Ever since former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime announced his retirement, the charismatic executive has largely been inactive. Having earned the break for his passionate dedication to the gaming giant’s brand, Reggie Fils-Aime recently emerged to deliver a commencement address in Florida to Ringling College of Art and Design students.
Before Reggie took to the podium to deliver his address, he was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree by Ringling College. When Fils-Aime took to the podium to deliver his address, he said he would like to be called “Doctor Regginator,” referencing one of Reggie’s most memorable moments where he emerged victorious from an onstage E3 game demonstration and explained to the crowd how that is “why they call me the Regginator.”
After starting his address with a joke, Reggie Fils-Aime paid tribute to his daughter Claire, who herself is graduating from Ringling College, and remarked on the passionate creativity he’d observed in his time spent visiting the school. Furthermore, he explained how their passion for creation in their pursuits moving forth can never be affected by the looming threat of robots or artificial intelligence replacing their jobs, in contrast to graduates with degrees outside the realm of arts.
Above all else, Reggie provided to the students five guiding principles that he believes has boosted his success, which highlight his address. The first, he explains, is, “What happens to you is up to you.” With this guiding principle, Reggie elaborates that the students graduating have the opportunity to carve their own paths and that nobody else is in control of them. While he explains that it’s obviously reasonable to seek advice where necessary, individuals are ultimately responsible to “make those key decisions, and to own them.”
“Life is hard, so dig deep” is Reggie’s second principle, which he explains as responding to one’s own mistakes may be more important than the mistakes themselves.
“Be open to alternatives” is Reggie’s third principle. By this, Reggie emphasizes that it is crucial to be malleable in decision-making, so if new options not part of the intended plan open up, it is wise to consider them.
“Embrace your fear” is Reggie’s fourth principle. Reggie says that, while everyone has fears, it is important to not let these fears control you and to even confront them for one’s own self-improvement.
“Live in the moment and have some fun along the way” is Reggie’s last principle. Reggie explains to the group of graduates that, given their decision to hone their skills in various art forms, they should embrace their creativity and simply enjoy the moment.
In laying out his guiding principles, Reggie shared defining moments from his life that helped form these principles. Born to a successful family of Haitian immigrants, Reggie’s work ethic was seemingly inspired by that of his lineage, as he speaks proudly of his parents’ hard-working, yet caring, personalities.
While Reggie, congratulated by competitors his retirement, always seemed to adopt his meme-producing status, there was always, clearly, a serious side to him. It is endearing to hear him speak about his life story and share his inspiration with the Ringling College graduates. Given Nintendo’s success under his guidance, and his own personal success, perhaps these are principles we should all live by.