The untimely death of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has inspired recollections and tributes from across the video game industry. The statements and stories touch on Iwata's business acumen, his desire to expand the reach of games to new audiences, his experience as a developer and his warm personality. You can see all those qualities encapsulated in "Heart of a Gamer," Iwata's memorable keynote address from the 2005 Game Developers Conference.
Iwata began by taking out his business card and uttering a line that has become one of his most famous quotes: "On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer."
With that, he instantly won over the audience. Iwata then spoke for an hour — despite a sore throat — about topics including the origins of his personal love for video games; how he got his start making games at HAL Laboratory, the studio behind the Kirby, Mother and Super Smash Bros. series; his opinions on trends in the game industry, such as its push toward bigger, more photorealistic games; and the philosophy by which Nintendo evaluated games.
About halfway through his keynote, Iwata shifted to focusing on Nintendo's future. Here is how he began that segment of his talk:
In the universe of interactive entertainment, there is a planet we call video games. It is the one we know best, but it is only one. Also in our universe are other planets which entertain, but in different ways from current games. It is this part of the universe we are anxious to explore.
So, this idea creates the dual passions of Nintendo. On one hand, we work every day to make what we describe as video games better. We want to give players what they want. But at the same time, we are intent on finding out what else we can use to entertain. Our second goal is to show players something new — something they may not even know they want.
Iwata was speaking in March 2005, approximately 15 months before Nintendo introduced the world to the Wii at E3 2006.
Update: The GDC Vault uploaded Iwata's 2005 keynote to YouTube. We've embedded the video above, so you can watch it right here.