When Miyamoto started at Nintendo, video games were still yet to be defined. Arcades and early home consoles were sketching out the earliest versions of what would become possible with virtual worlds. In 2023, most of the world plays video games, and the boundaries of what constitutes a game are once again becoming porous. The corporate world is encroaching on the universes of play that gamers have long inhabited, rebranding them as “the metaverse”. Everything from shopping and language learning to going for a run is being gamified through apps.
“Even grandpas like me know what games are now,” says Miyamoto. “Nowadays it’s very common to use PCs and smartphones, they’re used as pen and paper used to be. The border of video game is becoming less and less set in stone. People are having a broader understanding and acceptance of the term.”