Pac-Man Creator Leaves Namco

Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, has decided to leave his company of 30 years and go into the university system in order to dedicate his time to teach the next generation of game developers. Iwatani gave his remarks to Japanese game magazine Weekly Famitsu and remarked about his concerns over the present status of the game industry. During 2004, Iwatani gave lectures at Tokyo Polytechnic University regarding game design. These initial lectures sparked his desire to make it a full-time endeavor.

Iwatani said, “I experienced firsthand the passion today’s young people have for games. I also realized how important teaching is. So, when TPU told me they were beginning a new course on games, and asked me to become a full-time lecturer, I decided to do it."

Iwatani,s passion for designing games is still an ongoing need, but he sees the mission of training others more important then his own goals of being a game developer. He sees the training of future game developers going in a downward spiral. “I thought it more important to pass on the know-how that I’ve accumulated over the last 30 years to the next generation. Right now, the state of career training in the Japanese games industry is on the verge of crisis."

With game consoles ever increasing in complexity and sophistication, Iwatani believes that game companies will no longer be able to train their staff in the operation and programming of their machines. “It will become very hard to train staff in-house, as was done in the past. As a result, the educational institutions must follow through. However, Japan is far behind in the field of game education compared with the US, Europe, Korea, and China."

What does Iwatani hope to accomplish in his new career? "Game development is a group activity, so communication is crucial. On the other hand, it’s a creative process, so assertiveness is necessary. I hope to foster in my students a balance between assertiveness and cooperation."


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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