As you may have read earlier today, Nintendo World Store is holding a small memorial for Satoru Iwata who untimely passed a couple of days ago. While there was one or two Tweets regarding the event, My Nintendo News decided to send one of their own (i.e., me) over to pay our respects, along with our communities, and document the scene. Walking up to the store, one wouldn’t notice anything outside the norm — bustling tourists roamed around the streets of Rockafeller Center taking pictures as the Splatoon-decaled windows invited guests. However, stepping inside, there was a line leading to the door — the final destination being the tasteful Iwata memorial.
On the black-clothed table laid three notebooks, a host of pens, gifts that a select few had left, and a picture of Iwata-san. From the twenty minutes I spent there, the line never shrank; fans, new and old, stood both solemn and teary-eyed.
Among the gifts were a pixel-art crafted Pirhanna Plant. real flowers, handwritten notes, drawing, and origami swans.
Nintendo fans were given as long as they wanted to write a note to the gaming legend — some spent minutes while another person wrote pages. While I was not able to get a confirmation where these letters will be going (and we have reached out to Nintendo for an official comment), a representative on the scene believed they would be sent to Nintendo of America, Nintendo Japan, and Iwata’s family. Further, they believed that the memorial would be open for the next few days — possibly even weeks. However, the staff on hand kept a cheerful solemnity — what you would expect from a Nintendo representative in mourning.
While I didn’t want to keep the line behind me waiting, below are a collection of statements from My Nintendo News comment sections that I was able to write. Captions are included because my hands were shaking — it’s been a rough day for me, and the atmosphere was at times heavy.
The most noteworthy thing, however, was the amount of joy still surrounding the memorial. While many were in mourning and (rightly) upset, people (both kids and adults) navigated the two story building with huge smiles on their faces. As normal, everyone was playing a Nintendo game, be it on Nintendo 3DS or Wii U. This is the true testament of Iwata — the joy he is still able to bring among the sadness.