Last year, the Entertainment Software Association named "father of PlayStation" Ken Kutaragi as the Champion Honoree for its annual charity event, Nite to Unite for Kids. This year, the father of the Wii will be getting his due. The ESA said today that celebrity Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto will receive the Champion Award at the fundraising gala.
Miyamoto, who joined Nintendo in 1977 as a staff artist, created many of the game maker's iconic characters, including Mario, Donkey Kong, and Link from the Zelda series. Most recently, Miyamoto has been credited as the mastermind of Nintendo's best-selling Wii, as well as the driving force behind such audience-broadening hits as Wii Sports and Wii Fit.
Cochairing this year's gathering, which will take place on October 22 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, will be THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell, Disney Interactive Studios executive VP and general manager Graham Hopper, and Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello.
Tickets for the ESA's annual black-tie charity event run $500, with proceeds donated to various children's charities across the US. In its 10-year history, Nite to Unite has raised more than $11 million, as well as honored as LucasArts' George Lucas, EA's Bing Gordon, and Nintendo's Howard Lincoln. The ESA's Web site has more information on the event.