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Japan Media Arts Festival Awards Excellence Prize To  Wii Fit

Japan Media Arts Festival Awards Excellence Prize To Wii Fit

December 11, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

December 11, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander
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Japan's Media Arts Festival awarded one of its annual Excellence Prizes to Nintendo's Wii Fit.
The festival, held in Singapore, acknowledges "creative activities and the development of media arts" across various categories, including interactive entertainment among various other visual art and media categories.

The Wii Fit's use of the Balance Board, the event organizers say, has allowed it to "turn physical fitness tests and training into a game. In this way, Wii Fit engages not only the fingers and eyes of the player, but their whole body."

"It has also broadened the appeal of a device that tends to be thought of as a boy’s toy, turning it into a family communication tool; we can see in it a glimpse of the future of video games."

Last year's Excellence Prize -- which brings with it a ¥300,000($3200) cash award -- was given to Hideo Kojima and Metal Gear Solid 4. This year, other jury-submitted titles considered for recognition were as follows; where applicable, the individual candidate represents the development team:

Aquanaut's Holiday: Hidden Memories (Yoichi Yamaguchi)
Bikeware (Shunpei Yasuda)
Devil May Cry 4 (Hiroyuki Kobayashi)
DS Bungaku Zenshu (Hitoshi Yamagami)
levelHead (Julian Oliver)
Afrika (Katsumoto Tatsukawa)
Daigasso! Band Bros DX (Noriko Kitamura)
Dragon Quest IV: The Chapters Of The Chosen(Yuji Horii)
Dragon Quest V: The Hand Of The Heavenly Bride (Yuji Horii)
Knights In The Nightmare (Shinichi Ito)
PixelJunk Eden (Dylan Cuthbert)
Pokémon Platinum (Takechi Kawachimaru)
echochrome (Tatsuya Suzuki)
Ryu-ga-gotoku Kenzan (Toshiro Nagoshi)

The category's Grand Prize went to the Tenori-On, a musical instrument invented by Electroplankton creator Toshio Iwai. The device, a light board where the lights themselves function as switches, let users control sound visually, and the awards organizers said it is "similar to a video game console."


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