For anyone who played video games in the 1990s, GoldenEye is seminal. The 007 game was easily the best first-person shooter of its time. Everything about it, from the missions (Jungle was a nightmare) to multiplayer (friendship-destroying) to masses of unlockable features (those bonus levels were sensational).
Everyone loved GoldenEye. Well, not everyone. The creator of Super Mario absolutely detested the game. He seemed to think it fetishized gun violence. Yes, the same GoldenEye with its cuboid-featured characters who, when shot, looked like they’d been blasted by a paintball gun and span absurdly to the floor.
According to a New Yorker piece on the false belief that video games cause violence:
The repeated accusation that games beget violence has inspired a siege mentality among those who play and make them, but few notable designers have publicly expressed concern about the fetishization of firearms. Martin Hollis, a developer of the 1997 James Bond-themed game GoldenEye 007, told me that he once received a fax from Shigeru Miyamoto, the inventor of Super Mario, calling the game “tragic” and “horrible.” Miyamoto proposed that, at the end of GoldenEye, players should be forced to shake hands with their victims as they lay recovering in hospital beds. (The idea was never implemented.)
That may be the most retro anecdote ever told. The inventor of Super Mario faxing a complaint to a developer of GoldenEye.
And what makes it particularly hilarious is Miyamoto’s hospital proposal. Hopefully it was said to make a point rather than as a serious suggestion because it’s absolutely ridiculous.
Though it might have made for an interesting bonus feature… visiting Alec Trevelyan in hospital to apologise for dropping the double-crossing rat onto that massive satellite dish.