Jim Henson Co. Honors Nintendo’s Miyamoto

Video game legend Shigeru Miyamoto, general manager of Nintendo Ent., is the top recipient of this year’s Jim Henson Honors, which acknowledges organizations, individuals or products that reflect the core values and philosophy of the late Jim Henson and the company he founded. Among the other three honorees is the Electronic Arts video game Spore, the latest interactive sensation from Sims creator Will Wright and his Maxis development studio.

Jim Henson Honorees:

The Jim Henson Celebration Honor – Shigeru Miyamoto, general manager of Nintendo Ent.,

The Jim Henson Community Honor – The Center for Puppetry Arts Distance Learning Center, a non-profit arts organization

The Jim Henson Creativity Honor – Shepard Fairey, street artist

The Jim Henson Technology Honor – Spore, video game from Maxis and EA

As the creator of such iconic video games as Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros. and the Zelda series, and the person who ultimately oversees every Nintendo game, Miyamoto has invigorated America’s love for gaming with the creation of Nintendo’s hugely popular Wii console. Going beyond mere amusement, Miyamoto recently developed Wii Fit, dedicated to improving physical health and well being. In addition to giving players a workout, it is also being used as a rehabilitation tool by physical and occupational therapists to help patients with balance, endurance and core strengthening.

The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta Georgia is a unique program in which children and adults are educated, enlightened and entertained as they learn about puppetry from all over the world. Since 1978, the Center has been dedicated to giving students from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn about the fine craft of puppetry arts from the experts. With a variety of projects accompanied by study guides, teaching aids and live demonstrations presented via satellite, the CPA Distance Learning Center has introduced the art of puppetry and creative storytelling to school communities all over the U.S. and the U.K., and has inspired thousands of children to discover their own creative voice.

Los Angeles-based street artist Shepard Fairey, known for the international ‘Obey Giant’ guerilla art campaign, is the creator of three-tone image of Barack Obama that emerged during the 2008 presidential election. The wildly popular poster featuring the single word ‘Hope’ became a powerful symbol in the election year and demonstrates the way art can inspire and unite.

Spore gives gamers their own personal universe in a box. Players build their own galaxy from scratch, modeling unique creatures and evolving them over time so that they can survive and thrive in an ever-changing virtual world.

The Jim Henson Honors was established in 2005. Criteria used in the evaluation process include a commitment to creativity, innovative applications of art and technology, and inspiration of others. The winners were announced by Jim Henson Co. co-CEOs Brian Henson and Lisa Henson.