According to the Kyoto Shimbun (Japanese only) and as translated by Japanese Nintendo, game designer, Nintendo honcho, and all-around industry giant Shigeru Miyamoto has been honored by his hometown. Nantan City in Kyoto Prefecture chose four people in total to honor for the first time. This comes right after Miyamoto received Japan’s Person of Cultural Merit Award.
This new honor is meant to celebrate the lives and contributions of natives of the Nantan City metropolitan area. The article cites Miyamoto’s work on Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda as being contributions to Japanese society and the world.
If you’re reading this, you almost certainly play Nintendo games as a hobby. Some of us treat video games as a way of life. For us, it’s obvious that Miyamoto would be celebrated by his hometown in this inaugural honor. However, as someone who grew up in a time where the hobby was looked down on, the honor itself isn’t as impressive to me as the people he’s sharing it with, which appear to be various significant government officials. Nantan City recognizes that the arts (in which video games have a place) are as important as other aspects of society, such as government. As time goes on and the hobby becomes more and more legitimized, I hope to see more video game industry figures receiving awards like this.
Congratulations, Mr. Miyamoto! You continue to blaze a path forward for people who work in video games.