The jury deliberating the 2012 Asturias prize for Communication and Humanities has awarded the honour to Japanese computer games creator Shigeru Miyamoto.
It was the third Asturias to be awarded this year, with five more to follow.
“Japan’s Shigeru Miyamoto is a key figure of the videogame revolution, both didactic and constructive. A designer of games and characters, recognised around the world, and known for being non-violent,” said jury President Adela Cortina Orts.
Shigeru Miyamoto was born in 1952. He is sometimes dubbed the Spielberg of the computer game, and is most famous for his Nintendo creations Super Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero and Pikmin.
As a child Miyamoto grew up without a car or television, so went outdoors and explored. While a student he was too busy with comics and music to be much bothered about work.
But by chance his father knew Nintendo’s boss, Hiroshi Yamauchi, and fixed a meeting.
Little could Yamauchi have guessed the geeky twentysomething would transform the fortunes of his company. Yamauchi liked his drawings and ideas, so hired him as Artistic Director in 1977.
“Donkey Kong” came out in 1981 and was a smash hit, with the “Mario” franchise being born in 1983.
“Video games are bad for you?” Miyamoto has said. “That’s what they said about rock and roll.”