Top games designer calls for joyful games

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ShigeruMiyamoto.jpgTop designer at Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto, has said that the video game industry’s reputation has suffered over the past decade, and has called for game developers to deliver titles that bring joy to the widest possible spectrum of players.

“I always want that first reaction to be emotion, to be positive – to give a sense of satisfaction, glee,” he said. “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.”

Given the recent popular crop of violent titles including Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Resident Evil, you might be forgiven for thinking that his viewpoint would be pushed aside. However, his standing in the industry is such that designers take his words seriously.

I don’t think Miyamoto is calling for a spawn of Tetris clones, but in a climate where a number of psychiatric experts link violent games to aggressive behaviour, maybe it’s time for some balance?

Will his speech make any difference? That’s down to the designers and developers. Presumably, Nintendo see their Wii, promoting greater interactivity and group play, as a part of that vision.

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Andy Merrett