How do we honor our pioneers?

A few nights ago I had a rather morbid dream. In the dream, Shigeru Miyamoto had passed away.

Before I continue, I want to make extremely clear that I do not wish anything bad to Shigeru San. As you’ll read, this is a platform for me to talk about a larger context with a theoretical concept using him as a test case.

In the dream, I was an upper management of a video game history museum (a concept I covered before) which was prepared in the sense of being able to act quickly when a high-profile designer passes away. First there was a press conference, having timing it for after Nintendo of America made their statement. I was presenting the main statement by quickly reviewing the many accomplishments Miyamoto had done in his life time. While he is one of Japan’s greatest sons, he really is one of humanities’ greatest assets. This was followed by the museum having a memorial service and special visitations. A monument at the museum, already erected in his honor with a prior event, would become the focus point for visitors to pay their respects. The museum itself would be open, but in order to provide the context of Miyamoto’s work the admission would be waived for two days. In addition, three days there will be someone standing watch over the monument and public visitation at any time.

The takeaway I have from this dream is what would happen now if one of the great pioneers of our industry were to pass away. For the amount of contribution certain individuals have made to the art form, I worry that their work doesn’t match the recognition they have made. Miyamoto has the benefit of representation from Nintendo, but what about Nolan Bushnell, Tim Schafer, and anyone with a Lifetime Achievement award?

What I’m trying to get at is the differences of when a high-profile artist of the entertainment field passes away and the differences between media. Movies, television, music and to a slightly lesser extent with books work within each other so that daily entertainment programs and news programs provide context to each other. Interactive entertainment is mostly avoided in a positive context as the impression video games are stealing audience away. Course, ignoring the situation doesn’t help matters. My aims are to make the art form I chose not loose it’s relevance to society. Specifically, equate the public perception of the work to the size of the audience. It’s not the death of the individual that we can make this case, but it’s the honoring of a person’s work that we can see where the art form has made an impact.