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Takahashi: videogames are a luxury

Game designer Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari Damacy, used his keynote speech at Nottingham's GameCity to remind people that there are far more important things than videogames.

Game designer Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari Damacy, used his keynote speech at Nottingham's GameCity to remind people that there are far more important things than videogames.

Taking to the stage barefoot, shy and nervous, Takahashi said that games were a luxury, and aren't that important when compared to world events such as environmental pollution and aggression.

"It would be impossible for us to be here... if the world was not peaceful. If there was heavy fighting or pollution in the cities could we talk about videogames like this? If you're suffering from poverty and disease could you worry about collecting coins? I don't think so," he said.

"I don't know about the future but we will see more of the darker side of reality on the Earth. I'm not trying to be the next Al Gore but I'm not sure if we could afford to have videogames in ten or twenty year's time. I'm not saying that we don't need game events or games themselves, but in order to enjoy these events we should recycle rubbish... be friendly to your neighbours.

"I might be being idealistic but I truly think so. Videogaming is good but it's also a luxury. You can't play videogames unless you are financially well off," he added.

Takahashi used the latter part of his keynote to show off a rough demo of his latest project Nobi Nobi Boy, handing over controls to the audience to test the game's stretching central character, and saying, "what's funny about it is I haven't managed to explain it to anybody yet, not even my boss."

Although Takahashi was introduced to the audience by Wonderland blogger and Channel 4 commissioning editor Alice Taylor — with a look at some of the fan-made crafts that have been inspired by his most famous creation — one of the first points that the designer raised was that he was "sick of Katamari Damacy".

But despite Takahashi's reluctance to be seen as anything other than an ordinary person who "likes to go for walks and look after plants," the audience found the talk inspirational and refreshing, mobbing the humble designer at the end of his speech.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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