The Man behind Pokemon Shigeru Miyamoto

Home Descriptive The Man behind Pokemon Shigeru Miyamoto
The Man behind Pokemon Shigeru Miyamoto


In particular, video games generate mixed reactions. For some video games are tools that promote dehumanizing of women and violence tendencies among the players. On the other hand, subscribers to video games cite the entertainment value and unlimited imagination as well as fantasy that these video games bring. The argument against video games barely holds water mainly because video games rarely create anything new as they infuse reality and fantasy to create entertainment (Kaplan, 2017). The games are not the problem but the society. With this background, this essay is going to use Miyamoto’s history and exploits in the gaming industry to illustrate what constitutes an effective game world.

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Shigeru Miyamoto

Born in 1952, Shigeru Miyamoto is a renowned video game designer. He has created the Legend of Zelda, the Mario and Pokemon video game series among others (Kaplan, 2017). Shigeru Miyamoto designs game for Nintendo game systems. Apart from designing these games, Shigeru Miyamoto has supervised many titles that are published under Nintendo on behalf of other game developers. Some of these titles include Olympic Games and Metroid Prime. As a renowned game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto is christened the “father of contemporary video gaming” (Bevier, 2016). One striking feature of video games designed by Shigeru Miyamoto is that they boast of intuitive gameplay, refined control-mechanics, and simplistic storylines as well as imaginative worlds. In these imaginative worlds, the players of Shigeru Miyamoto video games are encouraged to unravel things for themselves.

Part of Shigeru Miyamoto’s story started in 1977 when he was assigned the task of designing arcade games that were coin-operated (Kaplan, 2017). From this project, he created Radar Scope that did not attract much attention in the United States market as Nintendo had envisioned. As expected of a creative mind, Shigeru Miyamoto reused the hardware of this game to create Donkey Kong that became a huge success. The other attribute associated with Donkey Kong is that Mario; the lead character became an easily recognizable character in Nintendo’s mascot (Bevier, 2016). One significant change here is that Shigeru Miyamoto had created a game that exhibited a real-life balance of power as manifested in the lead character. For this success, Shigeru Miyamoto’s became a prolific producer with Nintendo and designed for several franchises owned by the Company.

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Concerning addictive and appealing nature of video games, Shigeru Miyamoto’s uses his childhood experiences as the inspiration behind the game designs. For instance, Miyamoto’s Zelda arose from his teenage explorations. The primary motivations for creating games entail completion and fantasy or completion and destruction (Kohler, 2016). The best way to emphasize how childhood and life experience influence video game design than revisiting the childhood of Miyamoto (Bevier, 2016). He loved to paint pictures, exploit landscape surrounding his house and was fascinated by the discovery of hidden lakes and caves which are later translated into his video game designs. As stated earlier, the Legend of Zelda embodies this childhood exploration.

For game enthusiasts, they expect game characters and especially lead characters to assume real-life dynamics. In this manner, they expect male characters to dominate in a military or war conquest. For this reason, designers of video games must take into account the sociology and psychology of players among other factors when designing a video game (Kerzner, n.d.). It is for this reason that Miyamoto enhances acceptability and realism of his products by invoking life experiences when designing a game (Kaplan, 2017). For instance, he invoked a memory in which he was menaced by a neighbor’s dog when creating the Chain Chomp enemy that is in the Mario series. Thus, Miyamoto creates video games with the lasting experience.

Similarly, Miyamoto creates games for those interested in activating their fantasy. As a child, Miyamoto toyed with the idea of staying in a hospital with a disease that could not harm him. Miyamoto is phenomenal and has not just created games but contributed to the video gaming industry. It can be argued that he entrenched the philosophy of basing video games on real-life events or real-life experiences (Bevier, 2016). It is from these experiences that fantasy can be created thus capturing the target audience that starts with reality to the imagination. In fact, Miyamoto single contribution to the success of Donkey Kong helped salvage Nintendo. With full realization of his talent and experience, Miyamoto continues to collaborate with others to develop further the video gaming industry.

Illustration: Pokemon Types

As a demonstration, the Pokemon characters actively fuse reality and fantasy. First, al Pokemon creature, as well as their moves, is assigned particular types. Just as real-life characters, each type exhibits several weaknesses and strengths in both defense and attack. In actual play, one should invoke a Pokemon and moves that generate a particular advantage over the opponent. From this action, the proponent will inflict more damage than normal (Kohler, 2016). Concerning game design principles, the Pokemon series aligns with realism and thus plays into the psychology and expectations of the audience (Bevier, 2016). One the soft demands are satisfied, the developers of a video game can now focus on the technical aspects such as high definition graphics and smooth rendering.

Philosophy and Game

Just like a great novelist practices his or her philosophy, video game designers must have their philosophical ideologies. For Miyamoto, video games ought to be what the audience wants to play. The players should have significant control of the game, and this is part of Miyamoto ideology (Millington, 2016). It is for this reason that Miyamoto departed from the status quo in the game design industry and pursued new and exciting control systems for Nintendo games (Bevier, 2016). Miyamoto took a significant risk in going against lead market products by thinking and redesigning his video game products differently. The implication is that video games should be understood as just any other product worth comprehensive analysis and redesigning with the end-user in mind.

Awards and Game

For his significant contribution to the video gaming industry, Miyamoto has been awarded. Miyamoto was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts. The bottom-line of these awards is that he worked hard to make video games an interactive product rather than a static one (Millington, 2016). It is from this development that developers of video games continually improve the realism and challenge in these electronic products (Kaplan, 2017). Miyamoto was awarded a star on the Walk of Game. Personally, he has honored himself by naming certain video game characters Miyamoto as well as names connoting to his background.

Current Exploits

In particular, Miyamoto is still involved in the design of video games. He has completed the design of Wii Fit as well as Mario Kart. Miyamoto has also supervised Olympic Games development of Sonic and Mario. Therefore when it comes to a good video game developer, it is all about passion. Miyamoto is not just in the business for the material gain but as a passion (Kohler, 2016). The fact that he contributes to the development of video games across several Companies illustrates his resolve. In this manner also, what contributes to the development of a good video game is that it must command the input from several viewpoints (Bevier, 2016). It is a fact that video games model a lot of fields such as psychology, geography, sociology, and technology among others (Mckeown, 2016). Therefore, it is essential to incorporate views and expertise from all these contributing fields.

Conditions for Good Game

Equally important is that video games are primarily for entertainment. It is easy for a developer to lose this vital attribute when developing a video game. The plot and theme of a video game product must be simple enough (Millington, 2016). The games must be designed to compete with fantasy or compete and allow for destruction. Part of the motivation for playing the video game is that the player has more control than in real life (Kohler, 2016). For instance, a player of a video game may want to crush his care but still not sustain injuries or damage. There are also those players that want reality. Therefore, when developing a video game, the target audience must be in mind.

Still, on entertainment, Miyamoto played music in his childhood days, and his video game designs exhibit the musical entertainment. Music and sound effects are critical components of entertainment and in video games too. Most players of video games respond to the musical component that accompanies the game offering (Kaplan, 2017). The music played should be thematic in the sense that it tallies with the environment modeled in the game as well as themes suggested. In this manner, there is need to put an effort in creating music that aligns with the game. Miyamoto in several of his games such as Donkey Kong infuses music that aligns with the world created in the game.

As indicated earlier, research and development in video games are critical. What leads to a good video game depends on several factors. Some of these factors include technology, psychology of the game, environment modeled in the game and the usability of the game (Kerzner, n.d.). Individual developers cannot harness all these aspects of a game on their own and also keep up with current developments in each of these fields (Bevier, 2016). For this reason, research and development are critical in harnessing latest developments and best practices in the psychology of video games for instance. It is for this reason that Miyamoto collaborates with others at Nintendo and other video gaming franchises to develop video games.

Similarly, simplicity is critical in-game designs. Playing a video game should not be a learning episode. The controls and manipulations of the game features should be simple enough (Kerzner, n.d.). Simplicity arises because video games are intended to entertain the player and not necessarily trigger critical analysis of the intended themes. Games that are designed simply concerning the player interface are easy to play (Millington, 2016). The complexity of the game should be in the player unraveling hidden characters, actions, and moves in the game (Kohler, 2016). In other words, it should be easy for the player to recognize the lead character, a gun, how to pause and how to exit playing. Miyamoto video games are a good illustration of simplicity in video game design.

Lastly, characters should not be plot devices. It is essential to avoid making a video game movie-like. The video games by Miyamoto exhibit this quality. These video games are designed for the player to unravel hidden mysteries in them (Kerzner, n.d.). The characters in a video game should not be restricted to a unidirectional theme rather the player moves should dictate what the character becomes (Kaplan, 2017). For this reason, video games should possess significant logic and artificial intelligence attributes for them to entertain. The primary justification for characters being just characters as opposed to plot devices is that video games are intended to be played and enjoyed multiple times (Mckeown, 2016). Therefore, each instance should elicit a new challenge, discovery and new theme. The game design should thus possess adequate possible moves and actions for all these to occur.

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In conclusion, several aspects make a video game worth playing. Miyamoto is an accomplished game designer by invoking most of these video game design principles and best practices. A video game must have little thematic music, be simple enough and let the player unravel things and the world all by himself or herself. Motivation is critical, and in video games, the motivation is both personal philosophies and life experiences. Still using Miyamoto, he uses his childhood experiences, hobbies, and desires as well as individual philosophies to inspire his video game designs. From the viewpoint of a developer, passion in developing a game is critical. Lastly, a great game design must incorporate several fields that make real life such as technology, psychology, geography, and authority. Miyamoto game designs exhibit all attributes of what a great game should be.