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Nintendo Creator Hopes to Find Niche in Classrooms

March 20, 2010

The man who helped create Nintendo said he is now working hard to turn the franchise’s handheld consoles into educational aids and teaching tools.

“That is maybe the area where I am devoting myself (the) most,” Japanese video game guru Shigeru Miyamoto told The Associated Press (AP) in an interview.

Miyamoto said that Nintendo Co.’s DS console was already being used in Japanese museums, galleries and aquariums, and that his company was starting to roll out the Nintendo DS system “in junior high and elementary schools in Japan starting in the new school year.”

He started the project in hopes to brood the audience for gaming consoles.

Miyamoto has designed games like “Super Mario Bros.,” Legend of Zelda,” and “Donkey Kong.”  He also helped design Nintendo’s motion-sensitive console the Wii, which has consistently outsold rivals by attracting nontraditional gamers like women and seniors.

The 57-year-old cagey said he was “honored” that his competitors like Sony and Microsoft were following suit with their own motion-sensitive controllers.

He declined to comment when asked what was in store for the Wii, but said “new technologies are always emerging.”  He also said Nintendo was hoping to increase the number of Wii users connecting their console to the Internet.

Miyamoto said he primarily sees himself as an entertainer.  “I have never said that video games (are) an art,” he said.

Despite his remarks, on Friday Miyamoto was in London to accept a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Fellowship at the GAME British Academy Video Games Awards.  The title is the academy’s highest honor for creative work and has previously been bestowed by film greats like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick.

The ceremony will see games like “Call of Duty:  Modern Warfare 2″ and “Streetfighter IV” battling it out for awards in several categories.  Miyamoto has three titles in the running for awards, including his newly released “New Super Mario Bros. Wii.”

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