Gamers of all ages and all console allegiances around the world have mourned the recent loss of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Starting with Nintendo as a young game developer in the 1980s and helping create such games as Earthbound and the Kirby series, Iwata became only the fourth person to hold the title of president at Nintendo in 2002.

In a 2005 speech to the Game Developer’s Conference audience, he famously said, “On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. In my heart I am a gamer.” It’s hard to imagine a better summation of how special he was in the world of gaming.

 

Brent Kobayashi

 

His love for video games and the fun and happiness they could create was always foremost at the heart of every decision he made for Nintendo. When outsiders and analysts insisted Nintendo was on the wrong path with their Wii system and predicted doom for the company, Iwata stubbornly held fast to his own belief that games should be fun for everyone. His hopes were proven right when the Wii became a huge success that had people who’d never played a video game before excited to do so.

His passion for games and excitement for the experiences gaming allows us to have earned the kind of appreciation and devotion from gamers that is truly hard to come by, and his accomplishments are sure to be remembered by gamers and in the creations of those he inspired for generations to come.

To celebrate his life and work, we’ve put together this collection of art inspired by Nintendo’s most famous character and most enduring mascot, Super Mario! Leave us your thoughts or happy Nintendo memories in the comments and let us know if there are other games you’d like to see us explore in a future Best Art Ever feature!

 

Check out ERock performing the Rainbow Road theme: