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Shigeru Miyamoto


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments List of Figures Foreword Chapter 1: The Father of Modern Video Games Chapter 2: Spatial Narratives: Characters in their Worlds Chapter 3: From Games to Experiences: Designing for User Freedom and Unique Expression Chapter 4: Revolutionizing Gameplay: Casual Games and Mature Audiences Chapter 5: In His Own Words: Transcript of Miyamoto's 1999 Game Developer Conference Keynote Chapter 6: A Continuing Legacy Gameography Works Cited Index

Promotional Information

An in-depth creative and cultural analysis of Shigeru Miyamoto, the 'father of modern video gaming'.

About the Author

Jennifer deWinter is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Interactive Media and Game Development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, US, where she researches computer production and global circulation. deWinter is particularly interested in the cross media vampirism of entertainment media, with a focus on computer games and Japan. She is currently co-editing a book on the intersection of technical communication and games and is working with Steven Conway on a book about video game policy.


I came to this book knowing very little about Miyamoto, but, like anyone else who's been playing video games since he was a kid, and having played at least a dozen of his titles, several are permanently burned into my brain. DeWinter lays out his many influences, from his time exploring caves in the rural region where he grew up to his time as a teenage banjo player. There were multiple moments when I came across some new (to me) piece of information about Miyamoto, thought back to a game of his - in some cases, one I haven't played in years - and felt the cognitive click of recognition. -- Jessie Singal * The Boston Globe *
Summing up such a massive career is an unbelievable act of compression, and what is there is incredibly well-researched and well-synthesized to the point that it feels like its own tidy Miyamoto-like object... An incredibly well-rounded resource, brimming with anecdotes, interviews, and any document on-hand to provide a clearer understanding of a public-yet-enigmatic figure. -- Cameron Kunzelman * Paste Magazine *
Shigeru Miyamoto: Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda really gets at the heart of Miyamoto's influence on the gaming industry ... Providing a great understanding of Shigeru Miyamoto's role in the gaming industry, it's a book that also gives readers an understanding of the history of gaming as a whole, as well as the many influences one influential designer can have ... it provides a fascinating look at how the gaming industry has evolved through the years. * Games Fiends *
As Influential Video Game Designers: Shigeru Miyamoto stands, the book is a must-read for young game designers and those who may be considering entering the field. The book provides the greatest insight I've ever read on the history, philosophy and creative process of perhaps the most beloved game creator in industry history. -- Patrick Scott Patterson * SyFy Games *
[R]eadable and informative ... Shigeru Miyamoto is a dedicated exploration of an undeniably important contributor to videogame history and culture ... deWinter presents an accessible but always academic study that could provide design students with fresh inspiration just as quickly as it could provide an academic a fresh perspective from which to approach digital games. * Cultural Sociology *
DeWinter expertly sifted through a varied assemblage of critical essays, interviews, biographies, and articles on Miyamoto to deliver one of the most definitive examinations to date of his astonishing career. -- Robert Marrujo * Nintendojo *
The Influential Video Game Designers series aims at a gap in interdisciplinary games studies: the game-'auteur.' To date, video games are considered goods-produced in economics without authorship. However, a close look shows that the "object" of the video game comprises not only modes of production or economics, but also the perspective of a maker. In this sense, the first volume of the series, about the Japanese game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, is conceptually and theoretically the right decision: Miyamoto is a game designer who is rather unknown to public, but certainly popular and ever-present (at least to a general audience) with his games. To discuss the work, aesthetic preferences, and strategies of production of a man who could be addressed as one of the 'father figures' of game design is the right decision. The book itself is not only a must-have for everybody interested in gaming culture, game design or the Japanese gaming industry, but also a great way to remember when you wasted your free time (and your coins) by playing Super Mario Bros. or Donkey Kong. * Rolf Nohr, Professor of Media Aesthetics / Media Culture, The Braunschweig University of Art, Germany *
Historians of digital games have until now lacked a critical assessment of the game industry's most famous and influential designer, Shigeru Miyamoto. This certainly held us back, but Jennifer deWinter has at last removed the problem with this balanced account of his achievements. The rest of us will have to get busy and build on her outstanding work. * Henry Lowood, History of Science & Technology Collections and Film & Media Collections, Stanford University Libraries, USA *
With this book Jennifer deWinter and Carly Kocurek have made an enormous contribution to the study of videogame history, design and aesthetics. This is not only due to the work's novel focus upon a single designer, but also due to the forensic manner in which they unpack the complex relationship between Miyamoto's oeuvre and the material conditions which influenced every design decision. Written in an engaging, concise style, this is more than just a book for academics: it is essential reading for any designer or fan of the medium. * Steven Conway, Lecturer in Games & Interactivity, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia *
Ultimately, the book is effective in discussing the context and styles of Miyamoto's influential work as a game designer... And at 184 pages, the relatively brief study should be accessible to scholars and nonscholars alike who are curious about game development. * American Journal of Play *

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