Shmuplations has translated a 2018 article from Nintendo godhead Shigeru Miyamoto about his relationship with Game Freak founder Satoshi Tajiri. Among those details, Miyamoto also reveals his detailed advice and philosophy about how kids should go about becoming great video game designers. He says that, when kids ask him how to become a game creator, his default answer is, “When the weather is good, you should go play outside.”
This makes perfect sense coming from Shigeru Miyamoto, seeing how his exploration in the countryside early in life later inspired classic series like The Legend of Zelda. He elaborates eloquently on his position:
You see, even if you take a bunch of early classes to study game development when you’re young, that’s not how you come up with a game like Pokémon. A wealth of different experiences is indispensable for fostering creativity. Get out there and move your actual body, jump, bounce, run. Experiencing the pain of falling down is very important, as is the feeling of butterflies in your chest when you’re in love. The specialized knowledge you need for developing video games—that can come later. What’s more important now, when you’re young, is to challenge yourself in the world that lies before you.
Satoshi Tajiri collected bugs as a child, which in turn influenced the creation of Pokémon, hence reinforcing Miyamoto’s point. Personally, I think Miyamoto’s advice is terrific. Writers and artists of many kinds receive similar advice. The more experiences a person has, the more knowledge and inspiration there is to draw from, which makes for more authentic and compelling art.
Not very surprising that the creator of Super Mario would have useful advice on this subject, huh?
Let us know what you think of Miyamoto’s words in the comments! Then check out the full translation for Miyamoto’s thoughts on Tajiri, as well as a fully translated 2000 interview with Game Freak game designer/art director Ken Sugimori.