harrymcc writes: In 1981, tiny Nintendo of America was getting ready to release Donkey Kong. When the company's landlord, Mario Segale, demanded back rent, Nintendo staffers named the game's barrel-jumping protagonist after him. Almost thirty years later, neither Nintendo--which continues to crank out Mario games--nor Segale--now a wealthy, secretive Washington State real estate developer--like to talk about how one of video games' iconic characters got his name and Italian heritage. Technologizer's Benj Edwards has researched the story for years and provides the most detailed account to date.
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