream job is to be a character designer.  In his downtime, when he’s not playing games or following E-Sports, Drew enjoys binge-watching TV shows on Netflix and YouTube videos.