Miyamoto worried over abundance of gun-focused games

Nintendo designer says ubiquity of gun-oriented games troubling for younger generation, claims digital media presents "difficulty" for parents.

Gun-focused games are some of the most commercially successful and widespread games in the industry, but they are not appreciated by all. Famous Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto told IGN this week that he's concerned regarding the ubiquity of weapon-oriented games.

Miyamoto is worried too many gun games can be a bad thing.

"Sometimes I get worried about the continued reliance on making games that are so centered around guns, and that there are so many of these games," he said. "I have a hard time imagining--particularly for young generations of gamers--how they sit down and play and interact with that."

Last week, Miyamoto said he wanted to make a first-person shooter, but noted he does not have enough time to do so. He explained that if he were to build a first-person shooter, it might be different in structure than typical FPS games, and perhaps not particularly violent. He said he was specifically enthused with the idea of a game that allows players to look around and fully explore a 3D space.

Miyamoto further explained that Nintendo remains committed to creating a "safe environment for kids," with special attention paid to the online space. The Mario and Zelda creator added that the rise of digital mediums like video games has created difficulties for parents.

"Previous forms of media, like books, made it easy for parents to know and understand what they’re buying for their children," he said. "With the transition into digital mediums it becomes more difficult for parents to have a full grasp of what's going on. From a game developer's standpoint it's important to take that into account."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

421 comments
EggEmperor
EggEmperor

I'm guessing he means that shooters are overcrowding the market, which I've heard before...

Jearoon
Jearoon

I think the over-abundance of guns in games is a tad concerning for a few reasons to be honest. In relation to children playing shooters - yes games have ratings, but of course in reality they are only partially effective at best, and one way or another kids will get their hands on the latest COD or Battlefield. Sure it is the parent's responsibility, but merely announcing that does not make the problem disappear; the fact remains that children (and adults!) being exposed to and playing so many shooters, to the point where themes of shooting and killing is normalised, may be a cause for concern.

 

But even apart from all that, I think the amount of shooter games around is a bit depressing from a creative perspective too. It's weird how, when given a medium in which we can pretty much create anything - where we can allow our imaginations to run wild and continually innovate - we end up falling back on shooting people/killing/violence as our most popular means of entertainment. Sorta says a lot about humanity I guess!

constantterror
constantterror

Well it is the parents job to know what their kids are playing and learn by being there at the store when the kid is buying a game plus she or he could read up on games to learn so that statement was stupid.

Zelseisdabest
Zelseisdabest

i only  partially agree with him, i do think there is an over abundance of gun focused games, but only because it seems like every developer feels the need to make one. between last gen and this current gen im pretty sure there has been at least an 80% increase on the amnt of FPS games, and they are all similar in experience. Im not saying there is anything wrong with having a FPS or a shooter period, i just think that companies should be a little more creative then swarming the market with Shooter games. How bout they come up with more games that have a more enticing story line that would make a gamer actually ask "what am i getting myself into" or " what will happen next?"  I think thats what myamoto should've said. "Lets focus more on the objects in the player's games space, such as the environment or what they can interact with, instead of "what else can i shoot"" 

DrasRexen
DrasRexen

Stick to what you know Miyamoto.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Hey Miyamoto... maybe you're thinking a bit too much about "young gamers." Something tells me this guy and Michael Jackson would've been bunk-buddies.

Camnovic
Camnovic

I am worried over the abundance of recent terrible Nintendo games.

Spacemancer
Spacemancer

We need more SPACE SIM GAMES, come on.

DeadrisingX1
DeadrisingX1

It's up to the parent to decide what's best for the kid. So, it's not really that big of a deal.

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

he's right, there are way too many gun games.  lets get more swords.

Haeravon
Haeravon

Miyamoto, you're a tool. Him being worried about guns in games would be like Bill Gates worrying about plumbers in games. Violent FPS games tend to be M-rated, they're not catering to children, and even if they were, there hasn't even been any unanimous correlation between violent video games and violent behavior.

Echo3Delta
Echo3Delta

This attitude is reminiscent of the media's attitude when they freak out about gratuitous levels of sex/violence in gaming.  To them, it's different from movies, because video games are seen as inherently and fundamentally a children's toy.As I got older, Nintendo didn't keep pace with my maturing tastes and kept looking and marketing itself like a children's toy.  Miyamoto's opinion doesn't surprise me; it's why I left Nintendo for Sony all those years ago.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

The answer Is simple, children should be given a stick and some string, let them be content with that. Any argument just tell them about the Victorian chimney sweepers, should shut them up.

bcoolrob
bcoolrob

That why we have "RATINGS" system?

Viet-boy
Viet-boy

I don't think he should worry about it. I mean there are ratings on games right?

T for teen

M for Mature 18+

The parents buy rated M games and then later on blame the gaming industry for making their kids violent is stupid. They bought the game. Would they buy their under 18 kids porn? Of course not.

Depends on if they're bad parents or not.

franzito
franzito

Mr. Miyamoto spent his whole career creating platform games, so, it's natural feeling this way. I don't judge him for not liking shooters; myself wasn't a big fan of the genre but, since RE 4, I couldn't resist. Of course, I don't buy EVERY SHOOTER in the market because many of them has the same tired formula: the story just make excuses for you to shoot aliens, zombies etc.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Indeed not only we have too much shooters, but most of em are unoriginal (Still waiting for Borderlands 2, I admit).  But didn't this man said a few weeks ago that he would like to make a FPS?

 

 

Orvell
Orvell

It is not only an issue of morality, but one of diversity.  Excluding sports games, then my guess would be two out of every three console games are shooters.  Or at least that is what it seems like. 

mojo_the_migo
mojo_the_migo

So he doesn't have a problem with violent sword games? If he does, why pick on guns? I read the article and his main concern was violence in general, but he picked on guns. Being concerned with violent video games that children are exposed to and believing guns are bad are two different things. I'm sure there are plenty of gamers who do not like real life guns and find them inherently immoral. I and many other gamers find them the teeth of a Democracy and a key element of self defense. I get very wary when I hear guns being made a bad guy and it affects my spending habits.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

i agree because, sadly, "M" rated games are the ones bought mostly by kids and their parents

 

i dare anyone to prove me wrong

Khasym
Khasym

I'm sorry, I think I missed the point where morality is supposed to decide what games get made. What's funny, is the same arguments have been made about Rap Music(and the gansta groups of the 90's), Television(and the violent cartoons of the 80s), Rock(and the black metal bands of the 70's) and Comic Books(and the increasingly darker titles of the 60's) Mysteriously, the kids who lived through those ages, grew up fine for the most part. But now that we have such graphic, interactive visuals(just as there were graphic images, lyrics and pictures in the past), I guess there's just no saving kids this time......OH GIVE ME A FRIGGIN BREAK!!!!

Do you know what this really sounds like? It sounds like the proponents who wanted video games to be labeled and restricted to adults, are now trying to use the community to promote their beliefs. The only thing more damning, is that Miyamoto himself has said, and I'm quoting him here: “Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock-n-roll.”

beast70
beast70

FPS's are fine the problem is their all the same, I mean look at fallout 3/NV those are great games and so is borderlands and bioshock problem is most of them are just shallow explosion light shows.

Dragdar
Dragdar

 greeneye59. the difference with The Last of Us is that he violence is real, because the people are painted as real beings with desires, fears hopes, will to survive...

 

every rare bullet is felt as it pierces a person, people who have witnessed a man being stabbed will tell you how it's nothing like you imagine, what movies tell you.

 

the way that punk at the end Sony conference pleaded for mercy, is unheard of in my book, it made me instantly feel for him, and when that gun went of, it was pure shock and awe.

 

This is the kind of violence no kid should witness, it's dark and there's little glory or poetry in it.

______________________________________

As opposed to a Halo experience where you're just gunning down aliens, who cares, it has no weight or emotional impact so it's ok.

 

Even Uncharted didn't make me feel anything for the countless i mowed down, they were just action-movie cardboard cutouts for all i care and i cant see how these games can make a kid become a psycho.

__________________

That being said i grew up with Super Nintendo and the most violence i remember was Mortal Kombat and I liked it and it's really not that big of a deal, it's make believe goofiness.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

"it becomes more difficult for parents to have a full grasp of what's going on."

 

This is because video games are a young medium, and it probably won't be an issue in 20 years or so. The problem is that a lot of parents and adults obviously don't play video games. Parents don't have the same difficulty with books, music or movies, because parents also read books, listen to music, and watch movies.

 

A non-gamer has difficulty fully grasping the concept of what a video games is: for example, a couple weeks ago my dad was watching me play GTA IV. At one point he asked me "why is he such a bad driver?"

 

My dad didn't understand that I was actually in control of the car, that I was doing the steering, etc. He thought that I was simply -watching- Niko drive recklessly around Liberty City. The dynamic nature of a video game, the fact that gameplay isn't just a series of pre-recorded videos, is something that you can't really understand without picking up a controller yourself.

 

This issue with parents will go away once the serious gamers who are currently in their 20s and 30s become parents themselves, and once the older generations are just as familiar with games as the younger ones. Gamer parents won't have a problem distinguishing between games in different genres, or identifying which series are the most violent, or what the descriptors on the ESRB warning label really mean.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

I'm just glad that Miyamoto was a part of this gaming generation.

 

I will defend Super Mario Galaxy's quality game experience, so I hope Miyamoto is still proud of that.

 

 

Hurvl
Hurvl

I don't think too many guns (or emphasis on gun gameplay) can be a bad thing, but that's the opinion of a Serious Sam fan. I'd love to see more melee or melee/gun games. The only good melee combat games I've played are from the Jedi Knight series, as well as Dark Messiah of Might and Magic.

rey2
rey2

Guns, sex,  violence sells.   Been hearing the stuff since the 80s for TV and movies. It also applies to videogames these days. ( Looks at my library of games that involves guns.)  Honestly, Miyamoto's right.  Sad but true.

greeneye59
greeneye59

He's right.  It seems almost everything is a shooter now.  Every game seems to be upping the near-realistic violence for shock value.  I find that the older I get the less I like gory displays of death in movies and games.  Case in point is The Last of Us.  The game looks amazing, but the graphic ways of killing in the game is a real turn off.  There's no need for it to go that far.   Sometimes I miss the old days of cartoony platforming games.

COPMAN221ISBACK
COPMAN221ISBACK

he should be more worried with the core gamers who made nintendo and are jumping ship as they lose faith in them.

sonicare
sonicare

Yes there are too many guns.  What we need instead are altenative ways to kill enemies.  Such as jumping on them, burning them with fireballs, or dropping bricks on them.

DukeMagnum
DukeMagnum

Get ready to give me a thumbs down:

 

What would his game be? A first person looker? Real exciting. What this guy needs to do is stop worrying about the children and start figuring out how to give an RTS online play instead of leaving it out of Pikmin 3 because it's too hard. 

 

Yeah, the guy is the father of modern video games and whatnot, but Mario hasn't truly captured me since I was 13 or 14 and saw Mario 64 on demo at Sears. Furthermore, the 2D Marios have just been lazy. That's what this guy is at this juncture - a lazy developer. Lazy, lazy, lazy. Maybe the childlike bashfulness and goofy grin gets him a pass with most people but I'll call it like I see it.

setupdisk
setupdisk

 @Vodoo Where the hell did the Thumbs button go for crap like this?

constantterror
constantterror

 @Viet-boy They're just the typical american looking for a easy way to get rich heck look at the people that bought coffee back in the day that sued cause they got burned how pathetic is that nothing but a greedy country and makes you laugh at them cause it makes them look like a retard O,o I didn't know coffee was hot or I didn't know water on the floor was slippery .

Orvell
Orvell

or at least that is what it seems like to me

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

 @Chico_Azteca True 100% but you know... if the parent has no problem with his kid playing those games then nothing we can do, apart from expecting that the parent will not blame games if his kid turns to be a revel because he was a irresponsible parent.I started playing violent videogames when I was 13, with the original Mortal Kombat.  I had access to a lot of violence in general, but also had an education.  You hear nowadays those 12 years old kids playing CoD or GoW online and you wonder WTF happened with parenting...

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

 @Khasym I think morality is making the game you want to make, I see more inmoral to release a Carmageddon without blood or pedestrian killing that releasing a ultra-violent game that was intended to be that way.   So I think you are completely right.Just a small correction: Black Metal had his first wave during the 80's, not 70's ;)

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

 @Dragdar 'make believe goofiness'? umm, don't you mean bloody and gory as all get-out? 

Dragdar
Dragdar

There's too much first person shooters tho, i like to limit them in my collection, below 20 %

 

it's really the simplest way to design a game, less development time no special controls, churn it out and make an easy buck.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

 @Hurvl

 The Batman Arkham games were great for me because Batman didn't carry an assault rifle or sniper rifle...

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

 @greeneye59 I hear you, man. The extreme violence in The Last of Us kinda disappointed me. I mean, that stuff would probably happen in a real setting like that, but I think that game would be too depressing for me to play for long hours at a time. Thank God for cartoony platformers to get away from those types of games every once in awhile. Who wants to feel all stressed out and tense while playing video games all the time, you know?

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

 @greeneye59 

Thankfully cartoony platformers haven't died out, especially since we're getting 2 New Super Mario brother titles along with Rayman Legends. I still want to get Fez for XBLA. 

 

But I agree with you, especially with The Last of Us, it is stunning to see what Naughty Dog has achieved with its visual presentation, story, intensity, and AI but there was really no need for the extra brutality. Yes when defending yourself you must do whatever means to survive, but when you clearly have the upper hand, there's no need to go all out to dispatch your enemy.

Ziberg
Ziberg

 @COPMAN221ISBACK My Gamecube is way more appealing then Wii, Luckily I was able to get most my money back when I sold it.

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @sonicare The first Deus Ex had all of that (though you used a flamethrower instead of fireballs). You could kill a person by jumping on them from a high altitude or by dropping inventory equipment, like multitools on them. Those two were perhaps not the most efficient ways of killing enemies, but they were an option.

 

I want to see more games that treat enemies like physical objects that can be pushed/kicked, thrown, smashed or crushed in different ways. That's why I loved the combat in Dark Messiah as well as messing around with the gravity gun in Half-Life 2 or using the Force in Jedi Knight 2.

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

 @DukeMagnum 

1. Pikmin isnt simply a generic RTS, its a special Single Player Experience with Unique mechanics.

2. Nobody Bought Pikmin for its Multiplayer, EVER, we dont need online just for you idiots who havnt played the game. Havnt you realize yet that Single Player experience games lost their experience when they jammed uneeded Multiplayer in it?

3. Miyamoto works hard on his personal games, not all Mario games are made by him you know, he's the most working dev as he has too many different projects he's co-developing or watching. This is just his concern, he wants to explore new factors of the FPS genre he didnt see been deepened, thats how he rolls, looks for hidden potential.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

 @DukeMagnum 

I don't recall him saying "My FPS game will be only about exploring 3D space." he said the idea of fully exploring a 3D space sounds intriguing, and that's how many games start out as, ideas. I like that online play isn't included in Pikmin 3 because it seems like every major game now seems to require having multiplayer and online (regardless of how much of a single player experience it's meant to be). Yeah I know the benefits of having online, but seriously when is the last time you invited a group of friends to your house to play videogames and have a good time with each other's company? 

 

You call him a lazy developer for the 2D Mario games, guess what? He's not the developer of the 2D Mario games anymore, and I'm assuming you've watched E3, they clearly stated who develops the 2D Mario games, Takashi Tezuka. Even then, the 2D Mario games are far from lazy, New Super Mario Bros for the DS brought Mario back to his glory days in a true modern fashion, the Wii version (while visually was a bit lazy) highlighted cooperation with a touch of competition and chaos. The Wii U and 3DS titles are both very different from each other, whereas the WiI U title again focuses on cooperation, it also adds in a great deal of exploration and trust while the 3DS focuses hording as many coins as you can, but being wise about your surroundings and quick decision making (I can turn this platform into coins, but what if it leads to an area with more coins). You say you call it like you see it, unfortunately you don't see much which is why you make very ignorant comments like this.

Khasym
Khasym

 @Orvell People who are into gaming right now, are doing so to try and feed their families. Yeah, I remember the days of games like Counterstrike, where people were willing to innovate for free. But back then, there were HUNDREDS of turkey games out there. For every Minecraft, Final Fantasy 7, and PaRappa the Rappa out there, you could fill an encyclopedia book of the failed starts, bad designs, and lousy polish of games that bombed between 1994 and 2004. Even now, games like Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, Dragon Age 2,, L.A. Noire, Mirror's Edge, and the Need for Speed series past Most Wanted, show that trying to appeal to the "diverse" desires of gamers can backfire pretty badly.

Orbitz89
Orbitz89

 @Hurvl He was making a joke about the kinds of violence you see in Nintendo games.

First thing i thought of when Miyamoto was decrying the effect of gun based violence on younger people was, How come Legend of Zelda doesn't make kids want to destroy their neighbors property (pottery most likely) or stab things with pointy objects. I  mean, swords and bows are pretty damn dangerous too.

DukeMagnum
DukeMagnum

 @hotdiddykong 

1. The RTS genre is not crowded with competition. There really isn't any such thing as a "generic RTS". At the end of the day Pikmin is a console RTS. I bought the first one when it was new, I know what it is, and I never thought it was anything that amazingly special.

 

2. Whether or not anyone bought the game for its multiplayer is irrelevant. There are a couple of points I was making in regard to multiplayer:

     a. Miyamoto's quote shows that he considered adding multiplayer to the game and chose not to because it was too hard to make it work properly. He said nothing about maintaining the integrity of the single player experience. This is why I said he was lazy (along with other reasons elaborated on in earlier comments).

     b. This also raises serious concerns about the sincerity of Nintendo's online strategy. Leaving multiplayer out of a game because they can't put in the effort to figure out how to sync frames across the intenet? No achievements? The return of friend codes? Moderated "instant" messaging? This point is secondary to the argument, however.

 

3. See my other comments here.

DukeMagnum
DukeMagnum

 @abHS4L88 Dude, the fact that you don't want a feature in a game does not mean that the omission of said feature is not anything but lazy. He claims, as he has several other times, that "programming difficulty" online play would have created is the reason for the feature to be left out. There's nothing wrong with inviting friends over to play games, but it's not the everyday way to do multiplayer that online play is. Where's Nintendo's commitment to online when they're leaving it out of their biggest launch game because it's too hard? I played an RTS online in 97 for god's sake, how hard can it be?

 

As far as your second paragraph, you don't know what you're talking about. Yeah, that guy is producer of the NSMB series, but Miyamoto was General Producer of NSMB Wii, and he said himself that Princess Peach was not playable in the game because getting the movement of her dress right would have lead to "programming difficulty". Read the exact quote below:

 

"Originally, I thought it would be nice if we could have Princess Peach in there as a playable character," he said through a translator, "but in fact, the Toad characters have a physical that's a little bit closer to Mario and Luigi. In particular, if we had one character ou of the four that wore a dress, we would have to have special processing and programming to handle how the skirt is handled within the gameplay."

 

Furthermore, if you think that Miyamoto has no involvement with NSMB U, you're just being silly and don't understand the way a structured work environment works in practice beyond the most literal and fundamental concepts. The games are developed by Nintendo EAD, which Miyamoto is manager of. As deputy manager and producer of the games, Tezuka is certainly involved with the project on a deeper level, but to say Miyamoto has nothing to do with it because he is not "the developer" shortsighted and just plain old fashioned wrong. 

 

There's certainly enough evidence out there to at least make any reasonable person willing to entertain the suggestion that Miyamoto is a lazy developer. Enjoy being wrong. 

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

 @DukeMagnum 

I see where your coming from but Thats irrelevent considering Nintendo has been Making Online Games on Wii  and 3DS that work, so i dont understand how Miyamoto's confusion on Pikmin 3 means there isnt gonna be other great working online games.

 

Speaking of which, Nintendo stated they dont want to be the best in Online service but obviously not to be slouchy, and speaking of which again, People are ignoring how much of a step Miiverse is.

 

Nintendo does things their way, right now atleast, we can see NSMBU has some sort of achievement system but whether its the game or is basically Nintendo's Achievements is lesser known, dont want to throw you off but you cant ignore these.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

 @DukeMagnum 

I do agree that the absence of online is a missed opportunity but considering that the 1st two Pikmin games were single player experiences, then I'm sure the 3rd one will definitely have a fully realized single player campaign. Even the fact that you can play two completely different ways has me sold since I can play through it one way then switch the next time around. 

 

I guess you can call not including online lazy, but when considering the polish and creativity that all the other games he's played a major role in developing have, it's really hard to believe he's anything but lazy. Remember we're in an era where now the average game tends to not extend past 10 hours, yet Nintendo always seems to come out with games that go well past that mark and still provide an extremely fun and unforgettable experience that will indeed make many players want to come back and play again. I used to trade in my games all the time so I can get new ones, except my Nintendo games because they are games I know I will come back and play through again.

DukeMagnum
DukeMagnum

 @abHS4L88 Look, I appreciate the single player experiences. I respect it, even. If this was meant to be a single player game and that's that, then leave out the multiplayer. But when he says the following, it's hard to believe that Pikmin is truly intended to be a deep single player only experience:

 

“You have to be very careful that you don’t drop frames as you’re trying to sync up with other players over what could be a very great physical distance, over the internet.

 

But in the situation of Pikmin, for example, since you would have lots of individual, small creatures, the Pikmin, whose every movement and location is going to be really important in the game, it would be very difficult to sync up over an internet connection.

 

“So what we’ve decided to do is focus on the single-player and local multiplayer aspects, which are really fun. But unfortunately, no online multiplayer for Pikmin 3. But the co-op local multiplayer is really fun.”

 

It sounds like Nintendo either doesn't know how to write proper netcode or they're too lazy to do so. Since this is something that's been done before on at least a 28.8k modem, I have to believe it's laziness. I didn't say he wasn't working on a lot of projects; I said he was working on them lazily, not devoting effort into making them all they could be.

 

They know that their core customers will accept whatever they do, and the people with a Wii (or Wii U in this case) who aren't core customers don't know any better. Developmentally, Nintendo is years behind what other games are doing, and I'm not speaking in terms of graphics. They get a pass over and over, because like you said, you can't get those games anywhere else.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

 @DukeMagnum 

They also stated with Pikmin 3 that it is more of a single player experience with the inclusion of multiplayer.

 

And okay, I may be wrong about Miyamoto not having anything to do with the NSMB series but regardless, that doesn't make him a lazy developer. How can he be possibly lazy when he's been developing Skyward Sword, Pikmin 3, Super Mario Land 3D, overseeing the production of NSMB U and NSMB2 along with the development of the Wii U itself AND an original IP? Most game developers are able to focus on just one or two titles at a time, not this man, he's constantly working his ass off to ensure that the industry has many quality experiences that you really cannot find else where. 

 

So yeah, I may have been wrong about his involvement, but that all the more proves why he's not lazy, especially considering how much different the upcoming NSMB titles are from each other.