Without getting into the “games are art” debate too much, each year Japan’s Media Arts Festival acknowledges video games that are pioneers in “media arts”. Winners of the award are considered to have created something that unifies advances in technology and media. Before we get to the big winner in the video game category let’s look at what the jury recommended as excellent in 2008.
Aquanaut’s Holiday ~Hidden Memories~
Devil May Cry 4
DS Bungaku Zenshu (note: a DS ebook reader.)
Daigasso! Band Brothers DX
Dragon Quest IV: The Chapters of the Chosen
Dragon Quest V: The Hand of the Heavenly Bride
Knights in the Nightmare
Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan!
And this year’s top video game for the advancement of media art is….
Wii Fit with an Excellence Prize! The Grand Prize went to a light up musical instrument called Tenori-On. In addition to a trophy the excellence prize comes with 300,000 yen ($3200) which is like chump change to Nintendo.
Wondering why Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots isn’t on the list? Kojima already picked up his Excellence Prize last year, even though the game didn’t come out. Other games honored in 2007 include Monster Hunter Freedom 2 which also earned an Excellence Prize and Wii Sports which was awarded the Grand Prize. Final Fantasy VII and I.Q. Intelligent Qube were among the first games to be honored by the Japan Media Arts Festival which started in 1997.
Images courtesy of Nintendo / Sting.