Reggie Fils-Aimé, former Nintendo of America president, left his position in April, leaving it to the ironically-named Doug Bowser. Fils-Aimé developed a bombastic persona during his tenure at Nintendo (something one of my Source Gaming colleagues explored), but he’s remaining active in the public eye; earlier today, the New York Videogame Critics Circle proudly announced the man was joining their board of directors. Here, Fils-Aimé’s business credentials will continue to be tested and he’ll mentor students.
And that’s not all Fils-Aimé is doing; he’s become Brentwood Growth Partners’ managing director and the “leader-in-residence” at Cornell University, the establishment he graduated from in 1983. He’s also slated to issue a keynote address about “convergence” at SXSW next March. Perhaps the most perceptible thing he’s done since leaving Nintendo is creating his Twitter account, where he continues to mingle with the gaming community.
Reggie’s Commencement Address for Ringling College https://t.co/fYEls8J3Nt
— Reggie Fils-Aime (@Reggie) May 9, 2019
It’s a busy schedule, one that would be untenable if he was still running Nintendo of America. Fils-Aimé acknowledged this in a phone interview with Polygon, admitting it’d have been “impossible.” Continuing, the game industry figurehead said, “Now I’ve got the benefit of time. I’ve got the benefit of investing myself in these types of activities.”
Fils-Aimé recalled another anecdote, telling Polygon about the time he visited the DreamYard Prep high school in the Bronx, noting how he grew up about three minutes away from it. He first visited the school in 2018 to give a 20-minute presentation and a Q&A, an experience he valued.
“What was really meaningful for me is that the school is within about three miles from where I grew up in the Bronx,” Fils-Aimé explained. “To go to school and spend time with students and to share with them some of my life story, with the hope of inspiring them to push and to challenge and to reach to do as much as they can as they continue to grow and learn, it really was a tremendously meaningful opportunity for me.”
One of his present goals is to help foster in the next generation of leaders – not just in business, but in all walks of life. “Everyone has the capacity to be a leader,” Fils-Aimé said. “It takes practice. It takes skill development. But everyone has that opportunity. It’s all to really try and inspire this next generation of leaders to accomplish what they can.”
Fils-Aims’s first Cornell lecture, titled “Reggie’s Principles for Next-Generation Leaders,” is scheduled for next month. He also plans to maintain a presence on the Ithaca campus throughout the academic year, giving lectures and meeting with students individually and in groups. “What’s going to be the most meaningful is those small group sessions, and helping to understand what their challenges are, helping to provide some perspective, and just doing my part to help grow the next generation of leaders.”