Archive for March 9th, 2007

Miyamoto Keynote

March 9, 2007

miyamoto.jpgYesterday, I saw Nintendo’s creative superstar, Shigeru Miyamoto, deliver the keynote address at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. His name is unknown to the masses of non-video game fans. But among gamers, he is revered almost to the point of worship.

The whole speech was great, but the best part was a fascinating glimpse into his personal life. Miyamoto spoke about his wife, who had long held an aversion to video games. His wife did not even care for the wholesome and broadly appealing games of his own design. He came to use his “wife-o-meter” as the ultimate test of broad appeal. Even Tetris, famous for its popularity with women, scored a zero on his wife-o-meter.

When their daughter began playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a turning point occurred. His wife put aside her distaste in order to observe and monitor. Later came Animal Crossing, and Mrs. Miyamoto first agreed to touch the controller. Then came Nintendogs (the Miyamotos have a family dog) and finally, Brain Age, and Mrs. Miyamoto became truly interested.

And then today, of course, we have a Wii in our house. So last month, on the 14th, Valentine’s Day (in Japan on Valentine’s Day, women give chocolates to men—it’s very nice). So as usual, I came home rather late from work, and I expected her to be asleep. But I opened the door, and I heard the sounds of the Wii. So of course I thought “Oh, she waited up! Just to give me chocolates! That’s so sweet!” But actually, she was just casting her votes on the Everybody Votes channel. But here’s the amazing thing: what this meant is that she herself used the Wii and downloaded the Everybody Votes channel all on her own. This is an incredible occurrence in my household. Like—it would be more normal for me to walk home and find Donkey Kong eating at my dinner table. So now, things have really changed at my house.

(Full video of the keynote available at Gamespot.com)