MV parent has success in tech world

Gary Kitchen

Ian Walsh, Staff Writer

      Not many people can say they have shaped the world of technology compared to MV dad, Garry Kitchen.

      From creating the home version of Donkey Kong to working on a #1 top sellers on the app store, Kitchen has made over 100 video games in his 30 year long career.

    At first he wanted to be an artist, but quickly learned that he would be much more interested in a very different area. He was offered a job a company that made engineering and electronics job, and he soon grew very interested.   He started in the electronics business not making actual video games, but electronic toys. The company shifted its products to electronic entertainment products.

     “Once I made one toy, one electronic… I never wanted to make anything else again that wasn’t a toy or a game,” Kitchen said.

      However, after the electronic toy business started to fail, Kitchen shifted his focus onto video games that could be played on the TV. He reverse engineered an Atari and got into video games from there. Since the entertainment products already required coding, it was not an impossible leap. Soon he on his way to m one of his biggest achievements, the very first home Mario Game, Donkey Kong.

     However, it was not Kitchen’s only accomplishment.  For many years he did not even touch a game, and instead went over to the business side of video game making.

     “Over time I would do less and less coding, and more and more business. That’s just how it turned out,” Kitchen said.

     When the first smartphones came out by Apple, Kitchen, once again, got into programming. He has had multiple top hits with the app store, however was eventually pulled back into business. Legal matters are now his main area of work, but he has still releases games from time to time.

     Kitchen is married to Suzan Kitchen, and has triplets Brendan, Kayla, and Michael who all attend Monte Vista as sophomores. They grew up in a household where video games were, and still are, a large part of their lives.

     “[My father is a] selfless, very kind, and overall just an amazing human being,” Michael Kitchen said. “He has also been a very successful human being, and he hasn’t let that get to his head.”

     To the Kitchen triplets, Kitchen has had a very positive impact on their lives. He has taught them many life skills such as the importance of motivation and personal experience.

     Michael Rhee, sophomore and a friend of Brendan Kitchen does not know Mr. Kitchen very well, but has still learned a lot about video games from him.

      “[Kitchen] sort of gave me a feel for how much have evolved in such a short amount of time,” Rhee said.

     Rhee, Michael Kitchen, Brendan Kitchen, and a few other of their friends are currently working on a video game at the moment. Without Kitchen this could be no more than idea, but using his advice, it is a definite possibility.

     Often, people disregard Kitchen as just another video game maker, and in many senses he is; however, Rhee disagrees.

     “[Kitchen] pretty much pioneered what we now know as video games, so I guess we should thank him for that.”

     Although he is not well known, Kitchen has influenced the lives of many young people. He has created many video games, and saved many companies. Kitchen has been one of the biggest players in the entertainment industry since the 1980s and continues to make a big impact.

     “Don’t think about it, do it… start building something… the only way to learn how to do it, is to do it,” Kitchen said.