Video game guru wants happy games
March 8, 2007 6:43pm CST
SAN FRANCISCO - Video game developers should resist the temptation to produce only sequels of established hits and games based on horror and revenge, Nintendo Co.'s top designer said Thursday. Video game guru Shigeru Miyamoto said his industry's reputation has suffered in the past decade. Designers have failed to deliver titles that bring joy to the widest possible spectrum of players, focusing too often on hard-core gamers and their lust for gore and realism, he said. "I always want that first reaction to be emotion, to be positive — to give a sense of satisfaction, glee," Miyamoto told thousands of developers attending the annual Game Developer Conference here. "Certain obstacles may temporarily raise feelings of suspense, competition, even frustration. But we always want that final result, that final emotion, to be a positive one." Miyamoto's emphasis on plucky, fantastic, upbeat games contrasts with the slew of violent but popular games today — titles such as "Grand Theft Auto," "Mortal Kombat" and "Resident Evil." A growing number of politicians, educators and psychiatric experts cite studies linking violent games and aggressive behavior. Designers take Miyamoto's lectures seriously. Time Magazine called him "the Stephen Spielberg of video games." Miyamoto created titles such as "Mario Brothers," "Donkey Kong" and "The Legend of Zelda." Together, those titles have sold about 288 million copies. Miyamoto — an ambidextrous doodler who plays guitar and banjo — joined Nintendo in 1980 to work on coin-operated arcade games. He's worked on every game console Nintendo has released over nearly three decades, including the popular Wii, which debuted last year. He also helped developed "Super Mario Galaxy," an obstacle course-style game he previewed Thursday. It will come out later this year.