Few people have the opportunity to transition their passion for cars into a job. Fewer still can parlay that job into a successful career. Among that select group, a tinier few are ever part of something that leaves an indelible mark, forever changing the game. Kazunori Yamauchi is one of them.
A game designer who loves all things four-wheeled, Kazunori's passion for cars drove him to develop the groundbreaking Gran Turismo video game over 15 years ago. What Steve Jobs did to cell phones, Kazunori did to racing games. He may have not invented the driving game, but all titles since carry distinctive elements of what he created.
Kazunori's imprint doesn't end with the Playstation console -- his influence has crossed over into the analog world of automotive. Through his many endeavors, Kaz has worked with the likes of Red Bull Racing's Adrian Newey to imagine a race car with no boundaries, the automaker Mercedes to design an auto show stealing concept car, and the engineers at Nissan to assist with the development of the GT-R. Oh, and he races real race cars in real life -- Kaz has competed in events such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
To put that into context, that would be like the creator of Call of Duty helping with the development of the Joint Strike Fighter, who also happens to be a member of Seal Team Six, jumping in on the occasional raid.
With those types of accomplishments, a film exploring the life of Kazunori was inevitable. And the upcoming KAZ: Pushing the Virtual Divide documentary does exactly that, delving into the man behind the game.
The film will be available in its entirety on Hulu starting 1/22/14. In the meanwhile, click above to watch the official trailer.