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Shigeru Miyamoto (Hands Up)

Shigeru Miyamoto looking suspiciously guilty of something...

Shigeru Miyamoto (宮本 茂) is a Japanese video game creator, designer, producer, and current Representative Director, or "Creative Fellow" of the Nintendo electronics and video game company. He has gained acclaim around the world as being the creative mind behind many successful video game series such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Pikmin, and Donkey Kong.

One franchise on his long list of successes happens to be Mario Kart, a series of kart-racing games that features characters from the Mario world who compete in cups across the Mushroom Kingdom. First as the leading producer of Super Mario Kart in 1992, Shigeru has worked on every single title in the series sense then.

Biography

Born on November 16, 1952 in Sonobe (園部町), Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto was raised in a modest household with no TV. As a result, he often found himself exploring the wilderness around him, where he would find inspiration for some his games (such as The Legend of Zelda). Interested in being a painter, puppeteer, and toy maker in elementary school, Shigeru eventually settles on industrial design, although it took him 5 years to graduate from Kanazawa Munici College of Industrial Arts and Crafts.

At 24 years old, his father introduced Shigeru to Hiroshi Yamauchi (山内 溥), a member of an old toy company called Nintendo. Showing him some of his toy designs, Shigeru was accepted into the company as a concept artist in 1977. In 1980, when Nintendo was looking into the arcade market, Yamauchi recruited Shigeru to create a game conversion of their worthless Radar Scope cabinets. The end result was Donkey Kong, an arcade in which a plumber named Jumpman, later renamed as "Mario" must save a damsel from Donkey Kong. After this massive win, Shingeru became the leader of his own department, Nintendo EAD, and the rest is history...

Mario Kart series

Shigeru Miyamoto (kart)

Shigeru Miyamoto posing next to a life-size Standard Kart M (Mario's version).

In 1992, Shigeru Miyamoto worked along side Tadashi Sugiyama (杉山 直) and Hideki Konno (紺野 秀樹) on a racing game inspired by F-Zero for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Shingeru was trying to produce a two player racing game though (the original F-Zero was only single player), and the prototype game featured a generic man in overalls as the main player. 2-3 months into development, the team decided to test what Mario would look like in the vehicle, and then they decided to make the game feature Mario characters... thus the name Super Mario Kart.

Since then, Shigeru has been a Producer in all main-series Mario Kart games up until Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. In Mario Kart DS, he became the General Producer and continues to fill this role for the series to this date. Yes!

Trivia!

  • In December of 2011, a rumor was loosed that Shigeru was retiring from Nintendo. Luckily, this turned out to be false.
  • Although 64 years old, Shigeru remains active by walking or riding his bike to work every day.
  • To honor Luigi's 30 year anniversary, Shigeru could often be seen wearing Luigi-style clothes to press conferences.

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