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Think Like Takahashi: Noby, Katamari, Creativity, And Carpet
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Think Like Takahashi: Noby, Katamari, Creativity, And Carpet

May 29, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

MK: Yesterday, during your talk, you mentioned Hayao Miyazaki and his opinion of the way that people in Japan are now, not interacting with each other, and that's why you put the game on the PS3 -- so that it wouldn't sell very well. (laughs) I was wondering in what kind of ways I guess that Hayao Miyazaki, other than saying that, has worked as an inspiration to you in some form?

KT: It's not particularly something that Hayao Miyazaki gave inspiration about, but there was a documentary that was based on basically following him around and showing how he is, still at that age being the top creative mind -- creating such a great creative power.

That is in a way inspiring for me -- because it tells me that my creations, or my career, or my life is not mistaken, and that's something that I would love to continue doing for the rest of his life.

MK: Do you think that maybe the games that you make are something that he would enjoy? Because he seems to dislike video games for the most part.

KT: I have no idea. That's a difficult question -- how he would see a game like Noby Noby Boy. How would you imagine that he would...?

MK: Well, because there's no violence as such; there's no misogyny, or whatever. It's more kind of about spaces in which you can feel safe and fun, to me. So I think it's the type of thing that he could appreciate, but I'm not sure that he'd want to look in the first place.

KT: That's probably true; he might not look at it in the first place.

MK: But one thing that I guess is interesting is that even though a game like Noby Noby Boy is about play, they also bring strong emotions from the players. Is that something that you think about as he creates the play design, or is that just something that's kind of a side effect?

KT: Obviously a lot of the games out there would give satisfaction to the gamer by setting certain objectives and have them complete those objectives and achieve something; that's something that a lot of games use.

But there are a lot of simpler ways to evoke emotion, such as there could be some animal that could walk towards the camera and look at the camera in certain ways, and people would look at it and think it's funny and cute and all that. I think that is equally very powerful, and I think that's something that I want to include more -- not like a game-like process but more a natural emotion.

(Click for full size)

MK: I noticed that yesterday in your keynote as well you had a nice picture of your dog with the scarf. You don't have to achieve something with a dog, and the dog itself doesn't think in terms of achieving, just thinks in terms of play and loyalty and these things. I guess -- I just like dogs, so I was wondering if you find your pet inspiring.

KT: It's definitely something that is inspiring, because animals can't talk. I'm here today -- and since I cannot speak English I can't communicate with you guys directly. But dogs cannot even talk any language.

It's funny when you come to think about it, that they are living with us -- side-by-side with humans, who walk on two feet. They can't talk, but still they're there and communicating with us by other means. I find that really interesting. And of course they're nice and cuddly, and I find that very healing too.

CN: We talk about communicating by other means, and I think that seems like it could work in a game. In fact, I think that Noby Noby Boy lacks that much narrative and text; it communicates directly and transcends language to an extent. Maybe that's a meaningful way of communication, too.

KT: Yes, I believe exactly that's true, and Noby Noby does have very unorthodox ways of communicating to the player without using that text and stuff, something more that you see in mainstream games.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

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