水曜日は、Heroes and Giants
When you play a video game you may not think much about the cross-shaped button on the controller.
But without this button, playing video games might be a lot more difficult.
The person who invented this button was a man named Yokoi Gunpei.
Yokoi studied enjniering at university.
But after graduating, he could not find a job.
So in 1965, he started working for the only place that offered him a job.
A toy company called Nintendo.
Back then, Nintendo’s main product was a Japanese card game called Hanafuda.
Yokoi soon began creating new hit toys such as a magic hand.
You use it to reach across the room and get something.
Some people say this toy saved Nintendo.
Because they are having money problems.
He also created a baseball pitching machine and cleaning toys that are similar to the cleaning robots popular today.
One day in the late 1970s, when Yokoi was on the shinkansen he saw someone secretly playing with a portable calculator.
Suddenly, Yokoi had an idea.
“I want to create a game that can be playing when people have nothing to do.
If we can be playing secretly, maybe it will become popular.”
This idea became a series of games about the size of a smartphone called the Game & Watch series.
Such a small game needed small control buttons.
These games have buttons that could be controlled by the sounds.
They became very popular and gave him ideas for later game controllers.
In the 1980s, video games became more popular than traditional games and toys.
Many toy creators only understood traditional games so they had to change jobs.
But Yokoi was differnt.
He continued to create popular game systems.
Maybe this was possible.
Because Yokoi believed in using old technology in new ways.
When Yokoi designed the controller for a new family game computer he took the idea of the joystick and try to think of a way to make it small and flat.
Yokoi thought hard and created the cross-shaped button.
With this button, the player could control the game easily.
As Nintendo became famous around the world, Yokoi also became known as a talented game designer.
Later he helped developed Game Boy, a portable game system that became very popular.
Yokoi left Nintendo in 1996 to start his own company.
Sadly he died in a car accident a year later at the age of 56.
The game industry has changed a lot since Yokoi’s time.
But many people still respect this wonderful game designer.
His great inventions continue to entertain people all over the world.