Great tech innovators: Shigeru Miyamoto

The Mario Maker

Shigeru
  • Age: 62
  • Company: Nintendo
  • Best known for: Creating some of the biggest, most influential games of all time.
  • Quote: "I think that inside every adult is the heart of a child. We just gradually convince ourselves that we have to act more like adults."

Nobody knows the meaning of the word "fun" quite like Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. He joined Nintendo in 1977, just as the company was starting to transition into video games. Miyamoto's first big breakthrough moment was Donkey Kong, a game that was actually inspired by the love triangle dynamic in Popeye. But instead of Bluto, Popeye and Olive Oyl, it was a gorilla (Bluto) a carpenter (Popeye) and a girl (Olive).

In fact, most of Nintendo's biggest franchises can be attributed to "Shiggy" Miyamoto, including Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox and F-Zero.

One of Miyamoto's more recent moments of significance was the creation of the Wii. Miyamoto played a big role in the creation of Nintendo's "Project Revolution", which ended up living up to its codename. The Wii made motion gaming mainstream and turned out to be a massive success, despite lacking the graphical grunt of its two arch rivals, the PS3 and the Xbox 360.

Miyamoto's success undoubtedly stems from his philosophy: if a game is fun for him, others will find it enjoyable too. His focus isn't on the graphics but the mechanics and the gameplay - and he hates cutscenes. In 1999 he said: "I will never make movie-like games".

Miyamoto's is still Nintendo's greatest asset, and he continues to work on titles for both the Wii U and the 3DS - showing no signs of stopping. Games have been his life, and Miyamoto has earned his place at the top of the podium by never letting anyone or anything stand between him and his philosophy.

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock-n-roll."

  • In partnership with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre x360

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