Wait, is this what we’re supposed to be talking about today? It’s turned into a discussion about creativity.
That’s all right. (laughs) As long as Itoi-san is included in the conversation, and we’re able to talk about Miyamoto-san’s work, it doesn’t matter if we’re not focused on a particular project.
Oh, well we’re doing that.
We are doing it “desperately.” (laughs)
Also, we’ve been talking today about various principles, so I think this conversation is applicable to all sorts of things. For example, just by changing the wording a little bit, we could be discussing why the Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda series have been beloved by fans all over the world for 25 years.
That’s true. The games Miyamoto-san creates are long-lasting.
I think that all those things we’ve been talking about today are exactly why those games have lasted so long. After all, in the ordinary scheme of things, I don’t think the team that made what would become the best-selling video game in the world would last 25 years.
And I think we’ve found the answer as to how they were able to make these games for 25 years without ever losing that first sense of wonder.
Oh, so we’ve already told everyone the answer then.
That’s right. (laughs) We’ve been spilling the answers the whole time we’ve been talking.
Yeah. It’s like Miyamoto-san said earlier. The root of everything is that they’re desperate.
That’s right. (laughs) Simply put, discussion at lunch generally starts off with, “This isn’t working.”
“Miyamoto-san, we’ve got a big problem!”
Usually, when someone says, “We’ve got a big problem!” they look really troubled. But when Nakago-san and the others say it, for some reason they look kind of happy about it. To go back to that baseball metaphor, it’s as if the batter goes up to bat, takes a swing and hits a groundball.
Oh, I see.
And the moment the batter hits that ground ball, Nakago-san, who’s watching from the bench, looks kind of happy, and says, “We’ve got a big problem!”
“And we’ve got two outs.” (laughs)
And Miyamoto-san and the rest of the guys are desperately trying to figure out how to make that ground ball into a hit.
Like, “Go talk to the umpire.”
That really is what it’s like though.
Yeah, it’s exactly like that. And that’s why desperation is so key. I’m not trying to force this baseball metaphor here, but even when you hit a grounder, you need to run as fast as you can.
Right. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the pros or are just an amateur.
Right. It’s still the same. You need to run as hard - as desperately - as you can. And when you’re slacking off, it’s okay to just slack off.
But if you’re saying it’s okay to slack off, doesn’t that go against your idea that people should always be working desperately? That’s the question I feel that the people reading this will have.
Oh, me, me! (raising his hand like a student in class)
Okay, let’s go with Itoi-san.
It’s like Mitsuo Aida-san6 says. “Ningen Damono (Because I’m Human).” 6 Mitsuo Aida: Japanese poet and calligrapher. Ningen Damono (Because I’m Human) is one of his most famous books.
“Because we’re human.” (laughs)
In other words, no one can keep up that desperate pace forever.
You can’t live like that all the time. When you’re out of the batter’s box, you don’t need to act the way you do when you’re in it.
But when it’s your turn up to bat, you need that desperation.
Right. And pinch hitters who are on track to become regulars need that desperation even while they’re on the bench. You need be able to strike the proper balance.
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