Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto is one of the most revered names in the game, and for good reason. What he’s done for the Nintendo community (and the game in general) has been amazing, but it’s his kindness and genuine nature that makes him so endearing to gamers around the world. In a recent interview with New Yorker, Miyamoto-san discussed how he wanted to make the world a nicer place and video games more than the perception of violence.
When asked what, if he could, change the world right now, Miyamoto-san responded by saying, “I wish I could make people more caring and kind to each other. In Japan, for example, we have priority seats in train cars, for the elderly or disabled. If the train is relatively empty, you will sometimes see young people sitting in these seats. If I was to say something, they would probably say, “But the train is empty, what’s the problem?” But if I was a disabled person and saw people sitting there, maybe I wouldn’t want to ask them to move, I wouldn’t want to be boring.
“I wish we were all a little more compassionate in these little ways. If there was a way to design the world that discourages selfishness, that would be a change I would make.
This is much more evident as social media continues to snowball in the way it inspires instant responsiveness and the way algorithms are essentially built around strong, angry rhetoric. So many sites like Facebook and Twitter are interactions where people seem to just be talking to each other, yelling at things they’ll forget in five seconds. It’s an easy way to connect, and psychologically speaking, an instant way to feel some type of control over your life. “I react this way i can maybe see this change ”offers an attractive reward system, especially in a year like 2020 when so much has gone beyond what we could imagine so quickly.
Miyamoto also discussed what he would like to see evolve in video games from their current state. Although in-game violence is not the norm, we do like our shooters and our epic beats. While that’s not all people can appreciate, he mentioned that there is still room for improvement while still keeping the medium enjoyable for everyone.
This discussion was started when the New York writer asked about the special memories of GoldenEye 007, which prompted Miyamoto to reveal that he was not happy with the number of people killed by this character. “I think humans are wired to feel joy when we throw a ball and hit a target, for example,” he replied. “It’s human nature. But, when it comes to video games, I have a certain resistance to focusing on this one source of pleasure. As humans, we have many ways to have fun. Ideally, game designers would explore these other ways. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that there are studios that are really interested in this simple mechanic, but it’s not all ideal. the world is doing it just because this kind of game sells well. It would be great if the developers found new ways to spark joy in their players. “
He added: “Beyond that, I also resist the idea that it doesn’t matter to just kill all the monsters. Even the monsters have a motive, and a reason why they are such as they are. are. This is something I’ve thought about a lot. Say you have a scene where a battleship sinks. When you look at it from the outside, it can be a symbol of victory in battle. But a filmmaker or a writer can change perspective for the people on board the ship, to allow the viewer to see, up close, the human impact of the action. It would be great if video game makers took more steps to change perspective, at instead of always looking at a scene from the most obvious angle. “
The latter on the perspective of the ship speaks volumes about his earlier point on compassion. The world is experienced in radically different ways depending on who you are and while it doesn’t call for any sort of erasure, it’s worth thinking about delving deeper into the themes and stylization we love over the years. .
There was so much more to this interview I highly recommend checking out outside the rest here in New Yorker.