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Miyamoto Talks Violence In Games, Blogging, Nintendo Dominance

Miyamoto Talks Violence In Games, Blogging, Nintendo Dominance

February 15, 2007 | By David Jenkins

February 15, 2007 | By David Jenkins
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More: Console/PC

News website CNN has posted a new translation of an interview with legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto recently conducted for the channel.

Although the interview was originally recorded by CNN-hosted TV show Talk Asia just prior to the launch of the Wii last year, it has only now been fully transcribed, and contains a number of interesting responses on the subjects of Nintendo’s market strength, violence in video games and fan feedback.

When asked about Nintendo’s declining market share in the games market, compared to the NES era, and whether he thought Nintendo could reclaim its leadership, Miyamoto answered: “I do think we are too conscious of competition. There are many companies today that can be compared to Nintendo. But I think that Nintendo should be unique and become a company that can not be compared with the other corporations.”

“I believe that Nintendo will [be] loved by the public if it can maintain that philosophy”, he continued. “I don't think there is a company equivalent that has the know-how or skills with the technology behind the games, or has the history and experience in the entertainment industry, and or has such abundant and motivated staff. I believe that with our people, we are able to make games that can be accepted by the public for a long time. And as long as we maintain that edge, we will always have an advantage over other companies...”

On the subject of violence in video games, Miyamoto was asked why Nintendo had never attempted to make its own Mature rated titles. “I think there is variety of ways to entertain people. Nintendo has many ways of entertaining people without the use of violent expression. So I do not have to worry in making such games”, he answered.

“My personal thought is, and I think it is the same with Nintendo, that before thinking about how to handle violence in video games, I think it is important to think about pain people feel. For example, you would not laugh at people with disabilities. There are bullying problems in Japan. Looking at the overall picture, it is important to understand and feel the pain that people might have”, he added. “We make our games based on that philosophy, using means other than violence. But we also have to take a careful approach, even in the circumstances when we are not portraying direct violence. I think it is always important to give children a product with a careful approach.”

Asked whether he ever listened to fan criticism or read online games blogs he replied, “This is a difficult subject. If a fan makes a suggestion, I will often put it in my mind, and I will take in whatever comment I feel is useful. But I make my own predictions of how a user might react to the games I create, and I would say I am sensitive to whether those reactions are in line with what I predicted.”

He also added, “Instead of reading the blogs, I would rather stand behind a person playing the games and sense how the player is reacting to the game - whether he is unhappy with the games, or if he is having fun. I can feel all of that directly. It is more useful for me to do that than to read what he thinks of it.” The full interview transcript is available on CNN's website.

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