Gunpei Yokoi, I'd expect that name would resonate with a lot of Nintendo fans who grew up with a Game Boy in their home. Best known as the inventor of the Game & Watch, the Game Boy, the classic Nintendo style D-Pad; as well as introducing the characters of Wario, Pit, and Princess Daisy; Yokoi and the Nintendo brand became synonymous with success from the early 1980s onwards.
Responsible for many of a generations childhood memories, Yokoi firmly subscribed his philosophy of "Lateral Thinking of Withered Technology" to his work, believing that cutting edge technology should take a back seat to having a fun, enjoyable time. That philosophy is still evidently in use at Nintendo today, most recently seen in the Wii, and Nintendo 3DS when you look at competing products in their respective generations. They're not the most powerful, but they have seen greater success. It's arguable that the Virtual Boy project, for which he was the person most directly responsible for its existence, may have added a blemish to his accomplishments but only in the smallest of ways. It was because of the products failure that Yokoi would leave Nintendo after thirty one years following the release of the Game Boy Pocket in 1996; he would then go on to form a new company named Koto and work on the WonderSwan project for Bandai.
On October 4th, 1997 Gunpei Yokoi was involved in a minor automobile collision when he rear ended a truck. As he left his vehicle to inspect the damage he was struck by two vehicles; he was pronounced dead two hours later.
Speaking theoretically, given Yokois' previous achievements, successes and failures within the video game industry during his time at Nintendo, where do you think gaming would be today if he was still alive and well, and involved with the industry today? Would he have returned to Nintendo? Would he be working on a Wonderswan HD?
Let's have your thoughts, as regardless of your feelings on Nintendo in the comments below folks I'm sure nobody would disagree that Yokoi would have been a big presence in the modern age as he was in the Golden one.