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Draw My Life: Shigeru Miyamoto

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto was born on November 16th 1952. Growing up in the small and quiet town of Sonobe, Japan, Miyamoto found adventure through the natural world around him. These scenes would later provide the backdrop for the explorative world of The Legend of Zelda, which Miyamoto created alongside other pioneering Nintendo developments such as the Nintendo Wii. Here, we take a look at his life, and the way he leveraged the mathematical and scientific communities around him in tandem with his own artistic creativity to create some of the most renowned digital products the world has ever seen.

In 1976, Miyamoto graduated from art college with a degree in industrial design. Having, by his own admission, no real idea about what he wanted to do with his life, he found himself interviewing for a job at Nintendo. The firm hired him, beginning as an apprentice, and later becoming Nintendo’s first artist.

Despite this initial success it proved to be a difficult time to be joining the company, which though it is hard to believe now was at that point in history finding itself in dire financial straits. But times of hardship also bring about opportunities. Miyamoto had worked on a cabinet game – RadarScope – which had proved unsuccessful in the arcades. From there, he was charged with creating a new game that could replace it, using the same arcade cabinet.

It was at this point that he discovered the benefits of fusing artistic creativity with mathematical, scientific, and engineering nouse. He worked with Nintendo’s scientific teams, to design a game that would be both fun to play, and easy to program. Donkey Kong was born, spawning the game’s hero, Jump Man, who would later become the Mario character that we know today.

Miyamoto went onto have a rich and varied career at Nintendo, where is still serves as a co-Representative Director today. Over the years he has been instrumental in the launch of key Nintendo products such as the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the Nintendo Wii, and the Legend of Zelda franchise – all from not really knowing what he wanted to do, so beginning by doing what he enjoyed.

Miyamoto’s products have brought happiness to millions of people around the world across multiple decades, and his fusion of art and science has been instrumental in the founding of the modern videos games market.

For inspiration in choosing your pathway to the future, simply visit Your Life’s Future Finder!