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So what do you do when you’ve got two AI Game Programming Wisdom articles to write? Procrastinate by blogging, of course.

Anyway, this is over a week old, but this interview with Shigeru Miyamoto was funny. Other people (ie Bungie) picked on this bit:

Do you ever worry that you’re losing touch with what young American players might want to play?
I could make Halo. It’s not that I couldn’t design that game. It’s just that I choose not to. One thing about my game design is that I never try to look for what people want and then try to make that game design. I always try to create new experiences that are fun to play.”

Now obviously Miyamoto is a, if not the, seminal figure in our industry, with plenty of good reason. It just amuses me that he suffers from the same warped perspective that lots of game developers suffer from – the opinion that they’re the only ones that sweat and slave over their games to make them the best they can (regardless of the resulting quality). I mean, sure, you can criticize Halo as ripping off sci-fi tropes left and right, but it’s pretty apparent the folks at Bungie work their ass off on that series of games because they love it, and not because some focus group told them too. (Plus it’s not like the Zelda games aren’t also chock full of fantasy conventions.)  

But this part was pretty good too:

“What are some real-world issues that would you consider putting into a game?
I have some ideas. One is that in Japan, there are a lot of trains that have sections reserved for the elderly or pregnant women. Young people in Japan sometimes sit in them, but if people come up and need them, you are supposed to get up. But most of the kids don’t! It really upsets me. If I could build a game that somehow made the young people respect their elders…”

I mean, I’m old enough to get his point (sigh), but if that’s really the first social problem that comes up off the top of your head that you might think about trying to address in your creative endeavors… Well, he does spend an awful lot of time thinking about plumbers, mushrooms, elves and princesses. It’s gotta do something to a guy, you know?