10 Questions for Shigeru Miyamoto

The father of modern video gaming, he created iconic characters like Mario and Donkey Kong. His latest big hit is the Nintendo Wii game system. Shigeru Miyamoto will now take your questions

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Makoto Ishida for TIME

Shigeru Miyamoto, legendary game designer, managing director and general manager of the Entertainment Analysis and Development division of Nintendo Co. Ltd.

The father of modern video gaming, he created iconic characters like Mario and Donkey Kong. His latest big hit is the Nintendo Wii game system. Shigeru Miyamoto will now take your questions

Do you think the success of the Wii--an interactive system that emphasizes physical activity--will change the gaming culture?Will Chung, TAIPEI
I hope that in 10 years people will look back and see both the Wii and Nintendo DS [a handheld system] as devices that helped redefine what a video game is--if you can even call it a video game.

Are you happy that the Wii is seen as a form of exercise?Jonah Eaton, LAUREL, MD.
While working on Wii Fit [a new exercise game with a balance board for yoga and other activities], we got letters from fans who wanted some type of exercise program. We were very happy to see that response from consumers, but it also put a bit of pressure on us to try to get it completed.

What do you say to the gamers who accuse Nintendo of catering to the casual gamer and not the hard-core gamer?Sean Rhodes, AURORA, COLO.
At E3 [a gaming trade show], I was a little concerned about defining people as a hard-core gamer vs. a casual gamer. But there are hard-core gamers who play a lot of casual games. Nintendo's focus is to break down the barriers between those two groups and consider everyone just gamers.

Are any of your games, like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, meant to send important messages, or are they just supposed to be fun?Matt Perry, LONDON
When I create a game, I try to focus more on the emotions that the player experiences during the game play. But in the case of the Zelda games, the producer puts some messages about good and evil into the game.

Many criticize the reuse of franchises like Mario. Do you prefer to create new characters or work with old ones?Shabaab Kamal, BETHESDA, MD.
I try not so much to create new characters and worlds but to create new game-play experiences. If a new experience is better suited to a new type of character or world than one of our existing franchises, then we might create a new character or world around it.

What one game has revolutionized the industry?Lucas Ross, SHOREVIEW, MINN.
Space Invaders. Before I saw it, I was never particularly interested in video games and certainly never thought I would make video games.

Do you think violent or explicit games can negatively influence young children?Reinhart Klein, SEATTLE
The obvious objective of video games is to entertain people by surprising them with new experiences. Violence is one means of doing that, [though] I look to make people laugh or smile. But the more we have parents playing video games themselves, the more they will understand the interactive world and how to deal with games that have a tremendous amount of violence.

How do you see video games evolving in the future?Dave Barnhardt, FORT ERIE, ONT.
In the past, video games had a more relevant place in pop culture. What we are trying to achieve with devices like Wii and Nintendo DS is bring gaming back to that relevant role not only in pop culture but also in society in general.

What advice do you have for aspiring video-game designers?William Abeel, FREEHOLD, N.J.
The most important thing is to create--when I was young, I made comics and puppets. Then take those creations and show them to people so you get feedback. Whether it is positive feedback or even if they make fun of it, repeating that process is a good thing for being prepared to make games.

Are video games something we should grow out of? Are you still a kid at heart?Christopher Solis, SAN FRANCISCO
I think that inside every adult is the heart of a child. We just gradually convince ourselves that we have to act more like adults. Nintendo wants to make it easier for people to never grow out of video games.

For more from Miyamoto read the extra questions. Listen to this interview on Time.com's 10 Questions podcast. Find more interviews at time.com/10questions.

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