December 4, 2015
Born in Tokyo in 1943. Graduated from the Department of Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Electronic Engineering of Chiba Institute of Technology. Entered Hayakawa Electric Industry Co., Ltd. (present-day Sharp Corporation) in 1967. When he entered the company, he was primarily engaged in technological service work with photodetectors. Entered Nintendo Co., Ltd. in 1971 after being involved in the development of the NES Zapper. Later he was in charge of the development of early video game consoles such as Color TV-Game 6 and 15, and Color TV-Game Block Breaker. In 1981, he was in charge of the development of the “Family Computer” (Famicom), and in the wake of its huge domestic success, was placed in charge of the development of the “Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)” and “Super Famicom”. He retired from Nintendo Co., Ltd. in 2004 and became a development advisor to the company, as well as a professor by special appointment at Ritsumeikan University Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences where he devotes his time to academic research of video games. He has published his results in such journals as CEDEC 2010. Since 2009, he has lectured on the history of gaming, and led seminars having the theme of “The Imaging of Play” in the University’s College of Image Arts and Sciences. Currently he serves as the director of the Ritsumeikan University Center for Game Studies (RCGS) and as a visiting professor at the College of Image Arts and Sciences of the same University.
UEMURA Masayuki developed the “Family Computer” at a time when video games were becoming popular, and turned the genre into an industry and a culture despite the possibility of it being no more than a passing boom. UEMURA has served as the director of the Ritsumeikan University Center for Game Studies since 2011, and from the standpoint of a researcher, engages in projects that reconstruct the history of human civilization from a “gaming” viewpoint. That view encompasses a massive scale; prehistoric ancient civilizations, modern society, the present day, to a time after technological singularity. We look forward to the sharing of this vision as a result of the awarding of the Japan Media Arts Festival’s Special Achievement Award. (IIDA Kazutoshi)