Did Jeremy’s Uncle Really Work At Nintendo And Send Him The Games Early?
In the summer of 1991, Jeremy moved in next door. He wasn’t exactly a “friend”—he was a year younger and kind of weird. But when summer boredom kicks in, you didn’t much mind when Jeremy would come over to play Nintendo. Also, his arrival brought with it great promise: Jeremy claimed that his uncle worked at Nintendo and “sends all the games to me before they even come out.”
“He comes up with the ideas for all the games and then he makes them and then sends them to me so I can test them.” Jeremy further claimed that he got to play Super Mario Bros. 3 “four years ago” and that his uncle sent him the only full-color Game Boy in existence at the time.
Alas, Jeremy always “forgot” to bring over the games his uncle had just sent. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow then. Sure, he’d promise. But we never got to see those games. This begs the question: Did Jeremy’s uncle really work at Nintendo and send him the games early? Or, is the unthinkable true: Was Jeremy lying?
We didn’t have a lot to go on—all we knew was that our mysterious subject apparently had a nephew named Jeremy and worked at Nintendo. Also, Jeremy once said his uncle lived in California. So that’s where we started. We flew to California, and when we landed, we asked the Uber driver to take us to Nintendo’s American headquarters. Imagine our shock when the driver told us that Nintendo HQ was located in Seattle … hundreds of miles away. Basically, Jeremy’s uncle may have been so important to Nintendo that they let him telecommute.
After another flight to Seattle, we visited Nintendo HQ and enlisted the help of the company’s HR director, Andy Hamilton. “I have no way of searching for an employee based on their nephew’s name,” Hamilton said. “But I can tell you that it would be extremely unprofessional to send proprietary software to an unauthorized party, like, say, a child.”
This was an easy one to crack. Jeremy’s uncle worked at such a high level that his identity had to be kept secret. Otherwise, Sega could shake him down for intel.
Still, our curiosity was piqued. We researched Jeremy’s address in our hometown’s housing records and discovered info we’d never learned: Jeremy’s last name. After about two minutes of searching, we found Jeremy on Facebook. His settings were entirely public, so in addition to Metallica memes and vape videos, his friends list was open. We scoured through Jeremy’s 48 contacts … and not one of them was identifiable as an uncle or software developer.
The truth was obvious: Jeremy’s uncle still worked as a top developer at Nintendo, and he couldn’t leave any sort of online footprint to protect company secrets. We weren’t allowed to see all those games he sent to Jeremy because we didn’t have security clearances.
It all makes so much sense now.