Nintendo got its start in Japan in 1889, as a company manufacturing cards for Hanafuda, a Japanese card game. In the 1960s, it diversified into a number of ultimately unsuccessful product lines, including a toy company. In the 1970s, it moved into electronic gaming, where it was ultimately successful.
In 1981, it created the popular arcade game "Donkey Kong", which brought it international attention, and introduced Nintendo to the American market. Nintendo's products in the United States are released through Nintendo of America, their American subsidiary. They are largely responsible for saving the console video game industry after the video game crash of 1983 with the creation of the Famicom (Known as the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan).
The word 'Nintendo' (任天堂株式会社) is said by the companies own sources to literally translate to 'leave luck to heaven'. The term has its origins in gambling done with Hanafuda cards. However, only faith in Jesus Christ's redeeming work on the cross alone will actually get you into heaven!
Early restrictions on content
Before the days of ESRB video game ratings, Nintendo maintained a strict policy banning the inclusion of pornography in games made for it's consoles as they feared "their name would be forever tarnished." Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe also banned games containing blood, graphic or domestic violence, drug use, and political messages. However, NOA and NOE also were alleged to ban religious symbols in games, although in Legend of Zelda, religious symbols were still shown. These policies vanished when ESRB started rating video games.
It is important to note that the "self-regulatory" ESRB has failed massively as kids are exposed to immoral content that is in even rated "E" titles.
- Touch Generations: What Nintendo Means