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Howard Phillips (born January 23) is an American video game consultant and producer who was an early employee of Nintendo of America. He was especially known for his role a spokesman for Nintendo, accentuated by his red hair and choice of bow ties. Originally a boat painter, Phillips then got a job in the original Tukwila warehouse in the 1980s. Philips was then promoted to placement of Nintendo arcade cabinets in common areas such as convenience stores, video arcades and military bases, whereupon he was spotted as a potential corporate spokesman. He was instrumental in the forming of Nintendo Power magazine, as well as being its first editor. He was the official "Gamemaster" and one of three executives responsible for North American game development. Phillips' bow tie became a trademark piece of clothing. He appeared as a bowtie-clad straight man opposite a know-it-all teenager in the "Howard & Nester" comics series, and helped create the Nester character, which he later admitted also had been based upon himself, thus both characters had been a pastiche of Phillips. The name Nester is derived from "NES". He is sometimes confused with Howard Lincoln, former chairman of Nintendo of America and current CEO of the NOA-owned Seattle Mariners.
In 1991, he was head-hunted away from Nintendo of America to work at JVC, then later at the Lucas Ranch to develop games for the nascent LucasArts. He left that position within six months and moved to THQ, where he played a producing role in several titles. He then worked for Microsoft Game Studios as a producer. He is currently founder and head of Howard Phillips Consulting, which is, in his own words, "a leading provider of design, analysis, and evaluation services to the consumer software industry." Recently, he has revived the Howard character, but not the Nester character, for the Kickstarter project, "Gamemaster Howard's Know-It All", a plan to make learning and memorization synchronized with gaming.