Mar 8, 2007

Wii Magnetism

Though most attention at the Game Developer's Convention over the last couple of days has been focused on Sony's announcement of their upcoming "Home" interface, a few keen observers have been paying close attention to the wise words of an old master.

Some call him the "Spielberg of Gaming." Others, like myself, think the comparison should be reversed.

Creator of gaming icons, Donkey Kong, Mario, and Link delivered his keynote address yesterday to a packed house. Even Sony Worldwide President, Phil Harrison procured for himself, a front row seat.

To many, his speech may have seemed scattered and vague, as it bounced around various points in the history of the industry. Part of the problem, of course is that it was delivered in Japanese, and all we've heard have been English translations. Speaking in Japanese, of course means that Miyamoto also thinks in Japanese, and as such, his he comes to his points in a manner fundamentally different from the average westerner. As such, many of us have difficulty interpreting his message. Whether it's meant to be the same for everyone is anyone's guess.

For me, Miyamoto issued a veiled warning to the industry. And in a way, I think it was aimed directly for folks like Sony's Phil Harrison, though I'm absolutely positive it bounced right off their noses.

By speaking about the evolution of games, the need for humanity to be a key component in their development, and a continual priority placed on enjoyment... I think Shigs was warning others in the industry not to attempt to *duplicate* humanity, as games like World of Warcraft do, and as Sony's "home" might.

To illustrate this point, Miyamoto spoke about his development tactic of always trying to picture the look one of his games will produce on the face of its player. How many smiles and giggles of glee are emitted from someone attached to a PC playing a reality-simulator for hours on end. How to, will Sony's "home" perform in this respect.

To catch a glimpse of Shigeru's genius, and to see an unintended demonstration of his goal... take a couple minutes to watch this video. (please pardon the 30 second ad preceding it)

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