TIME Magazine recently held an interview with Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto that led to Miyamoto giving some interesting commentary on topics ranging from his upcoming creation Splatoon to his philosophy behind game development. An intriguing discussion spawned about how Miyamoto views other media. To me, an aspiring poet and writer, and to likely many other artists, what Miyamoto had to say about other media is powerful, insightful and wise.
said in the past that because movies and novels are passive mediums, creators in these mediums can control how their stories are unveiled to their audiences, even irrespective of the audience’s expectation of what should happen next. All I intended to say was that in comparison it is more difficult for us to create entertainment by forcing players to embrace our own expectations regarding how they should experience game stories because video games are an active medium where players themselves think independently about which action to take next.” — Shigeru Miyamoto
Miyamoto went on to discuss his views on novels and stories:
“Whichever media we are talking about, inspiring the audience’s imagination beyond what they have actually read or seen, and having them embrace that, is a fundamental essence of entertainment. I recognize that because novels are expressed solely by words on a page, they actually have the power to unlock the readers’ limitless imaginations more so than movies and video games, which present the audience with actual images, while visual images have the distinct ability to deliver messages to a broader audience more easily.”
— Shigeru Miyamoto
The genius game creator brought it back home to his heart as he compared how images work within these other media to how they work in video games:
“Video games, on the other hand, have the unique ability to etch those images into the player’s memory because of their active role in choosing the path that led them to those images. It is this area that I think I am good at, so I am not under the illusion that I could ever become a novelist or film director myself [laughs].”
— Shigeru Miyamoto
As both a writer and a gamer, it is interesting to see where both media can go, what they can achieve, and to compare and contrast how these media make their audience feel and think.
Do you agree with Miyamoto? Which medium do you think invites the participant to be the most imaginative and why? Express yourself in the comments below!