Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Through the Looking Glass

The Escapist Staff | 13 Mar 2007 12:00
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http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.39473" title="" target="_blank">In response to "Searching for Gunpei Yokoi" from The Escapist Forum: Absolutely brilliant article. Such a well written homage to an oft-unheralded figure in the gaming world. Few people realize who this man was and the impact of his contributions, overshadowed by the later failure of the Virtual Boy, against the massive success of his earlier works and inventions.

Shigeru Miyamoto always got the credit because his games sold more and he made the game that became the company mascot (and admittedly, is responsible for several gaming mega-franchises), but one has to wonder just how much he gleaned from Yokoi's experience and tutelage. If Miyamoto hadn't studied under Yokoi, would Mario or Zelda as we know them even exist?

- armitage

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.39473" title="" target="_blank">In response to "Searching for Gunpei Yokoi" from The Escapist Forum: The problem of "condensing" information about the Japanese creators of early video games is widespread in videogame writing. It is monumentally easier to browse through the available English sources of information on people like Yokoi and compile them for an article than to actually add something new to the story of their lives.

I understand that there is an exceedingly daunting language barrier, but if you really want to get to know people like Yokoi, then it is possible to do an interview. You don't even have to go to Japan, people there have phones and email. To say "The only hard proof we have that Gunpei Yokoi graced this mortal soil is a few faded black and white photographs" is just wrong, and a bit insensitive. What about his family? What about his co-workers? I'm sure Shigeru Miyamoto has some ripping good yarns about him, why not ask? The history of early Japanese videogames is certainly shrouded in mystery - but videogame writers often just accept this, and, even more often, present it as some sort of exaggerated conundrum for dramatic effect.

I'd also like to point out that this sort of article seems to reveal an uncomfortable trend in videogame journalism (a double standard?), whereby American and European videogame authors (even those mysterious programmers of the golden-era) get interviewed and profiled, but Japanese authors receive a nostalgic and mysterious homage. Just look at the other articles in this month's issue.

- S. Claiborn

In response to "The Indie Guru" from The Escapist Forum: I enjoyed the article and finding out about Steve Pavlina's site.

As for your endeavour to Malaysia, this Malaysian reader wishes you well and frankly speaking, it's not the desert that people make it out to be. Networking is easy here once you're here and the community as a whole is a small group altogether. And for the person who said that there may be problems in communication, there's more imported sitcoms than there are local sitcoms in the local language.

- Myremi

In response to 'A Natural Born Inventor" from The Escapist Forum: Who are we to argue with the father of video gaming?

- Ramification

The children of video gaming, of course.

- Meophist

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