Reggie Fils-Aimé spoke on many topics during his time at Nintendo of America, but you never really heard him speak about his race. Now that Reggie has retired from the Big N, he’s ready to celebrate his success at the company, as well as his ethnicity.
As part of his book, ‘Disrupting the Game,’ Reggie opened up about his achievements in the game industry, and as a black man.
I celebrate that I am a Black man that had success not only in the video game industry, which is not dominated by Black men, but that I succeeded at Nintendo as a Black American. The reason I was able to be successful is that I brought my whole self to the role. I advocated strongly for what I believed in, and I leveraged my personal experiences in life and in business to push points of view. And, fortunately for me, those points of view not only were more often adopted than not, but more often than not they worked in the marketplace.
Reggie wasn’t the only one pushing for advocacy, either. Reggie worked with numerous members of Nintendo of America to bring up issues of in-game representation with Nintendo’s team in Japan, all in an effort to see greater diversity. In particular, Reggie and his co-workers fought for a greater variety of hairstyles for people of color, and for same-sex relationships in franchises like Fire Emblem.
We pushed for all levels of diversity. It was a constant push to drive, an acknowledgment that in games where you had human representation, we needed to have much more diversity and enable the player to make choices that they felt they should be able to make.”