Photo: Shigeru Miyamoto
Japan’s Shigeru Miyamoto, who developed such popular video games as Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong, as well as creating the Brain Training and Wii Fit products, was awarded Spain’s Prince of Asturias Prize for Communication and Humanities in Madrid on Wednesday, the jury told Efe.
The 59-year-old Miyamoto, who has worked for Nintendo since 1977, topped the list of finalists released by the jury after its first meeting on Tuesday.
The other two candidates to make the finalists’ list were the Magnum photo agency and Parisian philosopher and education theorist Edgar Morin.
“I feel very honored to get the news that I have been selected to receive the Prince of Asturias Prize for Communication and Humanities,” Miyamoto said in a statement released by Nintendo.
“Given that I have not been able to create a video game alone, I feel enormously grateful to have been selected to receive this prestigious prize and I would like to receive it as a representative of my friends and colleagues, with whom I developed video games during the course of my career,” the video game developer said.
Miyamoto “is the principal artisan of the educational, formative and constructive video game revolution,” the jury said.
He is “a designer of personalities and games known around the world, and is characterized by excluding violence from his creations and for innovating with programs and formats that help exercise the mind in its multiple facets, a very valuable result from an educational point of view,” the jury said.
“Miyamoto is not just the father of the modern video game, but he has achieved, with his great imagination, the creation of virtual dreams with which millions of people of all ages interact, generating new forms of communication and relationships capable of crossing ideological, ethnic and geographic frontiers,” the jury said.
The Prince of Asturias Foundation says its communication and humanities prize is bestowed “upon the person, institution, group of people or group of institutions whose work or research constitutes a significant contribution to universal culture in these fields.”
The prize carries a cash award of 50,000 euros (about $63,040), a sculpture by Joan Miro that represents and symbolizes the awards, a diploma and an insignia bearing the foundation’s coat of arms.
Past recipients of the Prince of Asturias Prize for Communication and Humanities include The Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific community, Internet service giant Google, the National Geographic Society and Italian medievalist and philosopher Umberto Eco.
The prizes, which Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe will hand out later this year in the northwestern city of Oviedo’s Campoamor Theater, are regarded as the Ibero-American world’s equivalent of the Nobels.