Iwata handles an odd investor at shareholder meeting

By Andrew Groen
2 July 2011 15:57 GMT

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata had to deal with an especially strange stockholder at this year’s annual shareholder meeting.

Check out the exchange between the two at the meeting transcribed below:

Investor: “I’m concerned about the falling stock price. I own stock, but I don’t own a single Nintendo product. I believe games are a waste of time. By the way, the reason I own Nintendo stock is because the name is nice, it’s in Kyoto and it was listed in the year of my birth.”

Iwata: “There are people in this world who don’t feel that games are a waste of time, so Nintendo continues to exist. We’d like to eliminate the thinking that playing games by yourself is negative, or when there’s a crime you immediately tie it into games. We’d like to raise the social importance of games. We’re working to expand the gaming population, yourself included.”

Investor: “During the Tohoku earthquake disaster, I believe people in the evacuation centers were lacking in exercise. Why didn’t you bring Wii Fit to them? Why didn’t you show off to the media that you’re doing more for the victims?”

You’ve gotta love the complete 180 degree turn this guy does 2-3 times during this exchange. It starts off with a great, legitimate concern before devolving into a diatribe about why he hates video games (at a Nintendo meeting, really?)

It goes from stocks, video game hate, personal history, and just when you think it’s over he comes up with earthquake victims needing Wii Fit. It takes a special person indeed to suggest that disaster victims require Wii Fit rather than clean water and medical treatment.

Iwata responded to the latter question by saying he didn’t believe it was a good time to make a media show of handing out Wii Fit kits as they didn’t want to be perceived as exploiting the crisis for personal gain.

There is no information available about the amount of stock this man holds or if he has any control over Nintendo’s future direction.

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