Nintendo Was Founded When Jack the Ripper Was Still Carving Up Victims
One of the world’s biggest video game companies, the Japanese multinational Nintendo Co., Ltd., is best known as the creator of top-selling video game franchises such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon. The company is associated with electronics and is known as a pioneer of one of the world’s most modern technologies, that of video game entertainment. However, it was founded over a century ago, during the steam power era, in 1889 – contemporaneous with Jack the Ripper.
Nintendo came into being long before video games were even a theoretical concept. When the company was founded in the nineteenth century, its bread and butter was the production of handmade hanafuda playing cards. In 1956, the company began trying its hand at new ventures to supplement its playing cards business, upon realizing that playing cards had limited growth potential. So Nintendo set up a taxi company, before establishing other divisions such as a TV network, a love motel chain, toys, and a food company specializing in instant rice.
Most of those ventures were unsuccessful, except for toys, and by the 1960s, Nintendo had morphed into a predominate toy company. In 1974, the company got involved in video games for the first time, when it secured the rights to distribute Magnavox’s video game console in Japan. The following year, they moved into arcade games, with some limited success, until 1981, when they released the smash arcade hit Donkey Kong. The rest, was video game history.
However, long before all of that, when Nintendo had been founded in Kyoto by Japanese entrepreneur Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889, the world was still in the steam power era, and electricity and electronics were considered newfangled inventions. Even street lighting, in those cities that provided it, was usually reliant on gas lamps, instead of electric bulbs. When Yamauchi founded Nintendo, London, half a world away, was still trembling in fear from the depredations of the gruesome serial killer, Jack the Ripper, believed to have between active from 1888 until 1891. Perhaps in a nod to that historic overlap, in 2013 Nintendo 3DS launched Mystery Murders: Jack the Ripper, a game rated M for Mature.