This interview with Mr. Miyamoto himself is full of his philosophies on games and how he got into gaming in the first place. He also touches on his and Nintendo’s philosophy about violence in video games. Check out a snippet:
AR: When you think about violent computer games , I guess the first thing that springs to mind these days is Grand Theft Auto , it’s very, very graphic in content, it’s also been blamed for inciting real life crimes but it’s also extremely popular amongst gamers. Why hasn’t Nintendo never gone down that very lucrative road.
SM: I think there is variety of ways to entertain people. Nintendo has many ways of entertaining people without the use of violent expression. So I do not have to worry in making such games.
My personal thought is, and I think it is the same with Nintendo, that before thinking about how to handle violence in video games, I think it is important to think about pain people feel. For example, you would not laugh at people with disabilities. There are bullying problems in Japan. Looking at the overall picture, it is important to understand and feel the pain that people might have. We make our games based on that philosophy, using means other than violence. But we also have to take a careful approach, even in the circumstances when we are not portraying direct violence. I think it is always important to give children a product with a careful approach.
This brings up an interesting point about violence in games, specifically on Nintendo platforms. I’m glad Nintendo has a strong stance on the issue and has reasons to back up their beliefs. Most companies just “go with the flow”, but I’m glad to see Nintendo daring to be different in this area. Hopefully their philosophies on violence in video games will influence other game companies to consider what games are all about—having fun!