Shigeru Miyamoto is a Japanese video game designer, producer, and game director who works as one of Nintendo’s representative directors. He is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished and influential video game designers in history, having created some of the most acclaimed and best-selling game franchises of all time, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, and Pikmin. But did you know that Miyamoto had a peculiar hobby?
The creator of Nintendo games, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda, has a hobby of guessing the measurements of objects and then checking to see if he was correct. He enjoys the hobby so much that he always has a tape measure with him.
Shigeru Miyamoto’s First Love and Starting on Nintendo
Shiergu Miyamoto, born in the rural Japanese town of Sonobe in 1952, loved Japanese comic books or manga and hoped to become an illustrator when he grew up.
I gave that up because there were so many other manga artists who were at such a high quality that I felt I couldn’t compete with them.Shigeru Miyamoto, Creator of Mario and Zelda
In college, he eventually gravitated toward industrial design, where he found the talent pool too deep. When he discovered video games, he felt the genre encompassed everything he had enjoyed as a child.
Miyamoto landed a job interview at Nintendo in 1976, shortly after graduating from the Kanazawa College of Municipal Industrial Arts, because his father knew company boss Hiroshi Yamauchi through a mutual friend. He showed Yamauchi some wooden toys he’d made, including two clothes hangers shaped like crows and elephants. Miyamoto began designing cabinet artwork for arcade games such as Sheriff and Space Fever after being assigned an apprentice job as a staff artist. (Source: Mentalfloss)
The Creation of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda, Miyamoto’s next breakthrough, was inspired by some local expeditions he had undertaken as a child, possibly due to not having a television to divert his attention. When he discovered a cave, he had to work up the courage to explore it. With a lantern in hand, he moved deeper into the opening, which led to another cave.
The spirit of the state of mind when one kid enters a cave alone must be realized in the game. Going in, he must feel the cold air around him. He must discover a branch off to one side and decide whether to explore it or not.Shigeru Miyamoto, Creator of Mario and Zelda
Miyamoto is well-known for allowing otherwise mundane experiences to influence his game design. The razor-toothed Chain Chomp enemies in Super Mario Bros. 3 were inspired by a neighborhood dog from his childhood who used to chase him around the neighborhood; his newfound love of swimming inspired the underwater scenes in Super Mario 64; and Nintendogs, a popular pet-care game for the DSi, was inspired by Miyamoto’s adoption of a Shetland sheepdog.
Miyamoto and his design team worked on both Super Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda simultaneously, but he needed to be more optimistic about the latter.
When I was making The Legend of Zelda, it was very plain. I didn’t think that genre would be seen as something so mainstream. I really didn’t expect the response I got a world of swords and magic really wasn’t considered mainstream at the time.Shigeru Miyamoto, Creator of Mario and Zelda
Over seven million copies of the game were sold. (Source: Mentalfloss)
Image from Forbes