Shigeru Miyamoto has been named a ‘Person Of Cultural Merit’ in his native Japan, becoming the first game developer to be awarded the honour. Considering how important gaming is in the Asian island nation, it’s no surprise Miyamoto has been recognised as culturally significant.
The honour is similar to the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, being awarded annually to stand out Japanese figures in science, arts and sport. It has been given by the Prime Minister since 1951, being handed to more than 600 people to date.
Miyamoto created Super Mario Bros, The Legend Of Zelda, Star Fox, Donkey Kong and Wii Fit, along with several other classics. As well as designing so many iconic titles, he also had a hand in many others, working in production and direction on even more of the greatest games of all time.
Pokémon Red and Blue, Mario Kart, Kirby, Pikmin, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario Party and more all saw Miyamoto aid their invention
Pokémon Red and Blue, Mario Kart, Kirby, Pikmin, Luigi’s Mansion, Mario Party and more all saw Miyamoto aid their invention, not to mention his various high level positions at Nintendo itself.
Simply put, there is no one else in the world who has had a greater impact on video games than Shigeru Miyamoto.
Given the huge impact games can have on popular culture, it stands to reason that Miyamoto qualifies as a ‘Personal Of Cultural Merit’.
Games have been increasingly absorbed by mainstream culture and are finally beginning to be viewed as art forms
Games have been increasingly absorbed by mainstream culture and are finally beginning to be viewed as art forms, so Miyamoto’s reception of this award is in keeping with the current trend.A 2016 Statista poll showed that over a third of Japanese adults identify as gamers, the highest figures since records began 20 years previously.
If you’re the driving force in a hobby a third of your country partakes in, you’re not only a ‘Person Of Cultural Merit’, you’re one of the biggest influences on culture full stop.
Last modified: 15th November 2019