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Shigeru Miyamoto

Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities 2012

Considered the father of the modern video game, Shigeru Miyamoto (Kyoto, Japón, 1952) graduated of Kanazawa Municipal College of Art and Industrial Design (Japan), he is currently general manager of the Entertainment Analysis and Development Division at Nintendo Co. Ltd., a company he joined in 1977. Designer and producer of video games, Miyamoto is the author of the video game Mario Bros, among others, which has become the most marketed saga in history with sales of 275 million units worldwide.

He has designed over a hundred games, some of which, Mario Bros and Zelda, are considered the best in the history of video games. In particular, critics have defined the The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as “the best video game ever made”. In 1996, he marked another milestone with Super Mario 64, the first game made entirely in 3D which broke new ground by providing the characters with free-roaming movement and including independent camera views. Shigeru Miyamoto participated in the creation of the first console with two separate screens, one of which is a touchscreen. This console, the Nintendo DS, sold three and a half million units in Europe in one year. In 2012, it replaced the traditional audio-guide at the Louvre Museum. Noted for excluding violence from his creations, Miyamoto has revolutionized the industry with programs such as Brain Training, designed, as its name suggests, to exercise the mind; Wii Music, a music composition game that has become the most popular tool for teaching this subject and which is now used in schools around the world; and Wii Fit, an exercise routine which, for the first time ever, is controlled by the movement of the body and which has sold over thirty million units.

With these creations, he has converted the video game into a social revolution and has managed to popularize it among a sector of the population that had not previously accessed this kind of entertainment, while also making it a medium capable of bringing people together regardless of sex, age or social or cultural status. Shigeru Miyamoto conceives games as an element for family and social integration, an experience that can be shared by all which manages to move players and help them express their emotions.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (1998) and Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters (2006), Shigeru Miyamoto has also received other important distinctions. The most noteworthy of these include his naming as one of the most influential people in the world in 2008 by Time magazine (USA) and the GAME Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) in 2010, at a ceremony where he was also honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship Award.

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