I didn't know that Sports Illustrated covered much in the way of video games, but here they are, with an in depth interview with Shigeru Miyamoto.
Nintendo more than any other gaming company features characters that have recurred and been a part of people’s lives for 30 years now. Can you talk about the importance of tradition at Nintendo?
Miyamoto: There are two things that we really focus on. The first is maintaining the “Mario-ness” of Mario. We talk a lot of about what it’s OK for Mario to do or what Mario should be — and what Mario shouldn’t be or shouldn’t do. In terms of what he should do, we’ve always viewed Mario as being a character that should always be doing something new. And then in terms of what Mario shouldn’t be doing, we really want Mario to be a character that people can trust. We want parents to feel that they can trust the character and they can sit down to play Mario games with their kids. We would never use Mario in some type of gambling product. We don’t have Mario engaging in a lot of violence or things like that. We want him to be a friendly character that is welcoming for people.
The other challenge that we often have is that, as time passes and we have younger and younger developers joining Nintendo, they now are at a point where they’re joining the company and they have in their mind their own sort of fixed image of what Mario should be based on their experiences with Mario. And oftentimes they think that Mario should be more child-like because of their childhood memories with him. So when they join the company, they have a tendency to want to try to bring Mario closer to their image of what Mario is or what he should be. Instead what we have to do is educate them and help them understand this is the sphere that Mario exists in and this is what Mario is, to try to help them understand how they should handle the character when developing games.
Catch the whole interview here.