How a Landlord Helped Create Mario – Computer Game Character

How a Landlord Helped Create Mario – Computer Game Character

Have you ever wondered how computer games select the names of their characters? Back in 1981, when Nintendo was still renting space in the US for their headquarters, the landlord made a visit to the location and demanded the late rent be paid.  According to Wikipedia, a “heated argument” ensued, and the US president of Nintendo promised Mario Sengale, the landlord, that rent would be paid shortly.  Minoru Arakawa, head of the Nintendo US operations, decided to pay homage to the landlord and changed the name of their character in Donkey Kong from “Jumpman” to “Mario”.  It has been estimated that over 240 million Mario games sold to date and Mario has appeared in over 200 games since the release of Donkey Kong in 1981!  Mario Segale does not speak very much about his iconicly named character, but he may not have the time.  He was named as one of the top 50 political donors in Washington State and owns a 490 acre development site in Tukwila, Washington!

A Canadian entertainer, Justin Bieber, has also found himself in the spotlight when it comes to real estate.  Named the “world’s worst neighbor” by seemingly ANYONE who has lived next door to him, he has been paying A LOT of money renting homes throughout the world.  Last year, he was sued for $1,000,000 by a neighbor whose house was egged by Bieber and his friends.  It seems that Bieber has put his past behind him as he was able to rent a Hawaiian mansion to enjoy with his friends recently for a staggering $10,000 per night rental price tag!

According to Forbes magazine, 20 of the wealthiest real estate moguls – 14 of whom come from Asian-Pacific nations, form the super elite of landlords.  The 6 richest real estate remainders are from the US (3) and the UK (1).  The total number of Forbes Billionaires who can thank real estate holdings for their wealth actually total 135 (as of 2014).  Who is the wealthiest real estate tycoon?  Hong Kong’s Lee Shau Kee is ranked #35 for Forbes wealthiest individual list but comes in at #1 for wealth derived from real estate with an astounding $19.6 BILLION!  The second richest real estate billionaire is also from Hong Kong, followed by China in distant third.

Everyone loves to hate their landlord when they are a tenant.  However, it is certainly interesting to see how an irate landlord forever changed consumers’ opinions of the gaming industry and can enjoy the legacy of “Mario” for generations to come…even if he never did receive any money in royalties for his name becoming a popular character!

Brian McCullough, Myles McCullough & Kiel Lukaniuk

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