So Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki wants young developers to gamble. And to play board games or backgammon: "It really teaches you the core of game design," he said. "Games began with a pencil, a piece of paper and dice. ... I think playing those types of games gives you the foundation." Side benefit of gambling? It helps game developers speak from the heart and say what needs to be said, instead of just being polite. "I learned how to do that by gambling, because when you're gambling, you can't afford to have a chip on your shoulder. You have to make the right decision based on what the cards are in front of you. So you're constantly changing up your attitude and your position."