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"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock and roll."
― Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigeru Miyamoto (Japanese: 宮本 茂 Miyamoto Shigeru) is a Japanese game designer. He was born in Sonobe, Japan on November 16, 1952. As the "Father of Modern Video Games"[1], he is responsible for creating the Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Pikmin series. As such, he is one of the most recognized and successful people in the video game industry.

Early Life

At an early age, Miyamoto had a desire to create things that would amaze the world. At first, he considered puppeteering, painting, and making toys. Finally, he decided to study industrial design at the Kanazawa Munici College of Industrial Arts and Crafts. It took him five years to graduate, because he didn't want to attend all of the classes.

When he was 24 years old, his father contacted his friend, Hiroshi Yamauchi, who worked at Nintendo, which was still a toy company at that time. Yamauchi requested to see some designs. Miyamoto responded by going to Nintendo's headquarters in Kyoto with a bag of goodies. One of these goodies was one of the greatest portfolios Nintendo had ever seen, which resulted in Miyamoto eventually becoming the company's first staff artist in 1977.


In 1980, Nintendo of America searched for a hit to establish themselves in the arcade market. They ordered a large number of units of an arcade game called Radar Scope. Unfortunately, by the time Nintendo had received the units, the interest in them had nearly disappeared. Desperate, Yamauchi called Miyamoto into his office and interrogated him on his knowledge of this new concept. Yamauchi claimed to love video games while he studied at the university. After licenses fell through, Donkey Kong was born.

Donkey Kong turned out to be a wild commercial success. This resulted in Miyamoto being promoted and given his own team, which he called R&D4. Later, it was renamed as Nintendo EAD, a name which still remains. They would go on to make some of Nintendo's most memorable games.

Current life

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Personal Life

Miyamoto has a wife, Yasuko, and two children. His son was 25 in 2010 and worked at an advertising agency. His daughter was 23 in 2010 and was studying zoology at the time. His children played video games, but he also made them go outside. Although he knows some English, he does not speak it well, and he prefers to speak in Japanese for interviews.[6]

Miyamoto does not generally sign autographs, out of concern that he would be inundated. He also does not appear on Japanese television, so as to remain anonymous. More foreign tourists than Japanese people approach him.[6]


  • Despite being a video game designer, he seldom spends time playing video games. Rather, he prefers to keep himself busy as a dog breeder and playing his guitar, banjo, and mandolin.
  • His unusual hobbies involve rearranging the furniture in his house and guessing the measurements of objects.
  • He has a Shetland Sheepdog named Pikku that ended up serving as the inspiration for the game, Nintendogs.

He rides his bike, or walks to work each day, usually with his wife (who he actually met on the job, as she was general manager of Nintendo when he joined). Despite being an influential figure in video games and responsible for the multi-million dollar franchise that is the Mario series, Miyamoto is said to be very humble, insisting on settling for an average income.[2]

External links


  1. "Shigeru Miyamoto Profile IGN"
  2. "I like my work, to be honest with you. I've always been given enough money to spend on my projects. I think I am most fortunate, that I can spend as much money as I want, enjoying what I like doing most. I don't have to show the risk regard to my trade, taking a risk means earning a lot of money, but I don't have to."