In April, long time Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime retired, much to the disappointment of his fans. On his final day with the company, he started his first Twitter account. Now, according to comments he made today, it seems he hasn’t completely moved on from talking about video games.
This weekend, two horrible mass shootings took the lives of nearly 30 people in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. Following the violence, many Republican lawmakers decided to direct the blame at games, including the President of the United States, who called for a ban on what he calls "gruesome and grisly video games.”
The internet reacted swiftly, coming to the defense of games with a trending hashtag on Twitter. Now Reggie Fils-Aime has chimed in with his own message of support. The Tweet, which at the time of publication has over 23,000 retweets, conveys a straight-forward and statistically supported message:
When the ill-informed are being critical of the gaming industry and community, this is a very powerful story. The facts are that countries with high per capita gaming revenue have fewer gun-shooting deaths. Except the US, where 4% of the population own 43% of the guns. https://t.co/bKi5D9Y9wc— Reggie Fils-Aime (@Reggie) August 6, 2019
The quote from Reggie mirrors what the ESA and Hillary Clinton have pointed out: other countries play video games. But Reggie’s take has a little extra weight. As he puts it, many of the countries that have lower gun violence than the United States actually have a higher revenue of gaming sales.
Reggie joined the industry back in 2004 when he took to the Nintendo stage at E3 and claimed the company would, from then on, be “kicking ass and making games.” That gives him 15 years of experience watching the industry grow. Some might argue that obviously Reggie will defend the industry, he worked in it.
But now that Reggie has moved on, he doesn’t have a responsibility or an obligation to continue to comment on the goings on around games. Before working at Nintendo, Reggie didn’t work for a games company. In the past fifteen years, he developed a genuine passion for the industry, and that passion shone through. He had a lot of fans during his time at Nintendo.
On top of that, Reggie served as Nintendo’s President in North America. Company Presidents spend a lot of time watching the business side of their product. That gives Reggie’s statistics an extra weight when put up against the claims of Republicans and industry outsiders.
In the end, Reggie’s statement just throws more evidence on the pile in defense of games. And it does what the other statements before it have done. It helps refocus the conversation away from an industry that shouldn’t have to defend itself anymore.
While Reggie’s opinion probably won’t change anyone’s mind, hearing him defend video games reminds gamers how much his voice is missed in the industry.